Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My potatoes are here!

I have 10 different types of potatoes. Yay! In total I will have about 95 plants. The different types I have and there description:
Desiree/Rose colored with a creamy yellow inside
Purple Majesty/ Purple outside and inside
Russet Burbank/ typical french fry or baked potato type
Nooksack/ Not sure??? Ha!
Yellow Finn/ brown with yellow inside kinda like a Yukon gold
Sangre/very red outside white inside
Irish Cobbler/brown outside white inside
Viking Purple/Deep purple outside with hints of hot pink very white inside
Basic Red Potatoes/We all know what these look like:)
All Blue/Dark blue purple on the outside and blueberry colored on the outside
Some of these are early potatoes which mean I can eat them sooner. Some are late potatoes which take one and a half to twice as long to mature. I will just have to play it by ear. I could very well get as many as 1,000 potatoes out of my plants. I don't think I can eat all of those. I will be selling some at the market. Wish me luck!

Bean Teepees

This is a space saver when growing beans. Above is a small space version of the bean tee pee. Your poles can be wood or bamboo. You want to use 5-6 poles that are at least 6 -7 feet tall. Make a tee pee out of them and tie them at the top. Then you will need to make notches with a knife where you will tie the string. If not the rope will slip down. You can plant a bean plant on each side of the poles (2 between each pole). When they start to grow help guide them and then the bean plant should do the rest.
The picture above is what it should look like when it has grown quite a bit.

These are larger more spaced out tee pees. They are called living tee pees and can be fun for kids. Also they are interesting to look at! :) You will have to pick beans from the outside and the inside.

This gives you a better view of what a large kids bean tee pee looks like without the beans.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

transplating garlic

I had these to garlic cloves growing inside in a container. They started looking sad so I decided they needed more room. I am planting them in the ground outside by my grow box. I just wanted to show you what the roots already look like at a month.

Monday, March 22, 2010

growing potato in buckets

If you want to grow potatoes in buckets you will need to know a few things. You can use 5 gallon buckets but as large as plastic garbage can (you know the big round ones) Just make sure they are plastic and not see through. You will want to drill at least 1/2 inch size holes in the bottom. Drill quite a few for drainage. You will need to drill more along the bottom sides. It is best to put them on top of rocks or bricks so they drain well. put about 4 inches of dirt in the bottom to start. Place your tater seed on top of the dirt. 2 seed potato for 5 gallon buckets and a few more if you use a big trash can. Just space them apart well. If you use a large trash can you can fit at least 4 or 5 seed, one in the middle and a few around it. Cover them with about 3 more inches of dirt. After they start to come up you need to cover them again but with a dirt and mulch mix. Some people use cut hay and dirt maybe with a little cow manure. I think a 1/3 of each is a good mix. Keep using this method until your are 4 inches from the top of the 5 gallon bucket. If you have used a trash can figure about 2 feet from where the potato seed is. If your trash can is very tall and wont be about 5 or 6 inches left at the top you need to cut the trash can down to make it a bit shorter. Once the buckets or cans are filled just let them go wild. The potato plant is very nice looking with flowers. Once it has stopped flowering and the plant starts to yellow a bit and get droopy it is time to harvest. You can check for potatoes by digging down a side carefully with your hands to check to see if you have good size taters. Pull the plant out by hand. Pick any off still attached to the root system. Then dump your buckets on the side and start pulling dirt and potatoes out. Save this dirt for another area of your garden. It ends up being pretty rich. Just don't replant potatoes in it. This dirt can also be the start of a compost pile. By adding banana peels, old plants, l.eaves, crushed egg shells and old veggies from the fridge it will become the best dirt ever.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Just to give you an idea of how big my garden is.

This was taken last April of 2009. Just to give you an idea of how big my garden is. Stacey took this picture at the front fence and I am standing all the way at the back fence. Do you think I have enough room?? This year I will fill this area up, the front porch, the small bed in front of the house and I have already started planting near the ditch at the very front of my property by the road. I am going to take up every bit of this garden this year.

What's growing on the ground?

I have a spot in the garden that i have planted a few things right on the ground. above are leeks. I also planted Red onions and bunch onion. I will have to move these when the tractor come in. which is fine. I am going to plant onions all over the place and garlic to help with the bugs. The leeks will find a special Leek garden somewhere off to the side where they won't be bugged! no pun intended. Leeks aren't ready to pull until at least fall and you really want a good hard frost to have at them first. You can leave them in the ground all winter and pull as needed. I have been told that they can even handle getting snowed on. cold improves the taste.
This is a brussel sprout... and a sprout is all that it will be. They don't do so well here. The summer is to hot. I was hoping I could nurse mine and mulch heavily for good water retention. Then maybe give them a screen so they get some sun but don't get burned all summer. I will give it a try even though I will probably fail :( It's just to hot here in the summer. If not i will try to grow them in the fall. They too like a colder day and brisker temp.

More radishes. I mixed up the white and the red so it will be a surprise. I like surprises. It only takes about a month for radishes to grow.

This is one of my shallots finally coming up. Yay! I love shallots... Shallots and potatoes! Most of my garden could be used in a gourmet kitchen. I was thinking about ordering a portabella mushroom growing kit. They are fairly cheap and grow way more mushrooms then I can cook. Something else i might consider selling at market.

