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Archive for January, 2011

Greetings everyone and happy New Year!

Winter is by far my favorite gardening season. You wake up and the last few flakes are still sifting down from that 8-inch snow that canceled the schools. You look out at the flat white expanse where the garden was last year and you smile as the dog tears around in the new snow.

Ah, isn’t it beautiful! Just an expanse of rock-hard dirt under the powder, growing nothing, demanding nothing. Nothing gone awry. For a few days, I am a perfect gardener!

Strawberry and asparagus beds. Sleep tight, angels.

 

But it’s January and time to wiggle my fingers and toes (and brain cells). The seed catalogs await. The hibernation is about to end.

Last weekend, I got out the graph paper and began to map the kind of garden we want for 2011. But to properly begin, we have to start with a look back at 2010. Here’s a breakdown:

Successes

Once again, pickling cucumbers and butternut squash were off the charts. I probably have enough pickles in the downstairs refrig to go a whole year without making more. (But I know I won’t.) Butternut squash were also, as usual, an unqualified success.

Cauliflower and broccoli were great for us also, as was the Swiss chard, which I plan to grow from now on.

Complete or partial failures

The tomatoes were only so-so. My aim was to plant a huge variety of different colors, so I had several different kinds of both cherry and slicers. And some did better than others. The chocolate cherries (brownish red) were the best for yield, but I liked the flavor of the orange and yellow ones better. Black from Tulah (dark purple-red-green) was the best slicer. I may plant it this year. Mr. Stripey gave us huge red and yellows, but struck me as a little bland.

Multi-colored carrots–when will I learn about planting a “rainbow mix” of anything? I did that with carrots this year, expecting to get a variety of gold, red, orange and white. What I got was mostly white.  Then again the rainbow chard was well mixed. So go figure.

Green beans–What can I say? The Blue Lake variety that always has done so well for us in the past succumbed to an infestation of some kind of bug which we missed because we were out of town. I replanted, but to no avail. A round of exceptional weather–heat, rain, drought–conspired against us

So this year, I need lots more green beans for the freezer, and lots more Roma tomatoes to replenish our tomato puree store. Some more spinach would be nice, and maybe some more of that spring greens mix that was so good for salad.  We’ll have a few odd and amazing colors, but maybe not so many as last year.

Time to get out the catalogs. I can hardly wait.

 

Sorry Butch, no rabbits today

Posted by: Roxie

 

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