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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2012 Edibles Plan



I have put together the list of edibles I hope to grow at Garden on Sherlock Street this year.  I've added a few new things, but we try to stick with varieties we like when they do well here.  That's why I'm keeping a list now.  I used to just go with whatever variety of seeds I could find each year. Now, I search for what we want.  

2012

basil
sweet

bean
snap: contender (bush)
--This year, I plan to plant them in more than one location to head off problems like spider mites that finished off the plants last year.

carrot
red cored chantenay
scarlet nantes
--My wonderful husband loves carrots.


cucumber
slicers: marketmore 76
slicers: white wonder

garlic
--I planted this last October.  I haven't seen any sprouts yet which is unusual.

kohlrabi
early white vienna
purple vienna

lettuce
leaf: grand rapids tipburn resistant
leaf: salad bowl [Saved from 2010]
leaf: black seeded simpson
leaf: red salad bowl
romaine: forellenschluss (speckled trout)
--This is new for GonSS.
romaine: parris island cos

melon, muskmelon
hales best jumbo

melon, watermelon
??? [from Mom & Dad]

onion sets
--Will go with what I find locally.

parsley
Italian

pea
shelling types: little marvel (dwarf)
snow peas: melting sugar

pepper
bell: buy starter plants
jalapeno: buy starter plant


pumpkin
large: jack-o-lantern

radish
multi-colored: french breakfast
multi-colored: sparkler
--This is new for GonSS. 
red: cherry belle

rosemary

squash, summer
early prolific straightneck
black beauty (zucchini)
early white bush scallop
--This is new for GonSS. 

squash, winter
early acorn hybrid
small wonder hybrid

tomato
plum/roma type: buy starter plants
grape/cherry type: buy starter plants (saved tag from 2010)


----- Perennials -----

            asparagus
            jersey knight
            --This is new for GonSS.

            mint

          strawberry
          fragaria
          --The heat last year killed off a lot of the plants.  It will be a small berry crop this year.

----- Extras -----
I have seeds for the following but am not worried about purchasing more.  The broccoli raab was fine but we didn't enjoy it enough to give up the space to grow it again.  While I like cilantro my WH doesn't really care for it.  Snow peas and shelling peas should cover our needs.  So, I'll let the edible pod peas off the list.  These may get planted, but not in the prime garden space;or I'll donate the seeds to our church's garden which distributes the produce at our food pantry.  I need to talk to the garden organizer.

            broccoli raab *

            cilantro/coriander *

            pea
            edible pod: sugar bon



Monday, January 30, 2012

First Flower of 2012

Today is really unseasonably warm for us.  It's 70 degrees currently.

As I explored the garden, I found a white crocus.



The first flower of 2012.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Edibles 2012


basil
sweet
  planted 5/2/12
  small plants, not harvesting 9/30/12
  froze 10/7/12

purple: starter plants
  planted 5/2/12  small plants, not harvesting 9/30/12
  froze 10/7/12

bean
snap: contender (bush)
  planted 5/1/12
  first harvest 6/24/12
  leaving this planting in mother nature's hands 7/12/12
  pulled dying plants 7/28/12
  planted 7/7/12
  first harvest 8/15/12
  finished 10/1/12


cabbage
?: starter plants
  planted 4/16/12
  leaving this planting in mother nature's hands 9/18/12
  pulled 10/16/12


carrot
red cored chantenay
  planted 4/9/12
  planted 4/23/12
  did not sprout
  planted 5/8/12
  did not sprout
  planted 6/5/12
  did not sprout
  planted 6/21/12
  did not sprout
  planted 7/7/12
  first harvest 7/16/12
  planted 8/13/12
  harvested all 10/11/12

scarlet nantes
  planted 4/9/12
  planted 4/23/12
  did not sprout
  planted 5/8/12
  did not sprout
  planted 6/5/12
  did not sprout
  planted 6/21/12
  did not sprout
  planted 7/7/12
  first harvest 7/17/12
  planted 8/13/12
  harvested all 10/11/12

