Well I'm gearing up for this year's garden and had the epithany that beyond just getting outside for the exercise, peace of mind, it really is a conscious choice about what I'll be eating later on in the season and beyond. I still have some squash mash for amazing squash muffins, tomato paste for pizza still in the freezer from last fall.

So I'll be setting up my "grow tables" in the next couple of weeks in the basement to get things going.

Last year I bought tons of seeds and didn't use half of them, planted way too many tomatoes (over 80 plants) and could have used the space for a larger variety of plants. I had deer, gopher, ant, squirrel damage, the gopher had all my broccoli to himself and most of my cabbage, but on the other hand had the surprise of butternut squash growing directly out of my compost bin.

Seeds I planted last year included iceberg lettuce which did well but went to seed because I couldn't eat it fast enough, instead we ate Hart's special lettuce mix which grow for most of the season and is great in salads. We grew four varieties of tomatoes - Big Boy's, Brandywines, Siberians, Roma, and all looked to be doing great until blossom end rot hit due to low calcium in the soil. We composted most but picked out enough to use. This year I'll be planted some cherry & grape tomatoes to get something earlier in the season and to spread out the harvest all season long instead of the end.

As mentioned above the Copenhagen Market cabbage and the Calabrese broccoli made the gopher happy. The ants attacked my sweet corn and I finally won the battle by destroying a well entrench colony, I think. The corn was to be the center support for my "three sisters", corn - squash - beans. They did well without the corn.
The deer lost out due to a new fence but they would have severe damage without it.

We had some mid to late season luck with our sweet peppers, some lasting long enough to turn from green to a sweet red. Our lima beans & laxton progress peas did not transplant well and I think we'll direct sow them this year.

I'm hoping to be able to post about the garden at least once weekly, love to hear about your garden, whether it be just a container or farm.

Views: 208

Comment by twinchick on March 10, 2013 at 1:37pm
We also have a garden ,great exercise. The bonus of eating fresh, canning ,sharing produce. Looking forward to hearing how your season grows!. Nancy
Comment by C Irons on March 10, 2013 at 1:57pm

It is a lot of (healthy) work and great low impact exercise, this is just year two for us so we ate fresh daily as soon as the lettuce produced and froze anything extra. We're hoping to try canning this year now that we know we can actually grow our own food. - C

Comment by C Irons on March 11, 2013 at 2:24am

Hi Judith, I requested permission to start a garden group last week and was denied, I guess they feel there's too many groups already and would prefer that members utilize existing groups more. There's a "Green Diabetics" group already and there are a couple of food groups. I see gardening as quite different than swapping recipes, and a much narrow subject than the entire green movement etc, will do the best I can with the blog, and see how those groups work out.

I think I've been around here since under 500 members, maybe 250, but it's been a while because for some reason my computer is very slow when logging in here, but soon to get a new computer, hopefully that will help.

- C

Comment by Mari on March 11, 2013 at 10:25am

Your garden must be really BIG! I have a small one where I do green beans, some tomatoes and some squash - butternut or other. Aren't you anxious to get started??? We've had lots of snow too but today was pretty nice -- I did a little weeding but shouldn't plant before mid'April. When do you start?

Comment by C Irons on March 11, 2013 at 5:04pm

Hi Mari, yeah it's a fairly good size, shaped into a 4' x 60' x 60' L shape with a couple of spurs off that, for a total of 200' in all. We're in the middle of a house addition too, just setting ourselves up for the golden years, ha.

The 60' roes were a mistake - most hoses come in muliples of 25, 50' rows would have been ideal so I wouldn't have to move the hose so much (or at all).

I can't wait to get started either, maybe the end of March for the inside seedlings, a few weeks after that for the transplants. Can't weed yet - still have a foot out back and tons of mud under that. I think I'm in planting zone 6b here outside of Boston.

Comment by C Irons on March 12, 2013 at 9:03am

Judith, to resize your photos, go back to your post and look for the "options", choose "edit my post" and you'll see your post in a edit window and look through all the script for something like:

.jpg?width=500"/>

Just change that number (whatever it is to something smaller like 400 or 300 and then hit preview, the photo should now be smaller, then hit post.

Comment by twinchick on March 14, 2013 at 5:55am
I am visiting Chicago , hope togoto the garden show, lots of walking!
Comment by Trudy on March 14, 2013 at 6:08am

We don't have enough room for a real garden, but we do have a small herb garden. At least we don't have bunnies nesting in it this spring! Our Rosemarys seem to have wintered over, so there will be enough sun today to take the burlap off -- until our below freezing night.

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