The 2016 growing season is here!!!
I hope you read all about the Ridiculous Garden Club and the Facebook group that goes with it and have decided to join. I hope everyone is asking questions and sharing info to make this year the best growing season yet.
I am so excited about the garden this year and wanted to share what I have decided to plant. Since I have been discouraged from digging up anymore grass to make new gardens, I have had to be inventive if I want to try new things. There are also a bunch of things that need to get moved around. And of course there are seeds that are already underway!
For the Veggies:
Peas – I am growing 2 kinds this year – Karina and Green Arrow. These are both seeds I have had from 2014 and 2015 and have started some indoors for the first time to give them a head start.
Cranberry beans – I was told by a chef I know that these were his favorite beans so I thought I would try them. They look speckled with pink and white and can be shelled and frozen for use all winter These get started outside when the soil warms up.
French Filet Beans Rolande – The green beans I grew last year were prolific but too big. I like haricot vert style beans which are long and thin. These go outside when the soil warms up.
Scarlet Runner Beans – These are another type of fresh green bean that has long flat pods but the main draw it the beautiful vines with bright red flowers that get used in edible landscaping a lot. I have a section of fence that doesn’t match anything and I figured these might cover that nicely. The hummingbirds also like these which will be fun to watch. These start outside when it’s warm as well.
Carrots – I have some Scarlet Nantes from last year that I love. There are still some in the ground that have just hung out until I need them all winter. I was never a carrot fan until I started growing my own because these are so sweet. I am also trying a Rainbow mix for fun which are hopefully just as delicious. These don’t transplant well and will start outside soon.
Arugula – I got an Arctic mix from a shop on Etsy on a whim but I wasn’t paying attention to the fact there weren’t that many seeds in the packet. I may need to pick up some more or see if last years will work. I am starting a few of these inside and so far 7 plants have sprouted.
Lettuce – I picked a Tricolor Romaine Mix this year after years of doing a Gourmet mix with romaine plus oak leaf lettuces. I didn’t read the description very well since I like to pick some leaves here and there and yet I picked one where you are supposed to harvest the whole head. We will see if I really need to. I started a bunch of these inside and they are growing like crazy.
Pepper – I don’t eat peppers so I let Brian pick which ones we grow. Since we only needed 1 or 2 plants we decided to use the Poblano seeds we had left over from last year. I started them inside and they didn’t sprout. I am guessing it’s a bit cold in the basement and added some heat to the seed set up and bought more seeds to plant another round. That was 2 days ago so there’s still hope.
Cucumber – I love having cucs in the garden even though they take up a lot of room even with a big trellis. I am once again promising myself that I will only keep 1 or 2 plants to keep it manageable. I am using last years Muncher seeds. You can start these inside but they grow so fast I usually don’t take up the space.
Strawberries – I still have a bunch of strawberries in pots from a few years ago that are still going, both June and Ever bearers. I also started a bunch of Alpine strawberries via winter sowing last year that look good outside even now. I am going to try to transplant them to a very sunny area as a border with pretty white flowers and tiny fruit. I was going to start more inside but decided to leave room on the shelf for other things.
Brussels Sprouts – I started brussels last year inside during the summer for a fall crop and they never got going well. I planted them anyway and babied them (like I have never babied a plant) and even though it was 60 in December I was getting no where. I just left them in the garden for the winter figuring they would die. Instead they have hung on through a blizzard and cold temps and are still growing in the garden. I might get one meal when I pull them in the next day or two to start getting that bed ready. This spring I am going to start 3 different varieties inside and see how it goes. We have Nautic from last year, and new seeds for the Hestia and a purple kind called Falstaff. AS of this morning a bunch of each have popped through the soil after being planted on Monday.
Garlic & Shallot – I planted these in the fall and they will be pulled in early July. The shallots are French Reds. I have two varieties of hardneck garlic – Music and something from the Ukraine. I have to email the farmer I bought it from to find out because I can’t read his handwriting! This is by far the favorite crop of the year and we eat every last bit of these including the scapes that get made into pesto in June.
For the Herbs:
Sweet Basil – I’m using last year’s seed and started these inside this week. They just started popping through last night.
Cilantro – I tend to grow great pots of cilantro that I never eat. It’s kind of like an avocado where you wait for it to be ready, it’s ripe for like 2 seconds when you aren’t ready and then bam, it’s over. By the time I needed this last year it had already gone to flowers. But I keep trying. These like the cool weather and will start inside this week as well.
Parsley – Flat Italian parsley is a biennial meaning it grows for 2 years. I have a metal pail that I have been growing parsley in for years. I pull it inside the sun porch over the winter and it just keeps going. I have edible leaves out there right now. I will add some compost and fresh seeds in the spring.
Thyme, Sage, Lavender, Oregano, Tarragon, Rosemary – Last summer I worked for a few days to cut back some overgrown daisies and lilies of the valley to put in an herb garden out front. This is part of my plant to take over more of the garden with pretty plants that are also food with out taking anymore of Brian’s grass. I added all of these which are perennial so we should be set this year. The sage and rosemary have been so hardy that we have been harvesting all winter. I went out and brushed away snow at one point to get some for dinner. The others are already starting to have little green parts growing.
For the Flowers:
In the front yard I am moving a bunch of the hydrangea to the back gardens and into large pots. The south side of the front yard is brutal in the summer and the leaves were all burnt last year no matter how much I watered them. To fill in those spots this year without spending a fortune on shrubs, I will be adding some flowers along the house. I am going to try seeds that I already have.
Copper Pot Poppy – I bought these last year and totally forgot to plant them. These are a pretty orange.
Blue Flax – These look like a tall grass with small blue flowers and are great for wild meadows.
Bachelor Buttons – I have grown these before and they will add some nice height to garden with their blue flowers
Cosmos – These are also taller but with pink flowers
Thai Basil – I tried these last year and wasn’t a fan of the taste but loved them in the yard as flowers! They get these long stems with tons of purple flowers and I put them in the front around the mailbox. The bees love them and there was a sort of bee highway between the Thai basil and the lavender. And bees are so important to our gardens and to us so please remember to plants lots of flowers for them.
Next I will share with you my seed starting set up I build this year. I finally broke down and bought some lights but still use my newspaper pots instead of buying flats. They are easy and cheap.