++these were the sweeter of the two carrots.  my carrot loving wonderful husband says this is his choice.
**i've decided succession planting spring crops past may just doesn't work here.  i can't keep the germinating seeds moist enough to survive.  I did plant again in July and August.

cucumber
slicers: marketmore 76
  planted 4/30/12
  first harvest 8/11/12
  pulled out 9/18/12
slicers: white wonder
  planted 4/30/12
  first harvet 7/12/12
  pulled out 9/18/12

garlic
?:
  complete harvest 6/21/12
  planted 10/16/12

**i can always count on the garlic to perform well.

kohlrabi
early white vienna
  planted 3/15/12
  planted 3/30/12
  planted 4/16/12
  planted 4/30/12
  planted 5/14/12
  first harvest 5/24/12
  finished 7/30/12
  planted 6/5/12
  did not sprout
  planted 6/21/12
  did not sprout
  planted 8/18/12
  pulled 11/4/12
purple vienna
  planted 3/15/12
  planted 3/30/12
  planted 4/16/12
  planted 5/14/12
  planted 6/5/12
  first harvest 6/18/12
  finished 7/30/12
  planted 6/21/12
  did not sprout
  planted 8/18/12
  pulled 11/4/12
**i've decided succession planting spring crops past may just doesn't work here.  i can't keep the germinating seeds moist enough to survive.

lettuce
leaf: grand rapids tipburn resistant
  planted 3/15/12
  planted 3/30/12
  first harvest 5/2/12
  finished 6/24/12
leaf: salad bowl
  planted 1/31/12
  some sprouted, dried up and blew away
  more sprouted after some rain
  planted 3/15/12
  planted 3/30/12
  planted 4/16/12
  first harvest 4/23/12
  finished 6/24/12
leaf: black seeded simpson
  planted 2/11/12 inside; sprouted well but was weak;  tossed in compost pile
  planted 3/15/12
  first harvest 4/23/12
  finished 6/24/12
  planted 8/13/12
  first harvest 10/15/12

leaf: red salad bowl
  planted 3/15/12
  planted 3/30/12
  planted 4/16/12
  first harvest 4/23/12
  finished 6/24/12
romaine: forellenschluss "speckled trout"
  planted 3/15/12
  first harvest 4/20/12
  finished 6/24/12
  planted 8/13/12
  first harvest 10/15/12
romaine: parris island cos
  planted 3/15/12
  planted 3/30/12
  first harvest 4/28/12
  finished 6/24/12
  planted 8/13/12
  first harvest 10/15/12
**the "speckled trout" was great.  it did better than the parris island cos which I have grown for years.  red salad bowl, green salad bowl and black seeded simpson all were good too.  i think i'll let go of grand rapids tipburn resistant.

melon, muskmelon
hales best jumbo
  planted 4/23/12
  planted 5/8/12
  leaving these plantings in mother nature's hands7/30/12
  pulled out 9/6/12

melon, watermelon
???:
  planted 4/23/12
  did not sprout
**i think my seed was too old.  need to buy fresh seed and try again next year.

onion sets
red comred (red)
  planted 3/27/12
  first harvest 5/3/12 (green)
  finished 7/5/12
ebenezer (white)
  planted 3/27/12
  first harvest 5/3/12 (green)
  finished 7/5/12
**onion sets are the way to go for me.  i need to succession plant some for the green onions to be spread out over a longer time.

parsley
italian
  planted 5/2/12
  did not sprout
  planted 6/5/12
  did not sprout
  planted 6/21/12
  did not sprout
++i bought new seed, but none sprouted.  i've never had this trouble with parsley before.  time to get my parsley seed from a different company.
flat leaf: starter plants
  planted 4/16/12
  leaving for the caterpillars 9/30/12


pea
shelling types: little marvel (dwarf)
  planted 3/14/12
  planted 3/30/12
  planted 4/16/12
  planted 4/30/12
  first harvest 5/24/12
  finished 6/12/12
snow peas: melting sugar
  planted 3/14/12
  first harvest 5/18/12
  finished 6/12/12
**i need to get taller supports for the snow peas but they were all delicious.

