Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Garden Planning in Full Swing

Hi All,

I thought I'd post a couple of pictures of the garden during the last ice storm. Crazy stuff, I loved how the chicken wire from the pea trellises looked while crusted in ice. Now, that's high entertainment! The grass also had so much ice caked on it that it did not make it's characteristic rustle in the breeze, it snapped and cracked instead. That was a fun and interesting time for me to snap a few pictures. I actually dug out the Canon and snapped some film photos as well. Haven't developed those, but will soon.

I have received the slew of garden catalogs in the last couple of weeks. For those of you that plant gardens, this is a seriously fun time of year. Even though your soil is buried under layers of the white stuff, you get a little giddy excitement. You sit, make the cup of hot tea while the wind is whipping outside and the snow is falling sideways, and you dig out the colorful little tomes of possibility. I love to draw several diagrams of the beds, then imagine what could go into them. One of my beds is half perennial herbs, and the other is all strawberries, so that leaves me 2 1/2 beds to dream about. I also planted some no-dig potatoes last year outside the fenced in area, and for whatever reason, the groundhog did not bother those. I'm absolutely going to do potatoes again, you remember from my earlier post on this how much daggone fun those were.

Last year I tried out kohlrabi, which did not do so well in my beds, but flourished in my mother's garden. I sent her a dozen seeds or so and her wonderful green thumb had no problem making those prosper. It's a goal for me this year, to have better soil and get that kohlrabi up and thriving. The batch from my mother's garden was so delicious that we ate the 9 huge ones she sent us home with in about 2 weeks. If you grow this, try making a slaw with it. Outstanding! Each year I try something a little new for me, last year I did three new things. The unsuccessful kohlrabi, some beets and the potatoes. The beets weren't great either, but I think the nasturtiums I planted next to them were too close. Nasturtiums sort of take over the world once they get a hold, don't they? I have not decided what this year's newbie will be, but I know it will be fun to figure that out, along with where it will go in the garden.

I have yet to get the kids to weigh in on what their two little beds will contain this year. Maestro tends to want to grow everything that's growing in the main garden and that's a little tough when he can only fit one or two of each plant in his little bed. Last year, he had great luck with his broccoli and pansies. Little Red only wanted marigolds last year, but told me when he saw his brother's growing that he wanted to do some cucumbers this summer. We have big battles with powdery mildew here, so cukes usually only make it about half a season, but I'm willing to let him try. It's all a process of trial and error, isn't it? They totally enjoy growing the food that comes to the table. They have a connection to the food that you just can't get any other way, even though we do buy a lot that's locally grown, it's just not the same as getting it fresh from your own ground. That you've planted and tended with your own little paws. Truly satisfying experience for anyone who does this.

So, even if you don't have room for more then a couple of tomato pots on the deck, just plant something. I guarantee you that you'll get a sense of accomplishment you've not felt before and having that sun warmed tomato that you've nurtured and grown will make it the best tomato you've ever tasted. Seriously, I'm not kidding, it will. High Mowing Seeds and Seeds Of Change are two great companies that sell organic seeds, and if you're gonna plant them, you might as well make them organic. It matters, they are better, you'll just have to have faith in me until you see for yourselves.

Happy garden planning to you! ~Peacemom

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