Jan 26, 2015

Dirt under my nails!

checking the soil
 Dirt under my nails in January.....Priceless!
raised beds inside the unheated greenhouse
 Cleaned out the raised beds inside the greenhouse today...
Hardening off seedlings
Little starts came out and enjoyed fresh daylight and cool, fresh, air!
Kale Sprouts
It feels so good to be gardening, when there is still snow on the ground.


Jan 25, 2015

When to start seeds indoors?

Recently, I found the Johnny's Seed calculator that has a more extensive vegetable and flower seed starting list than what I had been using. 

You just enter your last Spring frost date and the calculator does all the work for you... 

What a time saver!

Check out the link at Johnnys Seed Planting Calculator to customize and adjust the calculator to your own growing zone. 

Trying to keep myself a little more organized this year, I have created a printable chart that includes the vegetables that will be grown in my garden this year. 

Following the planting guidelines from the Johnny's chart I will adjust the exact planting dates according to the Farmers Almanac and personal preference.


Below is an example chart from Johnny's using my average last frost free date of May 15th.


Enter spring frost-free date (include year):
  
mm/dd/yyyy
CropNumber of weeks to start seeds before setting-out dateWhen To start insideSetting-out date
FromToSafe time to set out plants (relative to frost-free date)FromTo
Artichoke8
20-Mar
on frost-free date
15-May
Basil6
10-Apr
1 week after
22-May
Beets*4 to 6
20-Mar
3-Apr
2 weeks before
1-May
Broccoli4 to 6
20-Mar
3-Apr
2 weeks before
1-May
Cabbage4 to 6
6-Mar
17-Apr
4 weeks before
17-Apr
15-May
Cauliflower4 to 6
20-Mar
17-Apr
2 weeks before
1-May
15-May
Celery & celeriac10 to 12
27-Feb
13-Mar
1 week after
22-May
Collards4 to 6
6-Mar
20-Mar
4 weeks before
17-Apr
Corn salad/mache4 to 6
20-Feb
27-Mar
3 to 6 weeks before
3-Apr
24-Apr
Corn*2 to 4
17-Apr
15-May
0 to 2 weeks after
15-May
29-May
Cucumber3 to 4
24-Apr
8-May
1 to 2 weeks after
22-May
29-May
Eggplant8 to 10
20-Mar
10-Apr
2 to 3 weeks after
29-May
5-Jun
Kale4 to 6
6-Mar
20-Mar
4 weeks before
17-Apr
Kohlrabi*4 to 6
6-Mar
20-Mar
4 weeks before
17-Apr
Leeks8 to 10
20-Feb
6-Mar
2 weeks before
1-May
Lettuce4 to 5
13-Mar
27-Mar
3 to 4 weeks before
17-Apr
24-Apr
Melons3 to 4
1-May
8-May
2 weeks after
29-May
Mustard*4 to 6
6-Mar
20-Mar
4 weeks before
17-Apr
Okra*4 to 6
17-Apr
15-May
2 to 4 weeks after
29-May
12-Jun
Onions8 to 10
6-Feb
20-Feb
4 weeks before
17-Apr
Parsley9 to 10
13-Feb
27-Feb
2 to 3 weeks before
24-Apr
1-May
Peas*3 to 4
20-Feb
13-Mar
6 to 8 weeks before
20-Mar
3-Apr
Peppers8
3-Apr
2 weeks after
29-May
Pumpkins3 to 4
1-May
8-May
2 weeks after
29-May
Spinach4 to 6
20-Feb
27-Mar
3 to 6 weeks before
3-Apr
24-Apr
Squash3 to 4
1-May
8-May
2 weeks after
29-May
Swiss chard4 to 6
20-Mar
3-Apr
2 weeks before
1-May
Tomatoes6 to 8
27-Mar
17-Apr
1 to 2 weeks after
22-May
29-May
Watermelon3 to 4
1-May
8-May
2 weeks after
29-May

Jan 11, 2015

Winter Reading

Catching up on my Winter reading and making plans for the year ahead...
Here's a look at what I'm reading now.
I would love to be harvesting more through the Winter Months...So, it looks like planning is in store. 

