May 21-ALL TOMATO PLANTS IN

growfood,not lawns

It’s time to get growing!

Now is the time to seriously get into your garden. This is the busiest time of the gardening season with everybody wanting to get everything in their gardens. The day temperatures are now in the mid-high 70’s and the evenings are in the mid-high 40’s. PERFECT PLANTING WEATHER! Here is what’s been going on at my place. I feel I’m ahead so I actually have time to post something.

May 21-I waited to plant till after that last snow right after the May 15 date. All 120 tomato plants were in the gardens by May 21 with the help of Elodie Holmes, Lava Ewersmeyer, Mernie Ellessner and Janet Hirons and of course me! Many thanks to all my friends for their help! Boy, was I tired by the end of last week. This is the most tomato plants I’ve ever planted-hopefully it will be a great year and I will have many tomatoes to sell at the Farmer’s Market later this summer! I have 31 varieties this year. My favorites plus many new varieties. They are all in Wall of Waters (WOW) and I wouldn’t attempt to plant them at this date at our 7000 ft high altitude without them. Later the WOWs will be removed once the tomato plants reach the tops of them which will be sometime in June.

May 24-Meanwhile I’ve already put SEEDS in for Atomic Red carrots, Cosmic Purple carrots, Cylindra beets and Craupadine beets, transplanted broccoli-raab, Lacinto kale, Ruby chard, Argentata chard, Burgundy Amaranth and Zino fennel bulbs as of this week. All got row cover over them to give the transplants time to adjust in their new environment.

May 25-The peppers and eggplants are still inside, the little finicky darlings, basking in the windows as the nights are still too cold to plant them yet. If it stays warm I will put them in by the end of the first week of June.

May 26-I will NOW plant bean, corn, cucumber seeds, many flower seeds AND my giant pumpkins. I will also put row cover over them till they come up about 4 inches to keep the birds from eating them.

HAPPY GARDENING!!

Wait! Not quite yet-Patience!

snow2_april 26

Snow-April 26, 2015!

Just when we are all chomping to get growing, here comes another snow.  Big wet snowflakes. Not surprising as we are still in April, (although late April). Yesterday I went to the Farmer’s Market to sell greens and tomato plants and I told everyone-don’t plant them yet, put them in a warm window sill, we still could have cold weather coming and here it is. Of course most of us know that the first frost-free day is around May 15th  to start planting but still I always fantasize getting everything in early and usually must wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.

Patience! It seems gardening is a lesson in patience and patience is one of  life’s lessons. We must be patient for the winter weather to end so we can put our plants in the garden. Patient for the seeds to germinate. Patient when they don’t and must reseed. Patient for the soil to warm up so the plants will grow in earnest. Patient that the crops will grow and prosper. Patient for the all elusive harvest. So keep the faith, be patient, we will be able to plant soon, not just yet.

Are you chitting those potatoes?

chitting potatoes_closeup

Are you chitting your potato seeds yet? Careful how you say that! You can get potato seeds at the local nurseries now if you plan to grow them this year. Potato seeds are actually smaller potatoes that you plant. Don’t use grocery store potatoes as most of them have a sprout inhibitor on them to reduce sprouting which is what we want.

chitting potatoes

Chitting is letting your potatoes grow those little ‘eyes’ out. Put them in indirect sunlight. I use egg cartons to hold them so the eyes don’t break off. After they grow ‘eyes’, you should plant them this month-April. Chitting potatoes now will let you harvest them 2-3 week earlier when harvesting them later in the late summer.

This year, I’m growing them in ‘potato bags’ instead of a garden bed. My friend, Janet had fabulous luck with them last year-in fact she got more than I did in a raised bed so I’m trying her way this year besides it opens up another bed for me to grow other veggies in.

For more info on growing and chitting your potatoes, go to my original post ‘Growing and Chitting Potatoes’

Windy ugly!!

wind

Today was what I call windy ugly! It is just blasting outside which is exactly what our Aprils’ are about out here in Santa Fe. I thought we might not get it this year as we’ve had beautiful weather up till today. Spring is my least favorite season because it almost always is windy-really windy and the wind makes me crabby! I read that is because all the positive ions the wind whips up. Negative ions (like when it rains make us feel good and positive ions make us crabby!)

One year, about 11 years ago, the roof blew off my hay barn-literally the roof just lifted up-all 14′ x 24′ of it and landed on my neighbor’s property. When it hit, it left a 12″ deep dent where it hit the ground and exploded from the impact as pieces flew everywhere. Luckily nothing was damaged-no people or property. Just before the event, Elodie and I were down at the barn tightening up any screws on the roof (she was holding the ladder and I was on top of the roof and I had just gotten off the ladder when the wind came up and up and up. Elodie said “Well, this will be a good test” when a 70 mph micro-burst came into the barn, we heard a huge rip as it tore the roof off and the thing flew up in the air like one giant kite. Made me think of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz when her house was lifted in the air. Elodie said, “That could have been you! You were just on the roof!” to which I chanted, ‘It wasn’t my time! It wasn’t my time!

PS: When I rebuilt the roof I put hurricane ties on the rafters so hopefully that won’t happen again. Today reminded me of that windy day!

2014 garden-then and now

long shot of garden

Row cover everywhere!

row cover in early summer

My main vegetable garden is basically divided into three sections-Section 1, Section 2 and Section 3-each section being around a 1000 square feet. So as I look at what I call ‘Section 3’, all I see is row cover everywhere! Looks like I laid out my laundry all over the ground but this is temporary. Row cover is used for extending the seasons and for protecting crops.

When I plant new transplants such as eggplants and peppers, I find our winds horrible on them, whipping them around and drying them out-totally stressing the poor little things so I put these mini hoops over them and put row cover on that protecting them from the ferocious winds we’ve had. When I plant seeds, I also cover them with row cover to protect them from the birds and other animals eating the seedlings as the germinate. Birds love bean sprouts, corn sprouts and cucumber sprouts but when I cover them, the birds don’t know what’s going on underneath when they germinate. So the garden looks like hell for a couple of weeks but will save me time and frustration of replanting more seeds later. This year after I planted the corn, bean and cucumber seeds, I put straw around them to help keep the soil moist and since I waited to plant later, an added bonus is the soil is pre-warmed  and the straw will help hold in the moisture when I water.