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Kicking off the 2015 Garden: Indoor Planting

Garden planting time might be my favorite time of year. The weather is finally turning warm, it’s pleasant to be outside again, and the whole world feels full of potential. This March has been warm and sunny so far, and in a fit of vitamin-d influenced optimism, last weekend, I started our 2015 garden.

spinach_seedling
Our first seedling of the year was this little spinach sprout. I planted three pots worth of spinach, which are living in our dining room window. I have three more pots to plant next week, to hopefully keep greens in rotation most of the spring. We didn’t have much luck planting greens in the ground last year. A combination of too much clay and ants made the leafy parts slow to grow, but the plants quick to bolt, so I’m sticking with pots this year.

tomato_seedlings
I am attempting grow all of our summer vegetables from seed this year. We spent a ton on seedlings last year, and this year I’m hoping to grow more plants. We currently have about two dozen little tomato seedlings, and I’m hoping to put them all in the ground.

basil_seedlings
Last year was a disaster four our herbs. We got a late start on them and the soil in our yard was so poor, the only thing that took was the mint. I missed fresh basil so much, that this year I’m hedging my bets and have a whole pallet of basil seeds sprouting.

Basil seedlings are so cute and determined looking, I find myself peering into the tray multiple times a day, just admiring their fortitude.

root_vegetable_seeds
If our Earth boxes are thawed enough, because last week they were still big blocks of frozen dirt, I’m going to bring them inside and start our first rounds of root vegetables. We also had trouble with these in the ground last year, they grew, but they were slow to take off and by the time they were sizable, they were also bitter. The ones we ate small, however, were delicious.

I’m hoping that planting the spring vegetables inside this year will give us more opportunity to get the yard ready for summer veggies and herbs and flowers. Our soil is so full of clay, I could take up ceramics and never need to buy it. We’re planning on working the compost we’ve been making since we moved in a year and a half ago into the soil and building up a few inches above the ground–we did this last year, but we decided we needed to go a few inches higher than that.

What are you planting this year?

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Weekend Garden Update

This week has been full of last harvests and first blooms.

instagram carrots
We harvested the last of the peas and carrots, and tomorrow we’re tearing up the spring veggie beds and planting pumpkins.

secondandthirdtomatoes

firsttomato
The first tomatoes showed up.

eggplant blossoms
The eggplant started blooming. I love eggplant blossoms. Aren’t they gorgeous?

firstzucchini
The first teeny tiny zucchini.

thelonepepper
And the lone pepper.

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2014 Garden

You know what I haven’t talked about yet this year? My Garden! Which is awful, because this is the first year ever I’ve had a yard and planted stuff in the ground!

We didn’t get around to planting our spring crops until the last weekend in March, which is a little late for Kansas weather, because you never know, it could start being 90 degrees everyday the first weekend in April. I was gigantically pregnant, and the ground was barely soft enough to dig. Our soil was far more clay-ee than I expected, so that was fun to work with on hands and knees at full term.

peas
We planted peas–and for the first year in four years of planting peas, I have actual peas on the vines. I am so excited!

carrots
For the first time, we planted carrots. I have no idea how these will grow, but the greens keep getting bigger, so I am assuming they are growing down there, despite the clay.

beets
Beets! I think we’ll only get a handful of beets, and even if they are bit size, I will eat them.

turnips
The turnips germinated like crazy, and because I was ridiculously pregnant and busy nesting, I didn’t get back outside to weed or thin the seedlings, so I have a blanket of turnip greens in the turnip bed. We’ll see if any turnips develop. The weeds in that bed have also been nearly impossible to keep up with.

first harvest
And the radishes are my first successful crop from an in-the-ground-garden. These were extra spicy radishes.

Next time, we’ll talk about the summer plants!

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2013 Balcony Garden

The balcony garden is officially started. Not everything is planted yet, nor do we even have all of our seeds or seedlings, but we got the balcony fully de-winterized this weekend and a bunch of stuff planted. It’s only a matter of time before we are resting cool behind our food-bearing wall-o-green ™.

sugarsnappeas2013
First, the peas I planted a few weeks have finally started to come up. I swear they have grown three inches since Saturday. (You’ll also notice that we are using Hefty bags instead of Earthbox approved mulch covers. As much as I love my Earthboxes, I am not paying $15 a mulch cover for every planting when a garbage bag and duct tape serves the same purpose. We used this method last year as well.)

seeds2013

seedpotatoes2013

seedlings2013
These are summer seedlings, and will likely live inside another month before they get Earthboxed.

basilseedling

athrunsmint2013

sageseedling2013

Our herbs so far are basil, mint (for Athrun), and sage. Has anyone ever had luck with oregano? It has never grown enough for me to do much with. What are your favorite herbs to grow?

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Let’s Talk about Gardening

gardenmidjune2

It’s time (or perhaps a little past time) to start putting the summer garden together. The photo above shows just about the entire extent of my gardening abilities. We have three Earth Boxes two potato planters and a few pots for herbs. Last year we had a modest new potato crop, two good tomato plants, an eggplant a day, plenty of fresh herbs and one super giant zucchini.

059 Garden from 2011 with strawberries and cucumbers. (The cucumbers were awesome that year. Last year we had one and the plant shriveled and dyed because of the heat the very next day.)

I have tried and failed for the last two years to grow spinach and peas. Is that going to stop me from attempting them this year? No way! I realize though, that if I am going to grow them, I need to get a move on. I haven’t even started cleaning the balcony up from winter yet. That’s first on the agenda. Then tracking down fertilizer and dolomite for the earth boxes.

zuchinniblossomI can’t tell you how excited I am for spring and for growing things and big yellow blossoms and the promise of fresh, sun-warmed produce.

The balcony garden is not the only thing I am doing this year. During the summer, I will be tending a Sunflower garden out at my Dad’s house to grow some flowers for the wedding. Then, at my Dad’s church, they are starting a community garden project.

What are you growing? Where do you grow it? And how?