Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Winter Garden

How exciting to begin 2008's garden in January. Long a dream, now a reality.

On Friday, I found myself poking around at OSH to fill up some rare free time. I picked up several seed packets, three bags of compost and a six-pack of broccoli -- Cape Queen F-1 Hybrid variety. It was the last one there and aside from a couple of yellowing leaves here and there the starts looked healthy.

After a solid week of rain, Saturday saw a break in the clouds and I put them in. Due to some uneven ground, there are large puddles of standing water surrounding the raised beds in areas which required a few strategically placed wooden boards in order to gain access.

After sprinkling compost and digging it in a bit I also planted several seed varieties: "German Giant" radish, "Salad Bowl" lettuce, "Garden Babies Butterhead" container lettuce and "Catalina" baby leaf lettuce. The lettuces went into my half wine barrel planter and a low lying bowl planter.

As I worked the local scrub jays squawked, no doubt in excitement. Somehow they knew my actions meant fresh seeds for pecking at a later time. I am anxious to see what actually sprouts of course. I'm hoping for several successive plantings.

A few other seed packs I brought home but have yet to plant are: "Harmony Hybrid" spinach which appears to have more crinkled leaves than the Catalina, chives and Slow-Bolt Cilantro which can be planted as early as February according to the package notes.

Fingers-crossed, I hope there will be something positive to post in 7 to 14 days.


kate said...

I'm turning green with envy ... you are lucky to be able to plant seeds outdoors!

I'll be checking back to see how things are going.

Christine said...

Thanks for stopping by Kate! Planting seeds this early is kind of a leap of faith I think...we'll see.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

What lovely veggies. You make me miss summer. Now I'm going to brag a little. We have been harvesting broccoli since Christmas, but I bet we get colder earlier.


Christine said...

Deb, Glad you stopped by. You go girl! This is my first attempt with broccoli. Does it tolerate much wetness? Another several days of rain are forecasted, I'm worried they will swim away!

Leslie said...

Welcome back Christine! I'll be watching for your update...hope it goes well! The jays might want the seeds but watch out for sparrows...they love to eat broccoli and lettuce in my garden...

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

I planted and grew the smallest saddest broccoli and cabbage until this year. In my grandfather's books I found a gardening book published in the 1950'. The writer shared that crucifers-broccoli, cabbage etc need a lot of nitrogen. So this year I ammended with compost, cotton seed meal, bone meal, rabbit manure, planted the plants and watered in with fish emulsion. I had awsome broccoli and real cabbage heads.
So I guess what I would do is feed them whatever you use as a nitrogen source and be generous. I have never had it have a problem with too much water, but too little it didn't like.

Christine said...

Great advice Debbi! Thank you for sharing your trade secrets! I will definitely get some nitrogen on those babies ASAP.