Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Snow/Ice Garden

I woke up to 19 degrees this morning and a leftover White Christmas. Beautiful

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Using what you've got

I've been planning for 2013 this month and it occurred to me, "Why not just use what I've got?". I currently have eleven varieties of tomato seeds, some dating back to 2010. From what I've read, it appears that Tomato seeds will last three to four years if stored properly. And if your not sure, you can always do a seed germination test. Just moisten a paper towel, place seeds on it, fold it, put it in a plastic bag and then store it in a dark place. Wait two weeks and then check to see which varieties have sprouted.

The problem is I like buying and trying new seed varieties... really like

With limited space, I believe my solution will need to be a three pronged approach:

1. Decided which varieties you enjoyed the most and grew well. Use what you have left over, these will become your stables.
2. Select one or two varieties you haven't tried (either on hand or purchased) and give them a whirl, these will be your garden adventure.
3. Bless someone else, either with seed varieties you have on hand or by growing extra seedlings to share with a friend. I did it this year and it was exciting to visit my friend's garden and see the other varieties I started. Also, some towns have seed libraries where you can donate seeds and try new ones. 

I don't believe there is anything wrong with purchasing new seeds, especially from organizations that preserve heirloom seeds. However, if you've purchased seed like I have you can end up with far more than you need or can use. Instead, consider new ways to use what you've got.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Just in time

I harvested my Tomatoes this week and NOW there is a chance of snow. Blessed!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Tomatoes!

I harvested most of the Tomatoes today, just in time before the cool winter weather arrives. God is good!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The race to March 15th

I've read that its recommended to start your tomatoes indoors eight to ten weeks before your last frost date. Since my last frost date is March 15th, that means January 4th at the earliest! Its ironic, but without knowing this I started my tomatoes on January 4th this year. Just because I was too excited to wait any longer. My problem was that I didn't get them into the ground quick enough. By the time March 15th rolled around we had what seemed like non-stop rain (and laziness). I finally got my tomatoes in the ground around mid April. Now I'm finally getting close to harvesting my first tomato .... in December. I believe I could fertilize much better this year around, but I also believe I need to plan for a March 1st transplant date in 2013. This means, I need to decide which varieties I'm growing over the next month.

What varieties are you considering for 2013?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Early December Garden Update

Its officially December and 80 degrees outside, one of the many reasons I like Texas! I am writing this post with the sun shining and the a warm breeze blowing through my office window (ahhh....). Despite the Farmer's Almanac predictions of Snow Snow Snow for North Texas, it appears we are going for a third growing season this year. This has been great for my late season tomatoes.


I'm fairly certain this is my Pineapple variety from Bountiful Gardens. This one is just starting to turn in color and has that red yellow and orange swirled together like a sunset look that was described for this variety.  Their big too!

This little cherry tomato plant grew out of my compost/random garden bed in the exact same spot my zucchini plant inhabited early this year. By the time I noticed, it already had fruit growing. I didn't have the heart to kill it, but I didn't protect it from the frost either. It appears to be the hardest tomato plant I have as its still green and growing. I should probably save the seeds for next year. 

I harvested the last of my carrots from spring yesterday.  I'm pretty sure I planted these in April or early May and their growth really took off this last month. I cleaned, chopped and added them to my roasted potatoes for last night's dinner. Both had great flavor, the cream variety was a tad milder than the red.

I planted Beets a couple of weeks ago to have some more winter crops available. I've heard they are light feeders and taste great when roasted.
The Broccoli is doing really well. It appears to like this weather and the light shade it receives. I look forward to seeing the head and side shoots soon.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


My first seed catalog for 2013 arrived today from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I've never purchased from them before, but I'm excited by all the options. 2013 is going to be great!