Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Year of the Eggplant?

I forgot how many eggplant seeds i bought.First off, i bought "Meatball" online from Burpee earlier then at work i got "Shooting Stars" and "Black Beauty" i think i also ordered some "Black Beauty" from a coworker at my other job through a fundraiser at her kids' school - the fundraiser was with Fedco Seeds.  I also ordered more of what i refer to as "pumpkin on a stick" eggplant seeds from Amishland Heirloom seeds. So far, i have only had time to get "Meatball" started (besides the okra and peppers) but i plan to use some time off to start much of the rest tomorrow.

After behaving a little last year on seed buying i went a little crazy again this time.
I still need rosemary seeds though.

I think i have decided that i'm just going to cover my whole garden in 6 mil plastic sheeting and install soaker hose under it.  I had been leaving space between rows clear for water to get under it but weeding around the plastic and the bricks to tack it down wasn't much easier than hand weeding anyway because i couldn't use tools. I've also got a serious nutgrass issue that is getting worse. You can't weed that stuff away.  The leaves break from the stem and any particle of that plant can regrow vigorously.

Half of the dying box elder tree down back fell over, finally.   This should allow more morning sun to get to the garden. If it were my tree, i'd just cut it down.  Its been on its way out for a few years.

I bought some ginkgo seedlings from a seller on Ebay,  I got 10 and 7 of them look pretty good.  Not sure where i'll plant them since i really don't have room.  Maybe i'll have to learn some Bonsai techniques and somehow keep them dwarfed.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Seed starting has begun.

I started two varieties of okra, Clemson Spineless and another type with the words "early" and or "green" in the name. I already forgot. I also got most of the peppers started.

6 King of the North sweet
6 Ghost pepper - last of those seeds
3 Ancient Sweet- my last 3 seeds
6 A sweet pepper called Door Knob
6 a hot one called Martin's Carrot
6 Purple Marconi -sweet- also my last seeds
And with the peppers i put in
6 Meatball eggplants

I've got more seeds i need to buy,  i'm out of a bunch.  I have all the tomato varieties i want but there's beets and carrots i don't have.

I sorted all my seed packets but i need to take the time to peek inside the packets to see what numbers i have.

There are a few orders i have made that aren't in as well as things like potatoes that won't arrive until just about time for planting.

I managed to remember and finally  find a good deal on ramps this year and another great deal on white strawberries (aka Pineberries).  I'm also going to try onions from plants not seeds or 'starts" this year.

I shopped around at Territorial Seeds and am going to try an order there.  I have put in my cart:

Butter bush squash
Wautoma cucumbers
Excelsior cucumbers
Lutz Greenleaf beet
Purple 68 carrot

I would also love to try growing some Pusa Asita Black carrot that i found advertised on Baker Creek's rareseeds site. I found them while trying to find a seed source for vegetable marrow type squashes (which are either or not interchangeably called Courgettes). I keep forgetting to try and find some. From what i understand, they are similar but distinctively different from what we call (on this side of the pond) summer squash and zucchini. I found something called Boston Marrow but it is miles away from what i wanted. Going to have to mosey on over to Mal's Allotment and see if i have better luck searching them up by the cultivar names he's growing because when i look things up under "courgettes" i see things that look suspiciously similar to the things i already know.  Like the argument my mother and daughter had years ago about whether yellow summer squash is "yellow zucchini" or "summer squash"...  Both zucchini and yellow squash are "summer squash" but the yellow type is rarely called zucchini....  at least around here. lol

I'm probably going to do another round of peppers once the ones i planted today germinate. I only have one heat mat.  Its too early to start much else.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Its almost that time of year again

And based on this winter,  i have no idea what to expect.

It was an odd winter.  From the hail storm last summer to now.

There was no snow until after Christmas and before Christmas it was very warm.  We had a few medium snow storms which were followed soon after by rain which melted it away, then more warm spells. We did have a cold snap or two which wasn't very kind to the plants where the ground was bare.  I had been trying to plan for some winter pruning but with the unusual temperatures i was not convinced that the plants were dormant for certain and that another unexpected warm set of days would wake them up.  I did get the grape pruning started Friday and i totally pruned the Stanley Plum.  i think i got all of the black knot eruptions but had to cut it back so severely. The big pruners weren't enough and i had to use a small cross cut saw. Then i coated what was left with a fungicide product called Fung-onil.  The weather was just below freezing and the spray on product was thickened at that temperature (more like a splatter than spray) so i ended up applying much of it with a medium sized paint brush. I covered as much surface as i could and put extra care towards the fresh cuts.

Regardless of the weird winter,  i'm going to start seeds soon. I may actually get sweet and hot peppers going on time as well as eggplant. I'm also going to remember to plant okra.

I have made a number of small seed orders so far but it will be inventory time before i go any further.

As far as the rest of the outdoors, the edging is a complete mess.  I'm seriously considering replacing it entirely. Something like this:

The plastic edging simply isn't tall enough to sit deep enough and hold steady,  but hubby thinks it won't look nice. I might try it on a smaller bed and expand on it later if he gives up.