Timing is everything!

Winter Gardening is on my list of goals for 2015. I will be adding a row cover this season to extend the harvest.

It's Growing to be a good year!


After cleaning out and organizing my Seed Case, I have come up with a list of seeds that I will be planting in my 2015 garden.

It is so hard not to be sucked into all those tempting seed catalogs in depths of winter...

I have many  Heirloom seeds on hand and will use up what I have, but  to subdue my gardenitus, I've ordered a few new varieties too!

Here's a look at what will be growing in my garden this year...
* new varieties added

Beans 
Calypso
Provider
Blue Lake
Tongue of Fire *
Scarlet Runner

Beet
Chioggia *
Crosby *
    Sugar *
                            
Broccoli
Bellstar

Cabbage
Golden Acre
January King

Carrot
Pusa Asista (Black) *
Pusa Rudhira (Red) *
Tendersweet*

Cucumber
Boston Pickling

Corn
Early Sunglow

Corn Salad-Mache'
                                   D Etampes                               
                           French Delight                        

Kale
Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch
Scarlet Kale *

Leek
American Flag
Summer

Lettuce
Forellenschluss
Four Seasons
Paris Island Romaine
Red Salad Bowl
Tom Thumb

Tomato
Black Krim *
Kellogs Breakfast *
Rutgers
Sicilian Saucer
Sungold

Onion
AilsaCraig

Parsnips
Harris Model

Peas
Alaska
Cascadia
Little Marvel

Pepper
Alma Paprika *
Hungarian
Kalmans Hungarian *
King of the North *
Sweet Banana

Summer Squash
Black Beauty

Winter Squash
Jarrahdale

Flowers
Echinacea- Tiki Torch
Pansy
Nasturtium Whirlybird mix
Marigold Hero Mix
Sunflowers
Zinnia Cherry Queen

Jan 5, 2015

Here's to a Prosperous and Fruitful New Year in the garden!



I've had a little time to sit and reflect on the garden and the past year, I find myself overjoyed with the outcome and results of the harvest that we were able achieve in our small home garden. 

Each year is a learning curve!  There has been success and failures along the way, yet I have a hankering to learn so much more. 

Keeping track of produce last year, gave me a real  perspective on harvest totals.

571 lbs of edible produce for the family.....Can you believe that?  

It was a few short years ago that I was gardening in one 4ft.by 4ft. square. Well, things have gotten a whole lot dirtier since then, and the garden has grown some!

So, after giving it some thought....Here's what I would like to achieve in my garden, this year...
  • Prune Apple trees and apply Dormant Oil Spray 
  • Plan and execute better succession plantings
  • Start flower seeds sooner
  • Sow seeds for winter harvest....This will be a learning curve.
  • Add a new heirloom variety
  • Save more seeds
  • Add at least one row tunnel for fall and winter 
  • Make a worm composting bin
  • and get more canning done

Jan 3, 2015

Storing the Harvest

 Onions are added to almost every meal cooked  here at the Cedar House.

I wasn't always an onion lover.

I eventually learned to stop picking them off my plate, and acquired a true  love for Alliums.

This year there was an abundant harvest of Ailsa-Craig Heirloom onions in our garden. While these onions are amazing, they are not for long term storage.

You can check out my previous post about the harvest here: onion-harvest 2014
We keep the onions stored in a harvest basket, on the cold, hardwood floor in the kitchen. While we use a lot of onions, we still haven't made our way through the basket. 

Some of the onions are starting to sprout, and some are starting to get soft and squishy...eeww!

So, for today's project...Time to sort onions into Sprouters, Dryers and Keepers.
The Sprouters will be planted in pots for now, and then transplanted in the garden this Spring. 

I have high hopes to save seed from these delicious heirlooms.
The Dryers, were cut and placed in the dehydrator. Drying will take place in the greenhouse to keep the eye burning smell out of the house, until they are dry.
The Keepers are still in good shape and will remain on the farm table for future meals.



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