March 4, Weekly Garden Update

March comes in like a Lamb….except for the thunderstorms at night, with high winds, 1.5 inches of rain, and lightning.

We ate more broccoli from the garden this week. Yummy. Used fresh herbs in several meals, including parsley, cilantro, and sage.

Broccoli

We planted out one tray of onions. We have so many left over (another whole tray) that we’re gonna donate them to one of our local farmers. Then we direct seeded 1/3rd of a box with three varieties of radishes, 2/3rds of a box with two varieties of carrots, and 1 small square box of beets (36 seeds). We reseeded the cilantro box in the vacant areas. And planted 10 varieties of lettuce.

Tomatoes, eggplants, tomatillos, and celery are all sprouting. As of today, not one of the various peppers has germinated. We hope that this isn’t a repeat of last year when round 1 was so poor that we overdid it on round 2 starts.  None of the 6 cabbage seeds sprouted. And they were 2 different varieties so it can’t all be attributable to bad seed. Turns out we don’t really need more right now anyway, because all the overwintered ones have survived.

We bought our seed potatoes yesterday. 22 red la soda (1 box) and 44 kennebecs (2 boxes). We had planned to do red pontiacs, but the local garden center side-stepped us and bought the la sodas instead. After doing a quickie smart phone search on the internet, we decided to try them. We also starting chitting the potatoes. This is a very complicated process whereby you dump them all in a shallow cardboard tray in a warm sunny place. We’ll plant them out on March 22nd in the Dark of the Moon.

We removed two cauliflower plants. These were plants that had started to form heads but then the heads rotted, possibly due to freezing and then rethawing. But the plants showed no signs of forming a new head. We have 3 more cauliflower plants – 2 of which look actually promising, but one of us has about had it with trying to grow heirloom cauliflower here.

The peas need trellising, hoping to do that today. We started hardening off the broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and mustard starts and are looking to plant them on the 10th. We may be planting additional haricots vert this year in the box we had planned to put more cabbage. My father seems to really like them so more plants could lead to more sharing.

Today I made a mess of biscuits (for today and to take to work this week), adding some black pepper and some grated romano & parmesan; not enough to call them “cheese biscuits” but enough to be a flavor enhancer. I took 2 lbs of country sausage we have, and added more tarragon, sage, black pepper, powdered serrano peppers, and some grade B Vermont maple syrup (accept no substitutes).  Most of the sausage we can buy these days just isn’t flavored as much as when I was younger, and it isn’t hard to upgrade it. There was so much tarragon and sage that the uncooked pork started to get a green tinge, but gosh did they cook up nice.  We’re eating heavily out of the freezer and the canned goods for the next month or so; not only do we want to defrost the freezer, but it is good to be sure you cycle through all that food you worked so hard to get put up.  So quail and venison and creamed corn and *stuff* are gonna be on the weekly menu for some time (hurrah!)

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4 Responses to “March 4, Weekly Garden Update”

  1. Norma Chang Says:

    Why do you choose March 22nd in the Dark of the Moon to plant out your potatoes?

    • foodgardenkitchen Says:

      The short real answer is: Folklore. If you look hard enough, you can find people who say “plant at the dark of the moon”, “plant *after* the dark of the moon when the moon is growing”, “plant in the last quarter, but whatever you do don’t plant on the day of the full or new moon”, etc.

      My grandfather always said, “plant potatoes at the dark of the moon in March”, and I grew up believing in it, so I do it. You’ll have to go to other sources if you want any psuedo-science that talks about tides and moon gravity effects – for me it has more to do with the Tao of things.

  2. maryhysong Says:

    I think you will like the Red Lasoda’s. That’s what I grew in TX and they were quite productive, especially if you like tender red new potatoes. Perhaps your seed trays are too hot? too cold? too wet? too dry? Usually cabbage family anything is the first to jump out of the ground….

  3. kitsapfg Says:

    Your garden work is really kicking into higher gear. I put my potatoes out to start chitting last week also. None of my potatoes have broken winter dormancy yet this year, so it may take a while to get them to chit for planting.

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