Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Garden News

Despite the time of year and despite the cold temperatures, there is still garden news to report. Nothing outside, of course, it's the greenhouse and future planning that makes the news this time around.

First to report is the fact that I have several plants hanging out in the greenhouse. There are a bunch of pepper plants, 3 tomatoes, a pineapple sage, geraniums, mesclun mix lettuce and several other 'rescue' plants that I bought for .25 and .50 at Lowes at the end of the season. My hope for the rescue plants is for them to be used in containers come spring.

My myriad of pepper plants, tomatoes and geraniums.

The mesclun lettuce is coming right along!

This year's greenhouse season has been interesting so far. My plants have been invaded by whiteflies and aphids. I've even found some small, strange stick looking bug, a few leafhoppers, some ants and I have a praying mantis egg sac that was laid on a pepper plant before the adults disappeared. All the insects that are alive and moving around so far have been bad. I was hoping for the mantis sac to hatch but nothing yet. I did happen to find one ladybug in there today, but I believe the workload of eating all those aphids may be too much for one small ladybug. I have attempted to kill them with Neem spray and a soap spray but I'm also waiting on a special shipment of Green Lacewings to hatch and help with the problem. Once those hatch I won't be able to use my sprays. So, due to the pest infestation the plants you see here don't look as great as they should. I'm just glad they're still alive.

The mantis sac.

This year's luffas drying. They were a little late coming in this year so I had to pick them green. I hope to get them in earlier this year.

The other things I've done have to do with planning. I've actually done something pretty amazing for me--I've paper planned the spring and summer gardens! I'm not very good at planning on paper but this year I've turned over a new leaf. No pun intended. ;D I even have a Garden Notebook! In it are a few different sections: general garden info, vegetable planting plans, monthly to do lists for my local area (from the extension service), garden notes, specific plant info and greenhouse. For the vegetable planning, I have the back garden separated into about 19 sections and each one has it's own paper where I have drawn a grid. Beside the grid is the list of what I hope to plant with the date I hope to it in the ground.

Plans for Bed 4

Plans for Bed 11

Part of my plan is to include lots of flowers in a 'companion planting' scheme and just for general looks. Some of those flowers include lots of nasturtium (for supposedly deterring squash bugs--one can hope!) ; borage (to go with the potato plants); cosmos; french marigolds (general good bug attractant); calendula for eating; epazote (a mexican herb to be used in cooking); zinnias and more. I'd like the garden to come alive in 2010.

A sample of the flowers that may adorn my patio in the spring.

My seed orders for this year have been made and anything that isn't on hold for future shipment is already here. I shopped at Baker's Creek Heirloom Seeds, High Mowing Organic Seeds and Southern Exposure seed exchange. I've ordered some news things this year. Seeds for yellow strawberries, ground cherries, hardy kiwi, huckleberries and a watermelon that turns yellow on the outside when it's ripe. I love to try something new every year. I was supposed to try peanuts too but somehow in ordering I left it off. Oh well, there's always next year.

This tomato is already forming some flower buds.
My next seeds to start will be the cabbage and soon some other cole crops. Can you believe that next month the Sugar snaps are supposed to go in the ground already? There's not much of a break in gardening when you like to start plants from seed. See?!? Even in this weather there's Garden News.

1 comment:

Sparklee said...

Wow! I'm impressed! I am still very much a beginner, but I try to do a little more each year.

It will be really cool to watch the mantises hatch!