pepper
bell: ?: starter plants
  planted 5/2/12
  first harvest 9/18/12  froze 10/7/12
jalapeno: ?: starter plant
  planted 5/2/12
  first harvest 8/11/12  froze 10/7/12

pumpkin
large: jack-o-lantern
  planted 4/30/12
  died 6/26/12
  planted 6/10/12
  did not sprout
**when it was obvious the pumpkin plant was not going to make it, i tried replanting, but no luck.  i planted it in a spot where the wind really comes through the garden with force.  not a good idea.  not sure what will survive in that location.

radish
multi-colored: french breakfast
  planted 3/15/12
  planted 3/30/12
  planted 4/16/12
  first harvest 4/23/12
  planted 4/30/12
  planted 5/14/12
  planted 6/5/12
  did not sprout
  planted 6/21/12
  did not sprout
  finished 6/24/12 
multi-colored: sparkler
  planted 3/15/12
  planted 3/30/12
  planted 4/16/12
  planted 4/30/12
  first harvest 5/2/12
  planted 5/14/12
  planted 6/5/12
  did not sprout
  planted 6/21/12
  did not sprout
  finished 6/24/12
  planted 8/13/12  bolted 9/20/12
red: cherry belle
  planted 3/15/12
  planted 3/30/12
  planted 4/16/12
  first harvest 4/23/12
  planted 4/30/12
  planted 5/14/12
  planted 6/5/12
  did not sprout
  planted 6/21/12
  did not sprout
  finished 6/24/12
  planted 8/13/12
  bolted 9/20/12

**i've decided succession planting spring crops past may just doesn't work here.  i can't keep the germinating seeds moist enough to survive.

rosemary
  planted 5/2/12
  did not sprout
**i have a plant from last year still.  i'm not without rosemary.  was just hoping for more.

squash, summer
early prolific straightneck
  planted 5/1/12
  planted 5/15/12
  died 8/22/12
black beauty (zucchini)
  planted 5/1/12
  planted 5/15/12
  died 7/13/12
++hot, dry and windy.  needed more protection.
early white bush scallop
  planted 5/1/12
  first harvest 7/12/12  froze 10/7/12

squash, winter
early acorn hybrid
  planted 5/1/12
  froze 10/7/12
  first and only harvest of one 10/15/12
small wonder hybrid
  planted 5/1/12
  first harvest 9/5/12
  froze 10/7/12
candy roaster squash
  planted 5/1/12
  planted 5/10/12
  died 7/10/12
++hot, dry and windy.  needed more protection.

tomato
standard slicers: mater sandwich: starter plant 
  planted 5/2/12
  first harvest 8/3/12  froze 10/7/12
standard slicers: brandywine: starter plant
  planted 5/2/12   froze 10/7/12
grape/cherry type: chocolate cherry: starter plant
  planted 5/2/12
  first harvest 6/18/12
  pulled dying plant 7/30/12
grape/cherry type: sweet baby: starter plant
  planted 5/2/12
  first harvest 5/26/12  froze 10/7/12
plum/roma type: amish paste: starter plant
  planted 5/2/12  froze 10/7/12

----- Perennials -----

asparagus
jersey knight
  newly planted/no harvest this year
**ferns look good.

chives
?:
  newly planted
**nice to have available.

mint
?: 
**we rarely eat this.  i just love having it in the garden.

strawberry
fragaria
  first harvest 5/8/12
  finished 5/24/12
**yummy!

----- Extras -----

cilantro/coriander
  planted 5/2/12
  did not sprout
**seed must have been old.  didn't matter much as my wonderful husband doesn't really like cilantro anyway.

pea
edible pod: sugar bon
  planted 3/14/12
  planted 3/30/12
  planted 4/16/12
  first harvest 5/26/12
  finished 6/12/12
**left over seed from last year.  not planning to plant these again due to space.

radish
?:gourmet blend
  planted 6/5/12
  did not sprout
  planted 6/21/12
  did not sprout
  planted 8/13/12  bolted 9/20/12
**these seeds were from a neighbor who decided to not plant them.  not sure how old the seed was.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Google Reader Commentary



I postponed moving to the new Blogger interface until recently.  It's been interesting figuring out where some things are or which little icon gets me to the place I need.  It's not difficult, it's just different.  I thought I had mastered it until I realized that my post on spring planning was missing a title.  Why?  Because I didn't notice where the title box was.  I also forgot tags.  Same reason.  Hopefully, I find my way around soon.  

