February 28, 2010

Garden Plot Revealed

O, winter and the wattle fence, Lone Mountain off in the distance

One Swedish author and an addictive Wyoming writer have kept me up nights through this winter. Mysteries have been revealed and now my mind swims with intrigue. What is the plot of the plot; garden that is, for this coming growing season?

2010 garden mystery revealed: new characters added to the old will be readily assembled raised beds now lying flat in the shed. Potatoes will grow in two-foot high plastic perforated pots rolled out, snapped together and filled with soil and compost. Paprika peppers will be planted in snap-together foot high walls to form more raised beds. Trying these new growing methods will also require some type of hoop house to provide early warmth. You get the picture, don’t you? Assemble, grow, dissemble, and pack it away. A garden plot on the go!

Last year the potatoes and peppers flourished. Could we have the same luck this coming year? Stacking the deck of luck means cleaning the greenhouse top to bottom, scrubbing with water laced with a tiny bit of bleach to kill aphid takeover from last season. Freshening the compost pile with more from the Scott sheep farm south of Whitehall is a repeat deck stacker. Planet Natural http://www.planetnatural.com/ carries a sure-success natural liquid plant food called Earth Juice that will promote vigorous plant growth. Starting seeds in Roots Organics potting soil also from Planet Natural assures a jumpstart for seedlings.

Scheming for diversity, joining 75% of all Americans, we will grow several varieties of tomato: Pearly Pinks, Yugoslavian, Beaverlodge slicer, Italian Paste, and Chianti Rose, all heirlooms. If Americans grow nothing else, tomato plants are the choice. In pots, the leafy greens flourish on sunny decks, in south-facing windows, and along the hot side of a home. 

No mystery, my love of growing pumpkins. Sugar Pie and Cinderella will grace the pumpkin patch again, seeds saved from past seasons. My love for pumpkins begins in the tiny newspaper pots where the seeds sprout within days of planting. One week into the life of pumpkin seedlings finds large leaves pushing for sun. Another week and the newspaper pots become too small. Plop the pot and plant into a 4-quart square pot and set in the greenhouse or cold frame. When the blossoms appear drink in the aroma of jasmine! Of course, planting outside early requires constant vigilance for frost. Be ready to shroud the vines with row cover.


 We return to lettuce and carrots this year. Free Nantes Carrot seeds sent with our Territorial Seed http://www.territorialseed.com/ order say, “Plant these seeds so you may donate fresh carrots to a food bank, soup kitchen, or neighbor in need.” This package was provided by the Garden Writers organization to spread the love of fresh food for all. Lettuce again! Red Deer Tongue and Rocky Top Mix will go into the end of one raised bed. Have we lost our minds, this is only food for all the Richardson Ground Squirrels who populate the back forty. What are we thinking?

Jimmy Nardello will appear again in our garden plot. Long, thin, brilliant red peppers that sauté into tasty stir-fry or dry to live on through winter in evergreen bouquets. Still exploring the mysteries of paprika, we will be growing heirloom varieties from Eastern Europe, the Republic of Georgia, and Russia.

Garden plot revealed, yes. One remaining addition will have to be a new fence to contain the rez pups so they don’t eat, dig, and otherwise, demolish our veg efforts. This gardening question remains just that…how to do it to end up with a basket of freshness? Therein lies the mystery.  
 Daisy, the Rez Pup uses the garlic bed to launch her bone chewing.


1 comment:

  1. So interested to read that you grow Jimmy Nardello - as this is the pepper I chose for this year.

    A delightful post - I am yearning for food from the garden as I read it.