Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Seeds from China

This year is the year of international seeds in my garden. First Miss M sent me some from Canada (OK, so it's not that far away). Today I got a package in the mail from my sister. I'd asked her if she could find me any Chinese vegetables seeds while she teaches in the northern part of China.

From all I can tell, she sent two types of possibly mustard greens (top), bok choy and a red leaf lettuce.
These appear to be a bunching onion, a yellow tomatillo, and a purple cherry tomato ( the large word Melon seems to be the brand, tomato is there much smaller).A few of the packets have this interesting note in English. I guess I better consider myself a professional grower to open the package.

I'm excited to try these seeds out. I'm starting the cherry tomatoes tonight since they'll have to catch up with my other seedlings. The tomatillos may wait until next year since they look similar to some I got from Daphne and already started. The greens will come in due time once things warm up a bit.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Harvest Monday 4/26/10

This week I harvested a few ounces of Sorrel and I remembered to take photo of it as it is the first harvest from my new garden! (Although I did transplant the plant from the old one). We baked it into a quiche with some fresh eggs from a neighbor. There is one small leaf of kale in there because I found at least three kale plants that survived the winter from the previous owner. They had been knocked over, but yet survived. I transplanted them since they are a red leaf variety that I don't have. I hope they will go to seeds and I'll be able to save seeds from them. In the mean time they are putting on a bit of new growth.

Some of my first sowing of lettuce is starting to fill out so maybe next week I'll have a small salad.

You can see what other gardeners are harvesting at Daphne's Dandelions.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April Garden Update

The blog has been quiet over the last few weeks because there has just been so much to do. We've moved into our new house with all the furniture and this week was my school vacation. I spent it organizing to make certain parts of the house livable while we slowly master the rest. We were even able host our church group this Friday night. In the midst of organizing the house I was able to do some gardening. I kept taking photos but never got them on the blog. So here's a few photos that show my progress.

Here's the photo I snapped on 3/27 which shows my blank slate.

By April 3rd I had started digging though there was plenty other moving tasks I should have been doing. I used tent stakes and yarn to mark out my first three foot bed. I loosened the soil, layered on chicken manure from the chicken coop and then dug the path down and mounded it on top of the bed. Seedlings went in the ground.

By April 21st we had moved the cold frame. My husband helped me stake out the beds so that I can dig them in which ever order is needed for my planting plan and schedule. The cold frame went over most of the early seedlings. I almost finished the first bed, but the thick mat of dandelions made it frustrating work. Over two days I dug the next bed for the onions. I put around 80 white onions and over 230 yellow onions in the ground in the bed behind the cold frame.
On the 22nd I dug the third bed, a whole bed for peas and beans at almost the northern most end of the garden. My very last bed is where I'll put my perennial vegetables like the rhubarb, sorrel, strawberries, raspberries and it is extra wide. The pea bed is the next one. It was easier to dig because it wasn't infested with the dandelions like the southern end of the garden. I got my peas in that day and later planted radishes in front of the peas. I found a piece of chicken wire that was the length of the bed so I strung the whole thing up on posts for the beginnings of a trellis. You can barely see the stakes at the back of the bed. We'll see how high the peas grow.

That's all the digging I've gotten done so far. On the 23rd I planted more lettuce, beets and chard in the first bed next to the cold frame. I think the next bed I need to dig will be the spot for the raspberries because I'm supposed to pick them up at the end of the week. After that it will be the brassica bed.

I have also been taking care of my indoor seedlings. I transplanted all my tomatoes into their own cups. I have almost 50 tomato plants! I have been hardening off my early tomatoes and hope to get them in the ground in the next two weeks. I also started some cosmos, bachelors buttons, marigolds and other flower seeds I found at the dollar store 4 for $1.
Looking at my seed starting calendar it is time to start cucumbers but I don't have space under the lights.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Harvest Monday 4/12/10

Today I harvested sorrel and chives from the old garden. The sorrel was planted last year and was under the cold frame. Its a perennial that I may move to the new garden. Both went into a risotto with peas, though I didn't get a photo because the camera is at the new house.

We're busy with moving and painting. I did manage to plant some kale and swiss chard seedlings in the new garden yesterday. They are under row cover with tatsoi, arugula, oak leaf lettuce, and spinach. Hopefully these early seedlings will get a jump start on the growing season in the new garden.

While my mom was visiting she spotted some rhubarb sprouting. I dug it up, divided it, and planted it where I wanted it in the back of the vegetable garden. One less thing to buy for the new garden! Maybe we'll be harvesting some of that soon too.

You can see other gardeners harvests at Daphne's Dandelions.