February 19, Weekly Update (belated)

Lettuces, washed

Lettuces

Our only harvest for the week was lettuce.  We got the next round of peas sowed on Tuesday afternoon (after soaking them for 24 hours).  We sowed two varieties of shelling (English) peas in one long box and two varieties of sugar snaps in another long box.

Cold temperatures happened again on Saturday.  It snowed huge flakes most of the day but the ground temperature was above freezing so we had nothing more than a dusting in the woods as accumulation. I was up at 8 am in a frenzy, putting burlap over boxes.  It was cold on Sunday, and belying the weathermen again, 18 degrees on Monday morning.

We’re expecting onion plants and seed potatoes to arrive this week.  Both are supposed to ship on 2/18.  We decided not to start our own onions from seed this year in the hopes that maybe we’ll grow larger onions if someone else starts them (yes, I realize the logic might be questionable.  It sounded good in my head at the time…).  We ordered 2 bunches (50-75 plants per bunch) of “Candy” onions from Dixondale Farms.  We’ll plant them out right away (weather permitting, of course) in two of the long beds (2’ x 12’).

We also ordered a couple of seed potato varieties this year from Roniger’s that we can’t get locally – two different types of russets.  Russets don’t produce all that great here but we wanted to give it another try, after our first try at russets 3 years ago (we did get some, just of a smaller size than we were hoping).  What can I say, once again it sounded like a good idea when I was flipping through the catalog back in December.  Next weekend we’ll also pick up some Kennebec and Red Pontiac seed potatoes at our local garden center.  We chit the potatoes in our sunroom (which is also our home office) and we’ll plant them out on March 11 (the dark of the moon this year).

We spent some time this week putting together the specifics of the seed starting plan.  We already have our calendar marked for what gets started when (e.g., tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, peppers, etc.), but the specifics done this week include “how many” and the exact varieties.  So it’s really a firming up of garden space planning as well.  We’re going to have significantly fewer pepper plants (and varieties) this year.  We’re planning on “only” 44 plants:  22 sweet (6 varieties) and 22 hot (9 varieties).  I know that sounds like a lot to many people (and it is) but it’s a lot less than the 76 or so plants we had last year and something like 120 the year before that.

One of the reasons for fewer pepper plants (other than we just don’t need as many peppers as we’ve been getting) is that we’re planning on converting another long box that’s off to the side to berries this year.  Last year, we planted raspberries as a permanent “crop” and we’re looking at doing a different type of berry in the box next to the raspberries.  We still have some time before we have to decide exactly what type of berry we want to plant, but we’re currently leaning towards blackberries.  Unless we decide that having a lot of raspberries is fun, and we just plant more of them.

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