Friday, March 4, 2011

Seed is in your hands. NOW What?

It was a busy meeting today.  Seed to check and get to all the different gardeners.
Also lots of very good questions.  We didn't even get them all answered.  Here is a little taste of what was covered:

If something didn't grow last year, or was eaten by bugs do I have to not grow it this year?  NO learn about each issue, correct what you can and give it another try.  Hopefully we will have much better growing weather this year.   Last year was not good!

Is it too late to plant garlic?   Depends.  If your soil is workable and not too cold you can plant it in the spring and hope we don't get our heat too soon.  What garlic needs is to have enough time to get lots of green and a foundation root.  When the temperatures warm to 80 degrees, in several days garlic will begin to make the bulb.  By planting in early fall the garlic can put plenty of root in before our cold winters and when spring arrives all it has to do is grow lots of greens!  You can encourage this at the spring by feeding fish or seaweed emulsion, or nitrogen rich ingredients every ten days or so. Stop when summer heat arrives. 

Onions we plant starts in the spring.  They will be here next month and will need to go into the ground quickly.  Potatoes will soon follow.  If you ordered these I have a list and will contact you the day they arrive.

Now for information about the seeds.

I did buy hybrid seed.  You can not save seed from these plants

You may have recieved several different kinds of seed for one type of veggie.
I like to have plants that ripen at different times, plants that can resist different problems we encounter in the PNW, and I love a lot of different colors in my food.  I hope you will try this idea of using different plants to extend and enhance your season.

If you ordered beans and peas I tried to give you both bush and pole.  I plant them at the same time.  I put the bush peas in between my pole peas.  They produce first and they are just a little bush in the front of the pole peas squares.  
The pole beans fill the square they are in (I have verticals at the back of the squares for them to grow up.  I use a different square or two, put a tomato basket in the square and plant 9 or 10 different colored bush beans around and in the basket.  As they grow the wire basket supports them and they produce way before the pole beans and I love to have a lot of different colors to make meals from.  I hope you will enjoy the mix of seeds we gave you in peas and bush beans.

Your lettuce orders were a surprise to meIf it is salad you grow lettuce for you have so many choices.  I add mustard and collards and beet greens and little kale and nasturtium and many other greens to my salad.  Keep in mind you will get better flavor and taste harvesting when plants are smaller.  You do not need to wait for lettuce to be grocery store size, just cut off a couple of leaves on a plant and gather as much variety as you can .  I hope if you just ordered roman or green or red leaf lettuce you will come buy a package or two of something fun and different and let us teach you how to grow great lettuce.  It is one thing we excel at here in the PNW.  My lettuce is NEVER bitter, always tender and tasty.  I plant in cool weather, keep the lettuce in the shade if the weather gets warm and I eat it when the leaves are about 5" big. 

Our next meeting is March 25 at 9 am.  We will cover the compost issues and how to feed our soil in our garden.  This is a complex subject but I will help you get started and give you come basic recipes to start with.  

There will be a short cooking lesson on all the things chard can do....I'll pick some up at the market.  

I would also like to address your seed from last year and what you can do with it and how to save what you have left over this year.  

We'd like to stay at an hour so please arrive on time, if you want to buy seed please do so at the end of the meeting.  

See you in a couple of weeks!

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