Saturday, February 21, 2009

Homegrown

I'm skipping over a couple of other questions, just for now, because I had these photos and I need to get some others together for the art posts I want to do. So, Molly asked, what crops do I put in year around and Tammy inquired how the root juice experiment was going, so this is to answer both of those.
Our growing season is pretty long, generally April thru late October, but during the coldest part of our winter I don't actually have a lot growing. I don't have any cold frames or a greenhouse yet (I know, shame on me!) so I am at the mercy of the weather for most things. I think I planted the cabbage a little late this past fall and it has not done really well. I managed to get 2 heads and 3 harvests of Brussel sprouts from the plants but they seem pretty bitten at this point. So, when I passed by the local hardware store and saw they had their first shipment of plants in last Thursday I had to stop. I bought another batch of cabbage starts and am going to see if spring does any better for that crop here. I should be able to go ahead and plant these now. The variety is supposedly very cold hardy. I also bought some leeks, which I have never tried before and so am anxious to see how that does.
Our last average frost date is somewhere around April 15 so, I will be setting out my potatoes (gonna try Caribe) around the first of April and onion bulbs the first of March. I would also like to try hulless oats as a cover crop. These are planted in the early spring or late fall and can be harvested and processed to eat and the stalks incorporated into the soil for enrichment.
After our frost date you can go for it, as far as growing just about anything. It warms up so fast, spring lasts about 2 weeks it seems, that I just direct sow most things. Peas, corn, okra, green beans, watermelon, cantaloupe and squash. Except for tomatoes, which I try to get started early. Of course, I usually get two lettuce and spinach crops a year, one in spring and another in the fall. I have also built a raised bed for my strawberry plants which I will transplant as soon as it gets a little warmer.
I don't feel that I have a lot to offer in the gardening information because I just haven't had much time to devote to that these few years that I have been in this location. But it's getting better and each year I add a little to the garden. And learn to extend my season just a little more. Previous to living here, I had virtually no experience growing anything during the fall or winter months.
Oh, in the photo above you see the lavender plants I started and the cabbage and leeks. Allen bought two grape plants for each of us. We'll see who's does better! He got us each a white seedless and a purple seedless. I know very little about growing either but am going to try hard to get these to live. Right now I'm trying to find a suitable location for them. I am also going to order two apple trees this spring (already have one established) so to add to that variety. I love apples; baked, raw, dried, you name it.

OK, so the lavender cuttings seem to be doing well. I let them soak in the willow water for about 5-6 days and then planted them in a small pot with regular potting soil. They stay outside unless it is going to get below freezing at night and then I will bring them in and put them out again in the morning. So far, so good. They seem healthy and vibrant. I gave them just a little fertilizer in their water today. I'm tempted to kinda dig one up to see if there are any noticeable roots forming but have contained myself so far from doing that. I'm very excited that this seems to be working because I'm gonna have scads of lavender plants if these transplant well!

So, next post I will try to make on some of my art and related questions. Thanks for all your questions.

8 comments:

molly said...

I cant imagine growing anything where it snows ER, seems so strange lol

Gardens take time, and you work long hours, it will all happen in time.

If you want plant cuttings to take well, dipping them in honey is always a good way to go, gives a better strike rate every time:)

The Country Experience said...

Wow, look at those lavender cuttings.

Molly, I may have to give the honey a try since I don't think we have any willow trees on the property. I'll be a rooting fool if it works, lol.

countrypeapie said...

We just tilled in a new spot this weekend, thus kicking off round two of our organic gardening experiment. A most timely post --thanks for the info!

edifice rex said...

Hey Molly! Well, it has gotten to where it rarely snows here!
Yeah, my garden will develope in time; I just wish it could hurry up!
So glad you told me about the honey! I've never heard of doing that; I'll be sure and try it.



Hey CE! I can give you PLENTY of willow snips if you want to try that. Willow trees are abundant here.


Hey Pea! Yea! Well, maybe my post gave you a little info!

The Scavenger said...

Great post and looks like a beautiful place you have too. I need to check in town and see if any plants have come in yet too. Like to get that cabbage out soon. Gonna start some onions this week. I'll post on it when I do. Great job.

Chris

edifice rex said...

Hey Chris! Thanks! Yeah, it's really pretty here but more so in the spring and summer.

Maya said...

That is exciting to see that your lavender is doing so well, I may try that same approach you laid out with Rosemary. I don't know that our old growth rosemary is going to rebound from the winter we've had and it would be wise to try to root some cuttings now.

I think you'll like the leeks, if for no other reason than they tend to last all winter long with little protection and are slow to go to seed.

edifice rex said...

Hey Maya! Yeah, so far the lavender seems to be doing well; I know I am going to try that same technique with some other plants.
I'm anxious to try the leeks too. I love to cook with them and have read they are very easy to grow. That's a high priority to me!