4-30-16 Blog

With the rain we received Thursday and the cooler temperatures that have accompanied it since, I believe I’m going to change up my plans for today. Initially, I was going to plant sunflowers and tomatoes, but now I am going to shift gears and plant a row of strawberries instead.
I am also hoping that the onions and potatoes that I planted have decided to make an appearance. I know that my radishes are up already. I’ll post more on their status tomorrow.

UPDATE :  Well, today definitely did not go as planned.  I woke up to the sound of rain outside my bedroom window and it proceeded to do so all day long.  That’s going to put a damper on any garden work for at least a couple of days.  Looks like now I’m going to have roughly 15 strawberry sets taking up residence for a while.   I’ll try to get to them sometime this week.

2016 Spring Planting – Sweet Corn.

I’d like to say that the growing season is now in full swing after the past few days of outstanding weather but that simply isn’t the case right now. The thermometer has taken a 20 degree plummet over the past day and a half. I planted three rows of bi-color sweet corn yesterday in anticipation of a warm spring rain. However, we’ve received little to no rain and much cooler than expected temperatures instead. I’m hoping it’s short lived and that spring returns to normal very soon as it’s hard to grow anything in cold soil.

2016 Spring Planting – Cabbage, Kohlrabi and etc.

The cabbage and kohlrabi have been planted. I put out two varieties of cabbage this year. I planted four seedlings of an early type that only requires 40 days to produce a head and also also four of a late version that takes 90 days.
If the weather permits, tomorrow I’m going to try to plant some broccoli and cauliflower.  Maybe some celery also. There is a 50/50 chance of rain today and a smaller chance every day through Friday.

UPDATE:  The weather today was perfect for gardening.   Sunny and around 80 degrees with a moderate breeze.  I decided to take full advantage of the day and made yet another visit to the local garden center and purchased eight cauliflower, eight broccoli and nine celery seedlings. I got three new rows planted in just under two hours.  And all without breaking a sweat!  I sure hope there are more days like today in the near future. It sure was relaxing being able to get out and dig in the dirt for a while today.

I’m thinking next up will be the sweet corn and sunflowers.  Depending on whether we receive any rain or not and if so, how much, it could be tomorrow,  it could be Wednesday or it may be Saturday before I get to it. One thing is for certain,  I’ll post my next update when it happens.

Toby’s Joke of the Day.

I’ve just been presented with a page full of jokes from Toby. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think this kid wants to be famous. He is a persistent young man- that’s a given. So, for the time being, I’m gonna run with it. Heck, some of them aren’t bad anyway. So here goes….

Q: Why do potatoes make such good detectives?

A: Because they try to keep their eyes peeled!

Enjoy.

4-21-16 Blog

Ah yes, the first spring rain has arrived just as predicted. It’s just a tad on the cool side but at least, so far, it’s been nice and steady. The soil and the four rows that are underground right now should be able to soak up what we’ve received with relative ease. With some sunshine over the weekend, we should have onions and radishes sprouted by midweek. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
I’m not sure how soon I’ll be able to resume planting, but I purchased 8 kohlrabi plants and 8 cabbage plants this week. With some luck, maybe I’ll get them set in sometime between Sunday and Tuesday. I hope Mother Nature cooperates because I believe there’s another chance for showers early next week. If not though, it’s OK since we’re still a few days ahead of schedule at this point. I’ll keep you posted as the next week transpires. Until then, I’m going to stay dry and get rested.

2016 Spring Planting – Onions, Beets and Turnips.

My indicators told me that we could be in for a couple days worth of showers sometime between Wednesday and Friday. Because of that, I made the decision to get my onions in the ground sooner rather than later. After a visit to the local garden center for the second time around, I left with around 65 sets. Of these, I believe that I actually had row space for 50 to 55 of them. I consider this a good thing as some of the sets were a little on the smaller side.
Today, I’m going to try to get my turnips, beets, radishes and carrots sown. I learned a couple years ago that it works well when you grow all of these in the same row for a couple reasons. One, is that the radishes tend to sprout faster than the others and, thus, tend to be reliable row markers early on. Also, the radishes and turnips tend to mature faster than the beets and carrots do. When harvested in a timely manner, they serve as a natural thinner for what’s remaining. Usually very little thinning is needed for my beets and carrots. This is good as I’ve learned that they don’t handle being thinned as well as other vegetables.

Toby’s Joke of the Day.

Q: What did the vegetables say to the gardener?

A: Quit picking on us!

Toby is my 9 year old nephew and cousin to Brandon and Tyler who’s picture is in the previous post.  Toby and his older sister, Tricia, saw my blog for the first time today and wanted their picture on it also.  Well, I have been considering this day for some time now and today worked out perfectly.  I told them that I wanted them to do an interview session with each other on an antique coin that Tricia found in my garden almost a year ago.  Once it’s done, I agreed to post their picture and the interview on my blog.  They also informed me that they would like to be compensated monetarily for their work.  (Gee, nothing like stealing your Uncle’s idea for his work, huh!)  Reluctantly, I agreed to that as well simply because I think it’s a story that’s going to be highly anticipated. For now, I guess you could say that those two are on paid assignment. When the task is complete,  you’ll get to meet them as well. Hopefully, we’ll also have something going on IN the garden that day also. Until then, however, get out and enjoy the awesome weather we’re supposed to have this week.