Veggies Growing outside

Since I live in Georgia it is not covered in a blanket of snow. So I was able to start a few things outside the last week of Feb. and first week of Mar. Above are an assortment of white icicle radishes and regular radishes. I have also planted beets and white egg turnips which aren't shown. They are doing great!
I have attempted carrots again. Finally I was able to get them to start growing. It's so hard to plant them 1 inch apart so it's better to just toss them in and thin later. I think the key with carrots is water! keep them moist until they start to grow well then water normal. If you plant carrot seeds outside when it is warm enough you want to make sure you cover them and keep them watered until they sprout good. Maybe instead of having a row of carrots try many short rows and inch or two apart and then cover them. You can make little row covers by buying the long windowsill pots. a 3 foot one would be good. doesn't have to be a deep one. Cut the bottom of the long pot off and duck tape painters plastic(I love duck tape) so when you flip it upside down on a few rows no more than 3 feet long its a cover with a sky lite. lift only to water when needed. check daily. Once the seeds have sprouted great and look hardy you can remove it and water as needed. Carrots will take when it is still chilly out. Just wait until after the last frost.
Garlic is so easy to grow. Yes these long shoots are Garlic. All you need is a good garlic bulb. Take the bulb apart and plant each garlic clove 3 inches apart and about 1 inch deep. Point side up ruff side down. They take root so quickly.. I understand it takes a long time to grow. At least till the end of summer. If your garlic grows big then starts to yellow and dry out check one to see if its ready. You don't want to leave them in the ground for too long or they will go nasty. use a hand shovel and start at least as far as what the bulb might be wide. Go straight down and then push up the earth to loosen. try to tap off as much dirt as you can. you will need to let them dry and then you should be able to wipe the dirt clean off. If you have many bulbs you can actually braid them together. And hang them in your kitchen. to dry more.

I have already started Potatoes in Buckets since my garden has not been plowed yet. I will be doing more of these when my other potato seed order comes in. This method will be one of a few I will use to grow potatoes. These are Red potatoes. I loved growing them last year. There is nothing like a tater grown at home. My potatoes only travel 50 feet to my kitchen and dinner plate... Most folks taters have frequent flyer miles by the time they eat them. I also have all blue potatoes planted in the ground behind this grow box. I still have about 14 more pounds of potatoes to plant. I think I am going to have to sell them at the farmers market.
I think everyone should grow potatoes. It's so easy. I had 20 plants last year this year I should have about 100.

Seedlings inside

List of what i have started to grow inside:
Two types of tomato, 2 types of eggplant, Jalapeno, cayenne pepper, herbs, Artichoke, leeks, garlic, onion, Asian green bean, Brussel sprouts, zucchini, yellow squash and cucumbers.... There is so much I am sure i have forgotten something.

Starting my vegetable garden inside

I've started alot of veggies inside. Some have already been transplanted into larger pots. I have also been creative on using other items around the house to plant in.

These are my leek seedlings. They come up pretty fast inside. I covered mine with a clear shower cap and the other with clear painters plastic. If you start onions of any kind in a round pot you can buy a bag of clear shower/dryer caps from sally's beauty supply. They fit over and snug on any pot not bigger then your head! :) It helps keep them moist>less watering. most of my seedlings and starter pots just get misted with a squirt bottle. when I say misted I mean soaking the soil around the seedling not the plant itself. it doesn't disrupt the seed and new growth as much.... I would just make sure you bottle is big>mine is small and I have to fill it up a lot.

It's 2 weeks to plow time in the garden so I have decided to start a few seeds you would normally sow straight in the ground. I figure I can have veggies that much faster. The day I transplant these I will also start seeds in the ground. These pots have 3 brussel sprout, 2 yellow squash, 2 zucchini and 1 cucumber for pickles... We love Pickles! Yes we do! We made homemade garlic dill pickles last year. They were a hit where ever I took them. Homemade dill pickles are great for fried pickles. YUM! When it gets closer to pickle time I will post my secret pickle recipe. It's super easy and there is no canning involved. Start saving glass jars and lids now though. Any kind will work.. I save sauce jars, glass mayo jars or you can just buy new also.

The 8 pots to the right have globe artichoke growing.. So far it looks like 5 out of 8 will be transplanted. I will be planting them in the far back corner of my garden where the soil retains the most moisture and the weeds and wild things seem to grow like giants. I think they will like there. I will also plant a blueberries and sunflowers back there. Eventually that corner will become the permanent corner for Vegetables and fruit that will produce many seasons. I would love to have more fruit in my garden.

Spring 2010

It's time to start fresh and grow fresh! Now that it's spring I am starting to get the garden itch.. You know what i am talking about. You can't wait to start planting and growing your own food! I started my seeds inside early this year. I am also going to be planting some more permanent vegetable and fruit plants this year. I also have decided to order a wide variety of seed potato. Last years potatoes did very well out in the garden.. Georgia dirt isn't the best. So last year was a "science project" to find out what did and didn't grow so easily. Some vegetables like carrots I have decided to try again. I have learned from my mistakes last year. I also learned that there is a dead zone in my garden which I will not waste my time on this year. It will be the new home for container plants like bucket potatoes. and shovel storage. Maybe next year that is where I will build a raised bed or two. Most of the garden this year will be potatoes but I will be using other growing methods to limit how much space they take up. We are also going to hit the zucchini hard and tomatoes.... It will be a given that I will end up with way to much eggplant, since this seems to grow off the hook out there. Why I don't know???? Odd... I loved the white eggplant but have not been able to find the seeds this year. So I decided to plant seeds from my white eggplant last year... Then I found out it won't likely be white. I had 2 or 3 kinds surrounding it. So we have decided to name it Surprise Eggplant because I don't know what it will look like. This should be interesting. I would also like to try beans this year again. The deer ate a 30 foot row of beans overnight last season. I have decided to grow beans and tomatoes on my front porch instead. I hope this makes it a little harder for the deer. I have declared war on the deer! I will be trying a few make it yourself sprays (organic) for bugs and deer this year. The bugs are horrible. I would also like to raise some Guinea fowl to help keep the bugs under control this year. I know I will ramble on if I don't stop myself :) I will post pics as the vegetables grow.