Monday, January 30, 2012

First Harvest of 2012

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I harvested the last batch of the fall spinach and lettuce this week. I planted both of these in early September so I got my money's worth with these plantings. Both were starting to look a little gross, so I pulled what was left and now its time to replant. This brings my first harvest for 2012 to a little less than a pound. It will probably be a few months before I have any more harvests. I have got a couple of batches of peas in the ground that should be ready in mid to late March. I hope to plant a few things this weekend. I think I will start planting my lettuce in weekly phases because when you have 10 to 12 heads planted at the same time, the harvests are too much. I think it will be more efficient to harvest a little at a time.

Lettuce was starting to brown

Almost half a pound of spinach harvested

Half a pound of lettuce harvested

Saturday, January 28, 2012

2012 Seeds

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It has been a busy week getting ready for this little one. I have been working every night after work and on weekends getting the room ready. Today while I was out running errands, I decided to make a run to my local nursery to see if they have gotten in their seeds for 2012. There are certain things like butter beans and field pea varieties that you simply won't find in the big box stores.

I was on the hunt for some white acre peas. Unfortunately those have not come in yet, but in preparation for their new seeds they had all their 2011 seeds marked down 50%. I scored six bags of seeds for $5.85. These were big packs too, 4 oz and 8oz packages. I was surprised at how many different varietys of field peas they had. I picked up a couple different varieties and next week they should have my personal favorite White Acre Peas.

The thing I love about going to a locally owned and operated nursery is you learn a wealth of information from the people that work there. For instance, I asked the owner today, "What do these peas taste like?" Not only did he answer my question, but then proceeded to tell me what all the "old timers" come in and buy.  That is good information because when it comes to field peas there are so many different varieties you can't possibly try them all in one season.  Knowing which varieties are most popular with seasoned gardeners was a good tip.  I am starting to get spring fever.

2 packages of Fordhook Limas
2 packages of Cangreen Limas
1 package of Zipper Cream field peas
1 package of Texas Cream field peas
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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Garden Update - January 22nd

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Wow, it has been three weeks already since I planted my first seeds of 2012. Talk about a blur, things have been so busy with life and getting ready for this new little one that I am starting to feel the pressure to get it all done. Sometimes I wish I was not a perfectionist when it came to doing things because it would make my home improvement projects go a whole lot faster.

The good news is my snow peas have germinated during that time frame and are looking great. It is hard to believe you can sow seeds in January and they will sprout. I planted six rows of Oregon Sugar Pod II snow peas in one of my 4X8 beds. They are about an inch tall now and I will be putting in some trellising in between each row in the next few weeks.

I have been wanting to plant my English peas but it has been a monsoon around here the last few weeks. My yard and garden is saturated and a mess right now. Hopefully we can get a week to dry out and I can get those in the ground.

My lettuce is still growing but it is starting to get this brown looking stuff on it. It kind of looks like lettuce in a bag after it sits in the fridge a while. I think it may be due to all the rain we have got has kept it too wet. I am going to try and cut it back a little and see if I can get a little more out of it. It has also been growing since September so at 133 days old it may be dieing off too.

Snow peas

Lettuce is starting to brown and it has been growing since September

Lettuce bed still looks pretty decent though
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Friday, January 13, 2012

First Seeds of 2012 Purchased

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We were at Wally World tonight and they have started putting out some of their vegetable seeds. They didn't have a huge selection, but they did have my corn that I love to plant. I picked up 4 large packets of corn, 2 Silver Queen and 2 Peaches and Cream Corn. I also grabbed one packet of what I call English Peas. My wife says she really likes them so I am going to give them a try. I want to pick up some white acre peas and butter beans, but I will probably have to get those at my local nursery. Everything else I can reuse the same seed packets from last year. I have them stored in my fridge, and hopefully I will still get good germination rates from them.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

First Seeds of 2012 Planted

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I have planted the first seeds of the new gardening season. I planted a 4x8 bed of Oregon Sugar Pod II snow peas. The weather got really cold the last two days, but it is supposed to be warmer after that. I hope I have a pretty good germination rate.

I planted these last year, but made the mistake of not trellising them. Supposedly this variety doesn't need trellising, but I won't make the same mistake twice. I also planted the seeds and rows farther apart this year. Last year I packed the seeds so tight, it made them difficult to manage.  We will see how it goes.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 Garden Slideshow

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I got the idea from Ed at Tales from the Mountainside  to create a highlight slideshow from my 2011 garden.  This is a nice way to put an end to the 2011 garden.  I used Google Picasa to create my slideshow and then uploaded to youtube.  I am impressed with how easy it was to put together.

2011 Final Harvest and Year End Total Numbers

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First I want to wish all my garden bloggers a happy and prosperous 2012.   I hope everyone has a great gardening year.  I learned a lot in 2011 and I hope to learn even more in 2012.

Now for the year 2011, my total harvest was 325.51 pounds.  My goal for 2012 is to grow 500+ pounds and that is roughly a 55% increase in total output.  We will see how it goes.  I have added a tab on my blog for harvest totals and this is where I will transfer my historical data from previous years.

Vegetable Name - VarietyWeight
Broccoli - DeCiccio0.50 lbs.
Carrots - Danvers #126 9.59 lbs.
Cowhorn Peppers 2.68 lbs.
Corn - Peaches and Cream 61.88 lbs.
Eggplant - Black Beauty 13.40 lbs.
Field Peas (Shelled Weight) - Pinkeye Purple Hull 9.63 lbs.
Jalapeno Peppers 8.40 lbs.
Lettuce - Great Lakes #11817.14 lbs.
Lima Beans - Unshelled38.56 lbs.
Radishes - Champion1.25 lbs.
Spinach1.19 lbs.
Snow Peas - Melting Sugar and Oregon Sugar Pod II6.61 lbs.
Squash - Dixie Hybrid26.00 lbs.
Tomatoes - Big Boy, Better Boy, and Roma35.51 lbs.
Watermelon - Crimson Sweet31.37 lbs.
Zucchini - Elite Hybrid61.82 lbs.
Total325.51 lbs.

The last harvest for this year was some more spinach and lettuce.  The lettuce is doing great, but the spinach is just doing OK.

Here is the spinach bed I planted, not very pretty.  I planted four rows of spinach and only one really came up.  The other three are messy looking.

Here is my lettuce bed before my harvest...

And after I harvested it, I love this variety.  It just keeps on growing back.