End of April report

Last weekend we began putting in the root vegetable seeds – carrots, parsnips, and for the first time, beets.  We decided to grow an heirloom mixture of seeds based on my experimentation with fresh beets in cooking this winter – our local grocer sells beets already peeled, but not canned.  Before starting the seeds in the ground (about 4 weeks before the last date of frost) they need  to be soaked for 8-24 hours:

They were sown, along with the carrot and parsnip seeds, in last year’s tomato bed.  Because we built a new bed this year, we rotated all the potatoes and garlic, previously grown in bed #3, into that bed.  Nothing’s changed from last year’s planting system – dig hole, drop potato, cover, water sparsely.  See:

What is new this year is my selection of Adirondack blue potatoes.  Unlike the royal purple beans we grew last year, which turned green when cooked, Adirondack blues are supposed to retain their color when cooked.  If this is true, I might turn the entire batch into potato chips.

Meanwhile, the seedlings are doing nicely:

Geraniums in back, coleus in front

Eggplants – Bride and Dusky Purple

Peppers – Green, Jalepeno & Banana



Of course, the entire operation takes up a bit of room downstairs:

This year, J started putting foam core underneath the seed trays & heating mats, and covering the entire rack with plastic to create a mini greenhouse.  It seems to be working because we’re getting really great returns on the number of seeds that are being planted. 
This week we are starting squash – winter, summer, zucchini, watermelons & pumpkins.  Those grow really fast so they don’t get started until just a few weeks before planting – and that day will be here before I know it.

Spring has sprung

So last year everyone who reads this blog/ knows me in real life/ is friendly with me on Facebook/ had the misfortune to get in line behind me at the grocery store -heard all about the 240 bulbs I needed to plant.  The box they came in looked like this:

By October 29, they looked like this:

And this week?  Well, this week they look like this:

In a few more weeks, we’ll see whether they’ll actually flower.  They all made it through the winter, though, which was the first hurdle.

Elsewhere in the yard:

Despite the very cold nights and chilly days, I can tell – summer is coming.

Looks good enought to eat

I have lots to say on the garden, now that it’s April, the seedlings are up, and we’ve put seeds in the ground.  However, it’s going to be a bit of time before we begin harvesting anything, so I decided to create a little summer harvest substitution:

You can read all about my current obsession with knit vegetables over on the other blog.  I am currently also working on an ear of corn.  Because why not?  J just shook his head when I bought the book on knitted vegetables (and I got one for knitted fruit, not that I am growing fruit – yet) but I came home yesterday and learned that he had ordered more tractor parts.  I would like to state for the record that my yarn takes up way less room – one small set of drawers in the family room.  Also, nobody ever exclaims how cute tractor parts are.  I’m just saying.