Seed Catalogs

IMG00190-20100808-2051                                                                  Time to start seed shopping – I finished going through and tossing old seeds. I think it is save to get rid any packed for sowing prior to 2010. Just saying… Continue reading

Best Intentions

When your 17-year-old son asks to stream “Arrow” with you, garden catalogs can wait another day!

Friday: Hot Date Night

I did RSVP to a Marriage Dinner for Valentine’s Day today – friends of ours celebrated their 25th Anniversary this year, so will be honored that night. So, I guess that kinda counts as a ‘Date Night’ with MacGyver, and I can then plan one with my seeds and seed catalogs too. Tomorrow it is! Such Friday night excitement!

Inventorying old seeds it dull, so I’d best do that first, and quickly. Get it over and done with, and all that good non-procrastination self-talk…

Then I can sit back with that glass of wine and dream of spring and summer while I stick Post-it tabs on beautiful flowers I have never tried before, yummy veggies I can’t wait to taste, and fresh seeds of the ‘Tried and True’.

When done, I might even take a peek at a book I purchased for .18 on Amazon at the suggestion of Carol, at May Dreams Garden, ( http://www.maydreamsgardens.com/):                                                                  ‘Gardening on Main Street’ by Buckner Hollingsworth. I’m anticipating this to be journal like and thoughtful as opposed to instructional and just what a wintry night needs.

Recent Weather

It’s been warm this week – so warm I actually looked to see if the Daffodils were peeking out of the ground. Wishful thinking… Alas, my own ‘Groundhogs’ were still asleep and I hear winter is returning Sunday with a prediction of snow. Sounds like just the weekend I need to shop those seed catalogs.

Garden Planning

It’s about time to start the garden planning. After all, the first seed catalogs started hitting the mailbox on Dec 26th – a little too early for me but it’s now time:

  • Christmas has been put to bed
  • My office has been purged of old files
  • Tasks for my resolution items have been schedules
  • Football is wrapping up

First off, I need to inventory my seeds and toss any that are too old to be viable. I usually find that I can get 2-3 years from seeds that I plan to start indoors but I admit to sowing more heavily and picking out seedlings if I get too many. For plants that I can’t take the risk on, I buy new each year.

With the list of what are still in the seed packet box, it’s now time to sit down some cold wintry evening with a pleasing beverage, a stack of catalogs, and another stack of Post-it tabs. No editing at this stage –  I just mark everything that is interesting.

Next, I print out a clean copy of the garden template as well as those from the previous three years so I can review plant rotation. I’ve read of more exacting plans for 7 year rotations, but for the size of my garden, and the particular mix of 4′ x 4′, 4′ x 9′, and larger beds ranging from 9′ x 9′ to 12′ x 12′ beds, rotation is a little trickier. I stick to a three-year plan and that has been fine as I haven’t had any issues with either insects or diseases. I’m big on building the soil, so I credit that for my success:  I use not insecticides and very little fertilizer.

With the blank template, I mark in the tried and true plants that I know I will ALWAYS grow:  Silver Queen corn and Better Boy tomatoes among others. Sometimes, I know I am going to grow okra and no longer have seeds so don’t know what variety, for instance. This is where the fun comes in:

I go back through the tagged pages and woefully cut out what I can’t have due to space, time to grow, etc and then select which plants will be new to try. I always want arugula, but maybe this year I’ll try kale since we are suddenly eating it all the time.

Word to the wise, and one I am heading this year:  order seeds early, especially for anything marked as new – it can be very disappointing to find them sold out for the season.

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 950 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 16 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The End

Wow! I can’t believe I am still actually working in Big Garden – all the way to “The End” instead of just Continue reading

Tomato Sacrifices

I’ve been meaning to write about this for about 10 days, but soccer and football and ‘back to school’ took over.

As you know, I always get a late start to my garden because of wet springs – typical here; too large a yard and a need Continue reading

Aside

With water already boiling on the stove, I picked the first four ears of our much anticipated Silver Queen Corn. photo-001It’s officially the only kind we grow due to not wanting to risk cross-pollination.

To assure good pollination, you need to grow at least four rows but I think we have 8 or 9 rows of probably 12 plants each. That’s a lot of corn for 4 people considering its only at its peak for less than a week and we are battling the raccoons for their share.

It’s the only vegetable that we don’t Continue reading

The Tomato Whisperer

5 Gallon Bucket Tomato

 

 

 

 

Ahh… There it is in all its 5 gallon bucket glory with the new tomato cage and sitting securely inside the fence of the pool.

Being in a pot, of sorts, (and, yes, I did find an attractive off white plastic pot, of the same size, in the barn… Of course, it didn’t come with a sporty handle for moving it when company comes to the pool, but I digress…) it needs to be watered daily. Continue reading