OK I know I’ve been hinting at a seed starting tutorial for a few weeks now but my seed starting pots from Territorial haven’t arrived yet! The only downside to ordering from Territorial is you have no idea when you’re stuff is gonna ship or arrive. But I love their products, my hopi blue corn would’ve done great if we hadn’t gotten hit with a super rainy summer, it ended up with a funky fungus called Corn Smut. It’s apparently a delicacy but not to me. I plan to try corn again this summer.
Our vegetable patch is 15 feet long and about 6 feet wide with a path way going down the length and right across the middle so it’s in sorta even rectangles. I tried to do square foot gardening but ended up more of a biointensive type, ‘crowding’ prevents sunshine getting to the ground so you water less and fight weeds less. Prior to my current set up I attempted straw bale gardening and it was kind of a bust, the bales fell apart long before the season was over and I got squat for a pay out. However it broke down nicely for the garden when I tilled it all in to the ground and started over again.
I’ll definitely be using the drip hose this year, last year I got a little preoccupied and didn’t get it down on the ground before roots set in and such. But as for this year, I’m going to plan it to the T so that I don’t get caught off guard again.
Tomatoes; we usually do at least two types of tomatoes, this year it’ll be three. I’m going to start seeds for Black Sea Man, Roma, and Blue Berry cherry tomatoes. I always plant marigolds with my tomatoes, they’re suppose to keep mosquitoes away but it hasn’t worked recently. Granted last year I had a lot of exposed ground and mosquitoes love exposed ground. I won’t have that this year, no sir! The whole point of biointensive gardening is to prevent any bare ground and therefore weeds will have no where to grow. That’s the theory anyways. I can almost taste the salsa!
Speaking of salsa, you need peppers for salsa right? Well I’m a pansy when it comes to spicy hot foods, don’t get me wrong I toss chili powder and cayenne in a lot of stuff along with my garlic and onion powder but jalapenos defeat me. I have a recipe for apricot habenero jam that is the bomb diggity on some cream cheese spread bagels or crackers, it’s great on a turkey sandwich too. The peppers going into the garden this year will be habeneros for my jam and carnival bell peppers for my salsa, I’m skipping the cayenne this year because I still have a string from last year that about 3ish feet long covered in dried cayenne peppers, hopefully that gets used up this year and I’ll plant some next season.
Pickles, who doesn’t love pickles on their hamburgers and sandwiches? I put bread and butter pickles on my grilled cheese just like my momma. I may try my hand at hot pickles this year to use up some peppers but dill pickles are definitely on the list and maybe bread and butter if I run out before cucumber season hits. The variety I grow is homemade pickles from territorial, 2-3 plants will have me drowning in cukes faster than I can pickle them.
Greens, my chickens probably eat more leafy greens than we do, mostly dandelions after they’ve gone to seed but still. This year I’m hoping to get more greens in our diet. So hopefully the girls won’t get most of what I’m growing. I’ve got Spinach, Kale, Swiss Chard and a mesclun blend that I hope to grow this spring and again in the fall as well as Brussels sprouts .
I’m probably gonna pass on beans this year simply because I don’t get a high enough yield to use them before they go bad. Hopefully over time I’ll get my beans where I need them because we can eat a decent amount as a side to most any meal.
We love carrots, especially Kathleen, granted hers are pureed to oblivion prior to her eating them just now. I’ve given her sliced canned ones but she’s not a fan of the texture just now. We’re also gonna plant beets, radishes, turnips and onions for our root vegetables. I use so many onions I can’t seem to grow enough! I’m gonna attempt garlic again, it was a bust last time because I planted in the spring rather than the fall plus our clay soil sucks for just about anything other than roots.
I love herbs. Basil, oregano, cilantro, those are my go to herbs. Basil seems to love my soil and I get lots! I always try dill for pickling and its great with fish. Maybe this year I can use my parsley and cilantro before they go to seed, when you’re constantly driving to the NICU though the herbs take a back seat.
And lastly squash. I like to slice it up and cook it with a little butter as a side dish. I usually plant yellow crookneck and zucchini as well as some form of winter squash but this year I’m gonna do a pie pumpkin instead. Partly to try something new, also because I love pumpkin pie, and I won’t have to buy Kathleen’s Halloween pumpkin this fall.
And in other news guess who is army crawling all over the place?! Yup my baby girl, she needs to stop growing! Excuse me while I go cry in a corner now.