I also tried Google Reader for the first time recently.  In general, it makes sense.  I can just scroll down and read the entire post of each blog I'm following.  Efficient?  Yes.  Fun?  No.  I missed the personality of each blog.  The colors, the photos, the links, the gadgets and gizmos.  It was very plain.  Yes, the photos of each post were there, but the header photos of some blogs are just amazing.  You don't see them using Google Reader.  Clicking on the link and opening your blog is like stepping into your garden.  It's a total experience.  If I want more about what you're posting, I can usually search the blog and get previous posts about the plant.  Comments were missing too (unless that's a box I haven't found to check mark yet).  I enjoy the other readers' comments.  Plus, some days, I'll read a blog and then click on a link in the blog roll; read that blog and then click on a link in the blog roll, etc.  It's like a fun random garden tour.

At Garden on Sherlock Street, I keep a seasonal photo at the top of the right column; I have pages where you can find more information about GonSS; zone data and frost dates noted; a list of tags; links to other garden blogs; the followers block; my email address and a few slide shows.  I hope you enjoy them and find some useful.

So, in summary, I'm skipping Google Reader.  I want the whole experience of visiting your blog.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Starting Spring Planning


It has been windy at Garden on Sherlock Street lately.  Today is calm and warm.

I spent some time over the weekend online and with the garden catalogs.  I also gathered all my seed packets to take inventory and make a list of what I need to purchase.  Most seeds are good for three to five years.  Margaret Roach has good info on seed viability at A Way To Garden.  I always need radish, carrot, kohlrabi, parsley and onions.  Parsley and onions don't keep well after a year.  We just eat a lot of the other ones.  I'm going to add yellow patty pan squash to my garden this year.  A friend gave us some last summer.  They were yummy and cute too.  I want to try a new lettuce, speckled trout or forellenchluss.  Dee at Red Dirt Ramblings inspired me to try that one.  I'm browsing the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange catalog which I downloaded from their website and am going to get some of my seeds from them.  I also will order some vegetables  from Burpee including Jersey Knight asparagus starts.  I know it will be a couple of years before we eat any of the asparagus.  So, the sooner I plant some the better.  I decided on a location for the asparagus bed last year and worked the area with some straw before winter.  Jeanne at Seven Oaks is trying to decide on an asparagus variety for her garden.  Before I place any vegetable seed orders, I do check at my favorite local garden center.  I'm hoping to fit that in this week.  I like them for some of those plants where you only need a few seeds.  Like zucchini.  

I have a nice list of pretty new perennial flower plants too.  I order many of my perennials from High Country Gardens.  I'm really watching for words like drought tolerant after last year's summer.  The holly bushes are coming out this spring and I have a plan for that area.  Melanie at No Place Like Home recommended caryopterisis or blue mist spirea.  I think it would look great by the fence.  Plus, I'm going to plant Agastache cana 'Rosita.'  Sue at Sue's Garden Journal, Catherine at A Gardener in Progress and Tricia at Let There Be Garden all thought that would hold up in our heat and drought.  And, both plants seem to be butterfly and/or hummingbird magnets.  Bonus!

It sure is fun to plan and dream about the coming growing season.

Meanwhile, in the house, the paperwhites are sprouting nicely.  I think I have one bulb that is dead.  Not bad for bargain bulbs.



Have a great week!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Taking The Plunge

Last March, I posted a "personal ad" for a watering can.

After some advice from fellow gardeners and much searching online and on foot, I found the watering can I wanted.  I paused at the price.  

I decided I could hold out until there was a sale or something.  There was never a sale or anything.

