Saturday, September 24, 2011

Back in the Swing of Things

I knew we'd be back in time to work on the garden this year, but I honestly didn't expect to plant such a big garden right away. I think I got carried away at the local co-op when I was buying plants.

I ended up with one entire bed of broccoli. There are 18 plants here. I'll probably lose some, but they should produce quite a bit of broccoli.

Here are more broccoli plants (another 6, I think?), plus 12 brussels sprouts plants up there on the far end.

Now if you've been around here long, you've probably caught my rants about brussels sprouts. I grew beautiful brussles sprouts one year. Early spring of 2007, to be exact. I know that because I was pregnant with Sedona, which explains why I look so tired in this picture of me proudly displaying said brussels sprouts: Completely unrelated side note, this absolutely adorable picture of Sierra at 2 years old was in the same folder (she picked her own outfit, which I hope is obvious): But back to brussles sprouts. Every time I've tried to grow them since then, I haven't gotten a single thing. The sprouts form when it's cool out, then it warms up and the sprouts open. And for the last several years, we've regularly dealt with wild temperature swings. But this year I'm going to try to outsmart the weather. A friend of mine put milk jugs filled with water next to her tomato plants to act as a heat sink and keep them warm on chilly nights. I'm going to try the opposite by freezing filled jugs and setting them next to the brussels sprouts so their immediate environment stays a more constant, and more cool, temperature. No idea if it will work, but I have tons of freezer space, so why not try?

On to more pictures:
This is the other side of that same bed. It's got three different kinds of cabbage. I don't even know how many plants...20-ish if I remember right. I couldn't help it, I just got carried away. We made sauerkraut one year and not wanting to make it again, so I guess we'll have a lot of coleslaw and fried cabbage. There are also a few cauliflower plants down in the corner. This is the first time we've tried to grow it. There are more cauliflower plants in another bed (12 total, I think)

Out here there are 12 tomato plants. It's really too late to be putting in tomatoes around here, but it's been so warm, I figured I'd try anyway. I'm gonna use that milk jug trick to try to keep them warm so maybe they'll produce fruit before it freezes. I just haven't had a proper, homegrown tomato in over a year and had to give it a try.

The green peas and Blue Lake beans I planted last weekend have already sprouted and started unfurling their little leaves. I think my big task next weekend is going to have to be getting supports up for them to start climbing!

4 comments:

Karen said...

We planted 4 broccoli plants and it has produced all spring. summer and is now still producing into fall. I had never grown these before but I'm sure we will be planting them again.

The Hills said...

We've always had good luck with broccoli here. We've been able to harvest one large head of broccoli and then it continues to put out smaller off shoots as long as we keep harvesting. Sometimes it ends up going to flower in the warm weather, but even that's pretty!

Karen said...

So when do you stop picking? When does it stop producing?

The Hills said...

Oops, sorry, I didn't see this! We usually get the big main crown and then one or two rounds of off shoots, then we end up letting it flower because it starts putting out more loosely packed florets and we don't like those as much.

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