Sunday, February 10, 2013

Farm Update: 2/10/2013

I have been doing short posts about the seed starting but I realized that I had not taken any pictures of the garden itself.

The first shot for this update is of my celery bed. Yes, I have now added celery to my list. I bought a six pack, according to Twitter, on Nov. 10th for my fall garden but I failed to see that the plant tag shows 90-120 days to maturity. I don't know if I will be leaving it in that long but it will just depend on the weather. I may pull early to add in the spring/summer crops.

A six pack of Red Russian Kale was also bought that day and it is thriving in this weather. We have more kale than we do know what to do with. I bought this six pack because the wife started making veggie shakes for breakfast and asked for kale. I found a single, beat up six pack at the nursery and it has flourished. I don't know if I had ever eaten kale before growing it but I am in love with it. I may not be getting a six pack next time and will be happy with a few less plant.

Up next is my lovely pair of artichoke plants. I had been hesitant about planting it because of their sheer size. I didn't think I would have enough room for it and didn't want to take up a whole bed for just artichokes. These are perennial and a plant can last, under the right conditions, 6-7 years. I bought the first seedling at a local grocery store, partly, because it was on sale. I also figured that if it died, I wouldn't miss it much. The plant wasn't very big and it really only had a few good leaves. There were other leaves but they were yellow. I clipped off the yellow leaves and planted it. I added a sprinkler for it on the irrigation system and it has gotten huge. The second plant was picked up at my local nursery and it has doubled in size. Obviously the soil in that area is good for the artichokes and we hope that it will bear fruit in the springtime.

This year is full of firsts. I am growing the Blue Jade Corn again this year but not in a raised bed. It did so well for me last year that I figured I would try it again this year. This time they are not going in a raised bed but in plastic totes. I know they may be a bit overcrowded but I can always figure it out as the season goes on. I love this corn because it it only grows to about 3 feet tall and it tastes great. It is also blue and it will be good to add color to any dish. These are small enough to grow in containers and produce 3-4 ears each and the weather agrees with it, at least in my region in Southern California.

Here is the photo that you have all been waiting to see. These are my seedlings for this year and many of them have survived. I think I have only had a few casualties but I still have time to make some of those up. I wasn't able to get the little potato cucumber to sprout but I'm sure it won't be an issue once the weather warms up. I know for a fact that I won't have enough room for all of these plants and may need to donate some of these to friends and/or family. I also have many saved seed from last year and those will be going into coin envelopes and will be donated and / or traded. We'll see how that all works out.

Until next time,

Luis T.

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