Well, with some Christmas cash, I bought the watering can.

It is a Haws Galvanized Slimcan.  The two gallon size.


As I wrote last year, "It must have a screw off sprinkler head. The carrying handle needs to be inline with the spout and pouring handle. Plus, I want the fill opening to be on top at back."  That is exactly what I got.  The "perfect galvanized watering can."

You can put different brass heads on the spout depending on what you want.  I chose basic round.  They don't screw on.  They slide on.  It is removable which is what I really wanted.


It arrived one late afternoon.  I immediately filled the watering can with water.  I watered crocus sprouting by the patio stepping stones even though it was only 38 degrees Fahrenheit. 


I see a great future for us.

Monday, January 16, 2012

All Of GonSS In One Photo

Here is all of Garden on Sherlock Street as seen from way, way, way, way, way overhead.  The photo is courtesy of Google who recently updated the satellite images of our area.


After some detective work with fellow employees (yes, we lost some productivity time analyzing the images at work one day), we determined that it was captured...

1) in late August or early September
  • school was in session--we checked out the area schools
  • the trailer being used by the men doing our remodel was parked behind our work place--it arrived about the time school started
  • the trees had not yet started to turn color
2) on a Friday
  • based on one employee's car being in the parking lot--she works Fridays, Saturday and Sundays
3) around noon
  •  based on whose cars were in the parking lot
  •  there being very little shadow
As for GonSS, the forest looks very thick, the locust tree is doing a great job of shading the patio and air conditioner and the little lawn in the front garden which only gets mowed occasionally (and weeded) actually looks green despite the dry growing season last year.  I know you can't tell, but I know which dark areas are the tomatoes, peppers and basil.

I've often wanted to demonstrate the contrast for you between GonSS and our neighbors' gardens.  I think this shows it well.  Other than a couple of small trees in the property to the right of ours, the next door neighbors have only grass.  I imagine the wildlife that finds our garden feeling like they've discovered an oasis.  Actually, that's how we feel about the garden.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Paperwhites Please

While browsing some after Christmas sales, I came upon a small bag of paperwhite bulbs.  They had a few sprouts already, but I bought them to try and get some blooms in the house this winter.

I like to force paper whites in tall vases.  They act as supports.


I put a layer of glass pebbles at the bottom to support the roots.


Then, I nestled three bulbs into each vase.



I added water about half way up the bulbs.  Now, to wait for the blooms.



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

January Tour Time

Colder air has returned to Garden on Sherlock Street.  The January tour photos don't have a lot of interest as nothing is growing and there is no snow.  I did notice how a lot of perennials are now flat from the big snow we had before Christmas.  To see the photos, go one post back or check out the pages in the right hand column.


January Tour 2012

Front Garden


Forest


Back Garden








Side Garden


Vegetable Garden


Patio


Alley

Monday, January 9, 2012

Making Good Use Of A Warm January Afternoon

While we had a little cold front over the weekend, we're enjoying a few mild January days again before the next predicted cold blast comes (Wednesday).  In anticipation of our annual tree pruning, I made good use of a warm afternoon and gathered the garden tools that need a little sharpening.


Mostly, pruners in the group.  My wonderful husband handles heavy duty sharpening on shovels and such.  He usually uses a metal file for them.  I use a stone with a little honing oil on the pruners and even on a couple of my favorite hoes.  Now, if the hoes had a big notch or something, they'd go to the file first.


I put a couple drops of the oil on the stone and then rub it in one direction only along the cutting edge of the tool.  Sometimes, it doesn't seem like much is happening, but the shiny edge that appears tells you it is working.  

Getting a little edge on things makes such a difference.  There are tons of online tutorials for how to sharpen different types of tools.  Sharp tools make the job so much easier.  A little time with a stone or file can save you a lot of effort later. It's a great little winter project for a warm day.  Daydreaming about all the flowers I'm going to cut for arrangements this summer while sharpening the hand pruners is fun too!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Warm From One Side Of The House To The Other

I cannot believe how warm it is in January.

video