The weather may be cold, and my fingers may be red from the cold, but there is much to do. Here is what I’ve been up to.
Sowed more seeds:
Carrot ‘Parisian Market’- cold frame, Feb. 9
Tomato ‘Big Beef’- for greenhouse, Feb. 11
Tomato ‘New Girl- for greenhouse & outside, Feb. 11
Broccoli Organic ‘Green Sprouting Calabrese’- Feb. 11
Ageratum ‘Blue Mink’- Feb. 11
Portulaca mix- Feb. 11
Salvia ‘Coral Nymph’- Feb. 11
Beets ‘Bulls Blood’- Feb. 12
The carrot is a cute, little, round variety. I’ve tried to sow carrots before and got down to the last week of waiting for them and then...
Yes, mamma squirrel scattered them everywhere! I found a couple later on, no where near where I had planted them. Lets just say that when I sow in my cold frame now, I put little wire protectors over everything- she got the hint luckily for her!
The tomato variety ‘Big Beef’ is one I grew in ‘07, and was delicious! I wanted to try one that was supposed to do well in the greenhouse, and I have to say they (Johnny’s) were right. Here in the NW this variety doesn’t do well outdoors- they somehow are not near as good- probably need more heat. There is a picture of it on my previous post- just click the link.
‘New Girl’ is a new one I’m trying this year. Johnny’s again said this variety does well in a greenhouse, and we’ll see how it does outside too. It is ready to harvest a little earlier than the ‘Big Beef’.
The broccoli is just an Ed Hume packet I picked up at a local grocery store. I figure that out of all vegetables you will find in the fridge in my house, on any given day, broccoli is it! Why am I not growing it? I did grow it a few years ago, and like everything else home grown, the taste is nothing like what you get in stores! There are a few bug problems, and I plan to get a barrier to protect them this time- chasing down those white moths with a tennis racket wasn't very effective.
Ageratum is one of my favorites (blue, of course) and I was a little disappointed in the ones that I had started in the greenhouse for some early color, so I’ve sown some more for the garden. The jury’s still out about the ones in the greenhouse, however. Sowing them in Aug. & September is supposed to give me blooms in Feb., but I sowed them the 25th of Sept. so I have a bit to wait.
Portulaca, or ice plant, is very drought resistant so I have a special place for them in my front bed.
Salvia- I’ve never grown before, but I’ve always loved the look of these plants. This one is supposed to be a salmon and white bicolored one and it’s just lovely. Purchased at Johnny’s.
The beets are new as well. I chose this variety because both the greens and the beets are supposed to be really good- a double duty plant! I’m trying a new thing with sowing them that comes from the Dutch called multiplants. You sow four seeds in each cell or directly in cold frame, and you don’t thin them. You transplant the group of 4 plants together. Now I’ve read conflicting things on whether beets transplant well or not...we’ll see what happens. I also know that with one beet seed you get a few plants, but I will need only 4, so I don’t get the sowing 4 seed thing...again, we’ll see what happens. In any case I sow 4 seeds, and want to end with 4 seedlings- when they are set out in the cold frame or garden you give the group a 6” spacing. From what I’ve read, the beets move each other out of the way nicely. Apparently this idea can be used on onions, broccoli (4 plants/24” space/1 row in 30” wide bed), Leeks, Scallions, Cabbage, and Spinach- if this works, maybe I’ll try some that spinach that way. I read about this idea, I think, in Eliot Coleman’s book Four Season Harvest.
Last night I also found some Lantana seeds!!!! Some of you may know that I’ve been looking for these. You can purchase them at either Thompson & Morgan or Swallowtailgardenseeds. Note, however, that they are both hybrids. I also ordered some beautiful Nicotiana! I can’t wait to get them!
Other than that, I am hardening off a few pansies to go to family and friends. They really are more green than in this picture, I really do need to learn to take better pictures before I even think about getting an SLR camera! Someday, I’d like to be able to try microphotography.
And I have a few lettuce that need to go into some pots.
Things are looking a little different in the greenhouse- with the pansy and lettuce moving out there will be room for the perennials, annuals, and vegetables I’ve started. This month I am expecting the snapdragon to bloom too...we’ll see.
And I do have some more pansy since they do so well in pots right through the winter here in my yard. I really need to have some scattered around.
Gardening aside, I’ve been tweaking my test blog getting a new look ready for spring. The layout will be the same 3 columns- but new spring colors will bloom ;). Thank-you Catherine (of A Gardener in Progress) for your help, by the way! With only a month left, I’d better get moving!
On You Grow Girl there is an awesome seed starting chart for Excel. All you do is put in your last frost date and everything is calculated for you- over the next few days I’ll be tweaking this a little, adding things I grow.
Coming up soon, I’ll be posting on how the Mizuna and lettuce is doing in the cold frame- as well as the lettuce and spinach still left in there over winter. I feel a salad coming on!
Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!
On the post pages, located in the sidebar, is a list of all the seeds I’ve sown and what I’m growing currently. Just click the little plus sign to view them! I will also be adding more files to my box.net downloads (the orange box) for anyone to use. I've already added a blank diagram for square foot gardeners- the size is for a 4x4 box. A rough plan for winter consumption sowing dates, based on my first fall frost date will be added soon. Be sure to check these often!