Saturday, June 05, 2010

growing this year.

Oh, I love this time of year in the garden. Everything is so small, and we estimate and guess and plan...trying to be sure we don't plant things in the same spot, plant heat lovers in the spots with the most sun or radiant warmth, not plant deep roots in front of utilities, keep short up front and tall in back, place complimentary plants side by side, give each plant enough room, fill in the gaps with quick growers that will be done by the time the big guys are taking the space. We try to plant more, find ways to use the tiny space better.

So much to think about, but in the end we basically put it in the ground and hope for the best. Fertilize, water, weed, protect. Let the plant do its job.

I like posting a list of what we are growing each year. It is to share varieties and names with you all, and also to have something to look back on. As you know we don't have a ton of room - we have a side yard and our garden is primarily strips of soil along the sides of the two houses with landscaping integrated with all the edibles - as well as many pots on our deck and front porch. So this list may look ridiculously big. BUT, while we do grow a lot, remember also you don't have to plant the whole packet of everything. While I have many types of tomatoes on my list, I may only have 2 plants of each. I grow only 1 or 2 of each melon or certain squash (just not enough room for more). When properly stored most seeds will last for a few years, and so I like to keep increasing my seed library each year - so I can learn and experience different plants, find out what works best in our space, and always have something new in the garden.

I started most of these from seed. I direct seed peas, beans, greens, radishes, beets, etc. I traded some of my extra seedlings of certain varieties with a friend - she gave me the paste tomatoes, kale, okra, cilantro and dill, and I had extra squash, garden huckleberry, cucumber, and melons in exchange! Seed sharing and seedling swapping is a great way to get more variety in your garden without having to invest in so many seed packets!

2010 list (so far)::

tomato:: blondkopfchen, lime green salad, tommy toe, green sausage, nyagous, brandywine, cuor di bue, carbon, amish paste, olpaka paste

pepper:: beaver dam, healthy, tequila sunrise, sweet chocolate bell

cucumber:: wautoma pickling, crystal apple

melon/watermelon:: tigger melon, pride of wisconsin melon, golden midget watermelon, charantais melon, ali baba watermelon

summer/winter squash:: summer scallop trio, thelma sanders sweet potato, butternut, fordhook acorn

fruit:: garden huckleberry

pod/soup bean:: purple podded pole, good mother stallard bean, scarlet runner

radish:: helios, cincinnati market, sparkler, french breakfast

pea:: dwarf gray sugar, oregon sugar pod II, tom thumb, amish runner

other veg:: udumalapet eggplant, jewel toned beets, purple of sicily cauliflower, okra, paris market carrots

greens:: kale, swiss chard, gourmet lettuce blend, farmer market lettuce blend, baby mesclun mix, stir fry blend, red malabar spinach, mache, mustard mix

onion:: chives, delicious duo scallions, yellow borettana cippollini onion, yellow of parma onion, elephant garlic, shallots

herbs:: greek oregano, summer savory, stevia, spanish mace, lettuce leaf basil, genovese basil, italian parsley, dill, cilantro, hyssop, marjoram, thyme, lovage, borage, nasturtium, calendula, sunflower, motherwort, lemon bee balm, fenugreek, valerian, mullein, yarrow, toothache plant, feverfew, amaranth, sage, marigolds

in ground from last year:: red raspberries, golden raspberries, strawberries, white currants, chives, echinacea, lemon balm, spearmint, chocolate mint, tarragon, parsley, rhubarb (1 was in ground, plus received gifted rhubarb transplants this spring -- thanks jodi!)

Things I am excited about this year? Crystal apple cucumber. Short season melons and watermelon (tough to grow here). Soup beans. A lot of raspberries (my red raspberry canes went crazy!). Oh, so many more, but those are my top right now.

How about you? What are you excited about growing this year?


Jodi Anderson said...

Ah, I was going to ask if those are French breakfast radishes!

By the way, you're so very welcome. I am ashamed to admit that I haven't used my rhubarb at all so far this season. I lost my gardening/cooking mojo for a while.

Stephanie said...

woohoo!! lots of good stuff there. Much I've never heard of!

Most excited.... peach! :) I have one peach on my tree that we got on Mother's Day.
And trying corn this year. I don't know that it will go - everyone says it's difficult. We'll see. Can't know 'til you try, right?
And... cherries. Will get more than 10 this year. I think!
Maybe I'll get to taste on this year!
Ever hopeful.

Lise said...

Wow, that's a great list! I have currant envy. My 3 bushes are on their third year in my garden, and I have only about 5 berries on one of them. I'm excited about my guomi bush, though--planted the same year, but has lots of fruit this year. (Well, "lots" is relative. If they were all ripe at once, it probably wouldn't even be a pint. But hey, it's fruit from my own very shady yard, so I'm happy.)

denise said...

Jodi - My husbands family is German, so we grow a LOT of radishes...a huge favorite of his, especially for breakfast. Many types. :)

Lise - I hear you. Our currants are year 3 now. First year, nothing, last year a few but the birds got most of them. This year the bushes are HUGE and there are a lot of berries. I'm so excited to get a good harvest!! :)

Stephanie - Ooooh, fruit trees! Sounds amazing. We have mostly bush and cane fruit since we have a small space but I really want to try columnar fruit trees...just have to figure out where to put them!

TCallihan said...

wow! I'm wondering if you will be feeding the entire neighborhood with your harvest. :)
I'm most excited about moon and stars watermelon. It is going to take about 100 days so we are looking at the end of August. I also got some Zuni gold beans that we are trying this year too.

Tonya Gunn said...

Such a plethora of delicious food!
We are making a rhubarb sauce today to go on cake.
Warm wishes, Tonya

Shady Lady said...

Wow! It sounds like a huge garden!! We're not gardening this year because we're moving at the end of the month. But next year...look out! Although, I don't know that anything we do will even come close to yours! :)

Amanda said...

Can you put up a photo of your raspberry patch? I'd love to do berries but in this small city lot I'd like a visual of yours to see if I can manage it.