AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Spring Garden Plans (and Giveaway Winners!) DATE: 2/28/2009 03:13:00 AM ----- BODY:
I really enjoyed reading about everyone's favorite garden vegetables. Most of you mentioned tomatoes and herbs, but also enjoyed seeing the variety of what people grow.

.... And the winners of the packet of Even' Star Organic Farm seeds are Amy and Sylvie. Please email me your mailing address to [julia] at [growcookeat] dot [com]. Yes, I decided to pick two winners, since I think I have enough to share.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my own spring garden plans. Especially last night… when I wanted something green with my dinner, but had no vegetables in the house and a barren garden.

Every year, I plant a few staples and try a few new things. Like every year, I will plant a variety of lettuces to make a mesclun mix: arugula, mizuna, romaine and tatsoi. I also plant sugar snap peas with the idea of getting pea tendrils when the plants are young and tender, and snap peas as the plants mature.

In past years, I’ve planted “braising greens” in late summer for fall harvest. Unfortunately, I have yet to harvest a crop because the first snow always comes before the greens are mature. This year, I will plant in the spring. I know that the summer heat can be the enemy of leafy greens as they get bitter and go to seed. My thought is to plant them in a less sunny area. Hopefully, this will keep the plants cool enough and buy me enough time to finally get a harvest. This same spot that I’m thinking for the greens, I planted zucchini last year. You may recall, I got nothin’ from those plants but a few dozen squash blossoms -- can you feel the disappointment? Too cool for the zucchini, perfect for kale? We’ll see.

Toy Soldier Mick grows beets in his garden... which makes me wonder why I have never grown them.... On this year's list! I’ve never bothered with radishes either, for no particular reason, but this year I think I’ll try. I have some wonderful heirloom seeds from Even Star’ Farm.

A collapsible greenhouse set it up in the backyard allows me a two-week jump start on the season. The greenhouse traps in the warmth of the sunlight, thawing the soil a little earlier. Not only can I get the seeds in the ground sooner, but I also protect the young seedlings from overnight, freezing temperatures.

So to recap…
1. Radishes
2. Lettuces
3. Collards and Kales
4. Brocolli Raab
5. Sugar Snap Peas
6. Beets

I still have another month or so to think about my summer plantings, even if I start some seeds indoors. Stay tuned!


----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:2/28/2009 09:58:00 AM Can't wait to come and see the spring garden. I'm thinking about tomatoes this year, if I can fence out the rabbits, and the deer. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Heather DATE:2/28/2009 11:27:00 AM ohhh beets! i lvoe beets! and very cool collapsable greenhouse! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Angie Goodloe LMT, Herbalist DATE:2/28/2009 12:58:00 PM Neat greenhouse!
this is my first time to your blog, great posts! too bad I missed the contest....
I will be checking back to see your garden! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Karen DATE:2/28/2009 02:54:00 PM Hello there - I'm new to your blog, and am enjoying your gardening posts very much!

I'm a big fan of sorrel - it's a perennial leafy green, and the plants come up extra-early. Last spring it was ready to start picking in March here in my Malden garden.

Don't take this the wrong way, but - I was glad to hear that you coudln't grow zucchini. I thought I was the only one with that problem...too many vine borers and too much powdery mildew. This year I'm gonna try out an Italian heirloom climbing zucchini (zuchetta rampicante, I think??) that should defeat the borers, at least.

Besides sorrel, I had the most success with butternut squash and wild strawberries (aka alpine strawberries) last year. The alpines were great and produced from June through October. My toddler son loved going out to "hunt" for berries everyday :-)

Don't give up on the fall greens yet - kale can handle a little snow. Collards are pretty hardy, too. I just read "The Four Season Harvest" and am itching to go build some cold frames... ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:3/01/2009 01:12:00 PM Lydia -- I'm crossing my fingers for you!

Heather -- thanks! I love it!

Angie -- thanks for stopping by! More garden posts are coming soon....

Karen -- I'm glad I'm not the only one that's zucchini challenged. Though it is surprising because it has a reputation for being prolific. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Elra DATE:3/01/2009 07:56:00 PM That collapsable greenhouse sounds really useful. I can't wait doing some fixing in my vegetable garden too.
Elra ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous noble pig DATE:3/01/2009 09:27:00 PM I have never done a home garden. My backyard is manicured so perfectly wth the pool and everything else...there is NO ROOM! ----- --------