P.S.  You can now check your local weather at any time from this site by simply clicking on the “Local Weather” link in the top right corner.  Feel free to check out the link to the Farmer’s Almanac as well!  I’ve also learned that on at least some cell phones, it may be located under the MENU tab in the top left corner under the name of the blog.

2016 Spring Planting-Potatoes.

The weather has finally broken in West Central Ohio. I've been very busy the past four days working up one-third of my garden six times over. Today with the help of my nephews, Brandon and Tyler, we planted two rows of potatoes and worked the remaining two-thirds of the garden up for the first time. As you can see in the picture, they really enjoy digging in the dirt, using the rototiller, and carrying buckets of water. I hope to get some more seeds and plants in the ground by next weekend. I'll check back in as soon as things progress.
The weather has finally broken in West Central Ohio. I’ve been very busy the past four days working up one-third of my garden six times over. Today with the help of my nephews, Brandon and Tyler, we planted two rows of potatoes and worked the remaining two-thirds of the garden up for the first time. As you can see in the picture, they really enjoy digging in the dirt, using the rototiller, and  carrying buckets of water. I hope to get some more seeds and plants in the ground by next weekend. I’ll check back in as soon as things progress.

4-11-16 Blog

Well, it snowed Saturday morning and then rained each of the past two days. I believe it’s almost over. It’s supposed to warm up (hopefully for good this time) throughout the remainder of the week with highs reaching 70 degrees by the weekend. I want to fire the tiller up on Thursday or Friday if it’s dry enough and work up enough dirt to plant a couple rows of potatoes on Saturday. Possibly some cabbage and kohlrabi also. I am hoping to solicit the services of a couple of nephews to assist in the fun but we’ll see how that goes. I’ll check back in this weekend to update my progress.

To “Seed” or to “Plant”?

As winter morphs into spring, the attention of many gardeners turns from leafing through and subsequently ordering from the seed catalogs many of us receive to visiting the local nurseries to browse over aisles upon aisles of seedlings in order to fill our rows.  The choices both methods provide can be a bit daunting to say the least.   So, just how does one decide which veggies to buy in plant form and which to grow from seeds?  There are many factors to take into consideration when making these crucial decisions.   Here, we’ll take a close look at three of the more important factors to consider in order to help you make an informed decision.

What Can You Afford? 

It only takes one visit to the local garden center to see that, in most instances, seeds are cheaper than plants.   That alone can make them a better choice when it takes a lot of seed to produce the amount of crop desired.  Such is often the case with beets, peas, radishes, beans and sweet corn – especially when wanting to can and freeze them.

On the other hand, plants are often the logical choice when starting vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and tomatoes.  This is mainly due to the fact that the seeds of many of these are very small and often quite plentiful when purchased in a packet.  Many gardeners don’t have the space or the need for 25-50 of these in plant form when usually 4 to 12 will suffice. Also in many cases, it’s much easier to simply buy plants here than to have to deal with starting seeds and then thinning and/or transplanting.

Do You Have The Patience And The Setup?

One time and you’ll see that it is much easier (and usually less stressful ) to grow established plants than to endure the wait of seeds to germinate.  However, it can be done with patience and the right equipment.  Be prepared to possibly encounter substantial costs in order to start seeds at home.  This is especially true in the northern growing regions where electric heating mats, an indoor grow light or even a small greenhouse may be needed in order to have plants ready at the right time.

How Long Is Your Growing Season?

Another factor to keep in mind when planning your garden is the length of the growing season in your region.  In areas where the growing season is only six months long, it may not be a good idea to raise vegetables like tomatoes, pumpkins and eggplant from seeds as many of these varieties take 4 to 5 months to bear fruit.  It would also be a good idea to use transplants when dealing with most peppers because they have a tendency to not be very hardy in cold conditions.

Radishes, potatoes, leaf lettuce and turnips are a few examples of vegetables that are usually started from seeds all the time since it only takes 45-100 days for these to mature.  Also many sweet corn and green bean varieties have shorter growing seasons  (65-110 days), so they too may be a viable option for northern climates.  With this in mind, however, keep in mind that if you live in a southern climate you don’t have to start everything from seeds either just because your season is longer.  In some instances, a double crop can be produced by utilizing plants vs seeds.

Summary 

As is always the case, there are exceptions to every rule.  Remember also, that there are other factors to consider such as seed size and transplant hardiness.  Use good judgement and a little common sense.  In the end, I just hope that that the factors that I elaborated on here when combined with your individual knowledge of what you desire to produce, your garden size and your resources will assist you in making the best choice for you when the annual question arises:  To “Seed” or to “Plant”?