Quick garden update

None of the spinach or kale seeds I planted in the raised bed came up, or if they did they died or got eaten before I noticed them. I put some more spinach seeds out since it’s been wetter and warmer. The cabbage and chard are both still hanging on, but they’re both pretty leggy, especially the cabbage, which never has developed any true heads.

It’s been really warm here, relatively, and for all intents and purposes spring started a couple of weeks ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have one last cold snap or some serious rain, but then again we may not. It’s time, I suppose, to think about the next garden plan. I picked up some Jiffy compressed peat ‘pots’ and a container for them, so I can start more seeds indoors this year. I’ve also made all my seed catalog orders and a tentative plan. I’ll try to share that soon.

What are you planning for your 2012 garden?


Garden Recap 2011

[The last of the fall harvest]

I said this year I’d be more organized about my garden, so a year-end recap seems like a good idea. Overall I’d give my garden a C – passing but not particularly impressive. Part of that was the weather (unusually cool, wet, late spring), and part was my errors.

[Quick description of my space: our yard is quite small and the planting spaces are mostly against one fence. I have one raised bed (~3’sq.) and two narrower in-ground areas, plus containers. The yard is dominated by an apple tree; there’s also a lemon tree, both of which increasingly shade as the summer goes on. We rent, so I’m limited in what changes I can make. This year I put in a temporarly drip irrigation line through the planting areas.]

Onions (in raised bed): I only got one usable bulb out of the whole batch. They just didn’t have enough depth of soil to get very big, and they tended to rot when it rained a lot (beginning and end of the season). Doubt I’ll plant again especially since onions are cheap at the store.

Squash: all my squash and zucchini died early – too much rain in early spring is my guess.

Peppers: the first round of peppers met the same fate as the squash. I bought two more plants and put them in self-watering pots; they did OK but with the late start and the pots the fruit didn’t mature until October and never got very big.

Tomatoes: I planted 6 plants, all from the local master gardeners’ tomato and pepper sale. The three in the ground (different slicer varieties) never did that well, and were too shaded by the trees by the end of the summer. What small fruit I did get tasted good. One of the three in the raised bed died early; the other two thrived but more as plants than as tomato producers. One was a red grape, and one was a yellow pear, and both produced a lot of fruits late. The drip irrigation did save me some time and helped on the hottest days, but was far from flawless.

Swiss chard & cabbage: these were beside the house and got pretty leggy in the summer. I think they need a cooler spot, or just to be grown in the spring/fall. They’re still in the ground and hopefully they’ll winter OK.

Winter garden: I sowed some spinach and kale seeds in the raised bed after I pulled out the tomatoes, so we’ll see if anything comes up.

Next year I will: buy less tomato plants, plant them out later, and put the slicers in the best positions, skip onions and resign myself to watering by hand.

If you garden, how did your garden do this year?

And here it’s nearly August

Well, summer has arrived in the Bay Area at last, which means that my garage-slash-sewing room is pretty toasty most of the day. I’ve been out in my tiny garden urging on my poor tomato plants, and doing a lot of other things besides sewing. But, as the experts say, if you can’t sew, buy fabric and patterns! Hot Patterns is having a 20% off sale until the end of the month, and so I pulled the trigger on the Marrakesh pants which so many folks on PR have had success with. I also bought the Colette Beignet with a discount code I received for filling out their survey. It’s another one of those patterns I’ve been meaning to try for a while, but have never gotten around to.

I’ve just changed my blog theme, and updated some of the widgets on the front page. If you see anything wonky, please do let me know.