Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Winter Wednesday

So the Holidays are done and gone, The house is back to normal, and the weather outside is still frightful!  Regardless, the Garden Porn in my mailbox is starting to arrive, and that along with the craving for dirt under my nails, lets me know it's time to start thinking about Spring.  Yes it's just a few months ahead, but as any good gardener/homesteader/project manager (yes that's what we are in the industrial world) we must plan ahead to take proper action for fruitful gains!

Last summer I completed the greenhouse, so that will be useful for starts for this spring:

I will need to run some electrical out to it for heating, I am under no illusions that this greenhouse will be able to support temperatures needed for germination in February here without some additional help!

So in looking at my master garden plan, I keep one drawn out on graph paper in pen, then input my plant selections in pencil each year (yes I am a bit of a geek like that)  I can see what I planted last year, and where they were planted.  I then thought about what we are eating up from last year, what we have bought, and then dreamed  about what we can try to grow this year, that we thought we couldn't grow before.  I try to give myself one challenge a year, just to push the boundaries a bit.  This year, with the addition of the Greenhouse, I am thinking Melons!  I almost got there with Melons a few years back, but just ran short on time.  I think starting them in the greenhouse will give me the time needed to make this a reality....fingers crossed.

The rest of my plan is to grow: Asparagus (yes I will try again), Arrugala, Beans (drying), Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Cucumbers, Celery, Corn (another boundary pusher), Garlic, Green Beans, Lettuce, Mache, Onion, Peas, Radish and Tomato.

Small plantings of Beets, Carrots, Lettuce, Peas, Arrugala, Mache and Tomato: This year these will be for fresh eating only.  Last year we had a bumper crop of Tomatoes! So we have plenty of Salsa, Tomato Sauce, diced Tomatoes etc.  Not sure as to what variety of Tomato I will plant, but will figure that out shortly.

My large scale planting will be the Drying beans.  This winter has been big on soups, stews, chili's so we have gone through our bean supply.  Yes I know Dried beans are about the cheapest eats out there, but I get so much joy from eating my own homegrown, that you really can't put a price on happiness.

Cucumbers will be a good size planting, as I am out of Pickles.  An while I am the only one in the family that eat's them, by golly I like 'em, and since I'm the gardener/canner, I'll plant what I like!

Dreaming this year, are the Melons, Brussels Sprouts, and Corn.  I have tried the first two, with limited success.  So I will try them again, changing a few things and see what happens.  As for the Corn, My brother tried it, as did my Neighbors.  Neither had success.  Not sure if it was weather, fertilizer, variety they chose, or location.  But I'll give it a shot.

This year I am going to try companion planting.  I have been doing some research on it, and it looks promising.  I will try to keep this blog updated with that as a focus.

Another task is to replace the chickens.  This fall, I butchered the chickens as the egg production greatly fell off, and one started to go Roo on me.  This time I am looking to get 6 - 8 chickens, as the coop is big enough for more than that, and 3 just didn't give me enough eggs.

All in all, I have my work cut out for me.  Lot's to do, and not nice weather to do it in.  Currently it is 44 degrees, grey and rainy.  So I sit with my coffee, perusing my chicken catalog, and the seed catalog, looking at the seeds I still have, and determining what I will need to order.  And with the end of my cup of coffee, I too will end this blog.

Dream and plan my friends, for Spring is just around the corner, and we will soon begin the rush to get seeds in the ground!