Monday, December 31, 2012

Dusting off the Blog and Getting Ready for 2013

The 2012 growing season was productive, but a total bust on blogging.  This year, I'm thinking of doing a weekly post and some special posts when I get to it.  That's my plan now; we'll see how it works out!

In preparation for the 2013 gardening season, I've spent a lot of time online this past week placing orders for seeds and starts.  The potatoes and onions go into the ground around Valentine's Day and I've got to get the tomatoes and peppers going soon so they'll be ready to plant out by late March.

This is what I've ordered for the spring, in addition to some seeds I purchased in the fall that never made it into the garden.   I also have some seeds I've saved from last summer's veggies.

Dixondale Farms
Short Day Sampler (1 bunch of 1015, Texas Early White, and Red Creole mixed together)
Texas Legend (1 bunch)

Sustainable Seeds
Tomato--Large Red Cherry
Pepper--Orange King Bell Pepper
Triple Curled Parsley (for the herb garden/butterflies)

Baker Creed Heirloom Seeds
Pepper--Red Bullnose (sweet)
Tomato--Pantamo Romanesco (first time for us)
Watermelon--Royal Golden (new for us)
Herbs--Borage, Stevia, and Flat Leaf Parsley
Flowers--Button Box zinnias, Pink Sunday Sage (Salvia), Persian Carpet zinnias

Victory Seeds
Cantaloupe--Honey Rock
Tomato--Homestead 24, Rutgers, Beefsteak
Tomatillo--Morado (purple)
Cukes--Ashley, National Pickling, and Muncher

Potato Garden
Purple Majesty (2 lbs)
Yukon Gold (5 lbs)

I'll also be growing carrots, radishes, okra, bush beans, peas, black-eyed peas (cowpeas), and lettuce. 

Garlic on Christmas Day in the snow

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Back in the Garden!

Last year, all gardening efforts were pretty much a bust as my husband had some serious health issues that prohibited him from working in the garden and left me to do tend the house, the kitties, him, and work. Something had to give, and unfortunately, it was the veggie garden. The heat probably would've killed everything anyway...

The hubby's health issues are pretty much under control after heart bypass surgery in August, 2011 and then having a heart defibrillator implanted this past January. He's back to working in the garden while monitoring his heart rate and we're ready to reclaim the garden plot, expand it, and continue developing the flower beds!

We put in garlic in the fall and it's almost ready to harvest. I have cut all of the bloom stalks off so the heads will be as large as possible. Since it's been warmer than normal, the garlic will probably be ready to harvest late May.

We planted onions again this year. I ordered the short day sampler from Dixondale which has a mix of Texas 1015Y, Texas Early White, and Red Creole. I've been fertilizing them with blood meal weekly. I've learned that once planted, you want to feed onions a high nitrogen fertilzer (21-0-0) every two weeks until they bulb. Blood meal is 11-0-0, so I'm feeding weekly. The more leaves an onion has, the more rings it will have. The more rings it has, the bigger the onion! So if you want bigger onions, fertilize with a high nitrogen fertilizer.

The peas are a project plant out! We had seeds leftover from 2 years ago and from last year that didn't get planted, so they all went in the ground. I think every single seed germinated! LOL We also planted them about a month late, so while I'm not expecting a big harvest, I do hope to get some peas. There are 2 varieties, Alaska and Wando. My husband planted them and he doesn't remember which ones are which variety. Note to self: Do not let husband plant anything unsupervised!

We've also planted pole beans. This is only our second attempt at pole beans. The first time didn't go so well. This year, we planted Blue Lake pole beans. We like the Blue Lake bush beans, so I'm hoping these are just as good. Several have started vining and I'm thinking I might need to thin a few out still. We've thinned once. If possible, I might try transplanting them further down the fence line.

As you can see from the pics below, the flower gardens are doing great! We have lots of bees, butterflies, and other visitors in the gardens this year.