Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fall Garden '09 - Spring '10

We leveled, and filled the secondary garden today. We built the wood framing last weekend, but didn't feel like doing all the other parts of it. We decided we HAD to do it this weekend since we are officially now in November, otherwise known as "almost too late to plant anything...including the garlic I bought."

Since I didn't know for sure if we were going to actually be ready to plant stuff until this afternoon when we got the dirt, I didn't bother soaking all the various seeds overnight as I was supposed to (the spinach, chard, beet and garlic all need to be soaked overnight), plus I still haven't bought the strawberry plants. Update: I planted the spinach, chard and beet seeds last night (11-2). The chard plants are one per square, the beets and spinach are currently at 9 per square which will be thinned to 5 per square. Hopefully when they're at the point of being large enough to thin and use.

I'm doing a somewhat modified "square foot" gardening thing. Modified in so much that instead of square feet, it's square 10". This is because the bed is 30" wide. And 30 does not divide by 12 easily. But it does divide by 10 easily. It just meant that I had to redo all the math of how many plants to add per square. Of course, it probably would have made more sense to do 2 one foot rows and then one 6" row. Too late now, already have seeds planted.

After going through and making a plan based on height of plants and companion planting, I ended up with a grid that includes 2 broccoli, 2 chard, 5 garlic, 2 green onion, 2 chives, 3 carrot, 3 pea, 3 spinach, 2 strawberry, and 3 beet squares. As I did for the spring garden, the descriptions are as follows:

Broccoli: Renee's Garden, All Season Blend; We've mixed equal amounts of seed for these great tasting, high-yielding hybrid varieties with early, mid, and late season maturities for the longest possible harvests. We've chosen cultivars for flavorful, extra-fancy, tightly beaded main heads and abundant side shoots. All three have excellent disease resistance and weather tolerance. Transplant to Harvest: 60.

Chard: Renee's Garden, Italian Silver Rib; A long time favorite of Italian cooks for its flavor and substance, this fine variety has wide, crisp, silvery-white midribs and crinkled, shiny green leaves. The large-framed, handsome plants grow easily and vigorously from spring through late fall. Heirloom Silver Rib produces an abundance of big succulent leaves with sweet crunchy stalks to enjoy as mild, mellow-tasting greens. You'll find it consistently delicious simply steamed with fresh lemon, sautéed with aromatics or added to stir-fries, soups, and casseroles. Days to harvest: 50. Notes: These are the seeds I got for free from the Planning for Spring Gardens Master Gardener seminar.

Beets: Renee's Garden, Jewel-Toned Beets (red sangria, golden, and striped chioggia); Our mixture of burgundy, golden, and candy-striped beets yields big harvets with glowing rich colors, succulent testure and sweet earthy flavor. These beets will become an easy to grow, long keeping staple in your gardenn and kitchen. The smooth roots can be harvested at any size to bake, boil, or steam and enjoy hot and buttered or chilled in an herb vinaigrette. The nutritious young tops are unrivaled as melt-in-your-mouth steemed greens. Days to Harvest: 55.

Carrot (1): Liberty Garden, Danvers Half Long; Home garden favorite, dependable, heavy yielding. Very sweet with good flavor, fine grained and tender. Days to Harvest: 75. Note: I bought these seeds eons ago, as in fall of 2007 I think; however, the package sell by date is Sept. '09. Also, I planted these in 2 of the three boxes--the two closest to the currently existing garden.

Carrot (2): Renee's Garden, Sunshine Mix (Yellowstone and Nantes Forto); Our novelty mix offers gardeners the fun of growing both sunny yellow and bright orange carrots. You'll have eye catching rich harvests of crisp, smooth, evenly cylindrical roots that reach a full 8 inches in length. Both of these premium European varieties taste sweet and crispy with no soapy off-flavors and you can enjoy them over a long harvest period. Whether fresh sliced into carrot sticks, or quickly cooked, their sunshine bright colors are a kithcen gardener's delight! Days to Harvest: 88 Note: This is only planted in one square--the one closest to the neighbor's fence that lives behind us.

Scallions: Renee's Garden, Salad Scallions (Green Feast and Red Robin); Enjoy colorful salds and sautee's with our unique blend of tender-crisp green and red scallions with straight stalks and juicy flesh. Bred for high quality, heat tolerance, and disease resistance, they are perfect to spring plant and harvest will into summer. Pull them as needed to eat fresh for weeks and add an aromatic sweet zing to everyday meals whereever you crave a mild onion flavor. Plant their pretty colors again in late summer for a long standing fall crop. Days to Harvest: 65.

Chives: Renee's Garden, Garlic Chives; Garlic chives, also called Chinese chives, have slim flat grass-like leaves that taste like a perfect combination of weet garlic and chives. Just snip them over salads, fresh vegetables, or any savory dish to add a subtle and delicious garlic accent without any of th efuss. The green strappy leaves form neat mounding plants with pretty white edible blossoms. This permanent perennial herb is a joy to have ready at hand--a gardening cooks secret! Days to Harvest: unlisted. Note: I put this in the raised bed which means that I'm going to be treating this as an annual instead of a perenial.

Peas: Unknown; Bond had left overs from their planting this year so I got the extras.

Spinach: Unknown; Bond had left overs from their planting this year so I got the extras.

Garlic: Already blogged about that here. Of course at 4 (5 plants maximum) per square, and when each bulb of garlic probably gives 20 cloves, it means I'm going to either a) have a bunch of left over garlic cloves and will be giving the stuff away to other gardeners (so if you want to try your hand at garlic, but don't want to purchase a pound of it, let me know and I'll give you a couple of cloves), b) will be eating half of the stuff I bought rather than planting it, or c) will be building another garden next weekend just for the garlic. I'm guessing it will be a combination of all three.

But seriously, if you want to try growing garlic, let me know.


Lancashire rose said...

You certainly got busy and all that planting..... I still have only planted peas, beets, napa cabbage and pak choi. I have loads more packages of seeds. I would like to know about your success with garlic and strawberries.

Sandra said...

I live in Northwest Austin. I am a novice to gardening, but I have a strong motivation to learn.

I tried to plant Swiss Chard over the summer and I did not have much luck. I believe the plant may have been eatten by a pest or an insect.

I planted strawberries for the first time a few weeks ago. I hope I did not miss the planting window for them. What type of strawberries did you plant?

I am interested to learn to plant garlic, what feedback to you have?

katina said...


In case you still check this instead of the main page, I posted an entry about the garlic thus far.