Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Veggie Garden Update-January 2010

Tina's Veggie Garden Update-Tennessee:

Now that the 'big arctic' freeze is over I had the heart to venture outside and explore the garden a bit. I must say I am most excited to see any green in the vegetable garden but to find as much as I did I am most excited! This Swiss chard (pictured above) is a keeper. It has been growing in the garden since last spring and seems to show no sign of letting up. I have purchased more seed and this is one vegetable I will always grow in my garden.
The Chinese cabbage is another keeper. This 'cabbage' is growing under a coldframe and has held up really well. I can't wait until it gets a bit bigger so I can start cutting the leaves for salads. The spinach that was also growing in this coldframe did not fare as well, but I am hopeful it will bounce back soon.
Finally-see those seedlings above? They are lettuce seedlings NOT growing in the coldframe. I planted these in November and they have all hung on despite the frigid temperatures. I am most excited with these!

I also have some elephant garlic, turnip greens, and onions growing and they are all doing outstanding. You'd hardly think it was cold here at all.

The Chinese cabbage, lettuce, spinach, and turnip greens are all growing in the vegetable bed where I buried manure 10" deep under the soil. I don't think the manure has generated any heat so it is simply not helping the vegetables with warmth. However, it will make a big difference come this summer when I plant gourds in the bed. I will continue to amend the soil with manure when I don't have compost available but I prefer compost. Next winter I may try something different in my coldframe. I read in a book (Brother Gardeners) where tannic acid can heat the soil in a coldframe. I've not done any research on it though so I need to research it further before I try it out.

It is nearly time to start your seeds here in Tennessee. I usually plant seeds for the summer garden mid to late February, but right now is the time to start your cool weather crop seeds like: lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and chard. Next month I"ll be planting peas in the garden and may pick up some transplants once they come in. I am not big on starting vegetable seedlings since I think there is a pretty good variety in the stores but I will be starting a few.

How is your vegetable garden growing? And are you ready for it to ramp up real soon? I'm not!

Skeeter's Veggie Garden Update-Georgia:The gourds I grew in my Georgia Garden are hanging in the shed as they continue to dry. I will turn the larger ones into birdhouses while making other crafts from the smaller gourds.

Again, as in the past few years, we are receiving way too much rain in the yard. It was already a soggy mess and here we had over 2 more inches this past weekend! Ouch...We made a great attempt to have a vegetable garden the past two years but with little success. I am sad to say we are giving it up as it is too costly and time consuming for such little rewards. The fence you see above will come out of the ground and we will leave the pine straw and leaves as a natural area of water run-off. We will continue to incorporate sweet peppers, herbs and tomatoes into the flower garden as they do thrive there. We chose a bad spot for our Veggie Garden and we knew it would be a gamble. We have lots of land but no great area to dig a new Vegetable Garden without cutting major trees. We have just decided to dwell on the things we know we can grow with our current conditions.I have finally gotten around to playing with the smaller gourds from our 2008 crop. They have a coat of white paint on them and soon they will be snowmen. I will show the finished product at some point. I have put them on the back burner for now as we are going to be tied up for the next week or so.

This will be my last entry to the Monthly Vegetable Update as I don't see how I could keep anyone interested in peppers, maters and herbs for an entire year! Ha ha... Happy Vegetable Gardening in 2010, In the Garden...

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,

In the Garden


  1. Tina, almost time for seedlings up here too! I think I'll stick with the ones in the stores tho.
    Skeeter, Are you going to do gourds?

  2. Tina, I'm just a tad bit jealous, just saying...

    Skeeter, we have attempted a veggie garden in four areas of our luck. I am getting ready to start some veggies in containers and see what happens from there. I will also be growing some gourds, (seeds courtesy of Fairegarden) for the first time this year. I'm sure I'll be asking for birdhouse tips if they make!!

  3. The only thing that is still going in our garden is the cilantro! I should have tried harder with the chard but the greenhouse project has kept me busy. I probably could get some lettuce and spinach started soon. I need to get my seeds ordered for the year!

  4. Good morning. I envy you being able to grow 'greens' almost all winter long.

    Skeeter, that's a shame about the vegetable garden. I'm incorporating more edibles into my ornamental gardens too. Strawberries and lettuce as ground covers and swiss chard Rainbow Blend is as pretty as many flowers.

  5. Tina, it's very uplifting to see those lettuce seedlings! New life is emerging.
    Skeeter,I can't wait to see your gourd snowmen!

  6. What a relief to see that so much survived the big frost. We have 1 1/2 feet of fresh snow here - poor seedlings. I'm off for a ski soon with the dog so I can't complain.

  7. Good morning everyone!

    Dawn, I am so not ready for garden season! Too soon!

    Skeeter, I must say I'm going to miss you posting with me but I totally understand. Maybe you can incorporate some veggies in other spots in the garden? Especially those gourds. I can't wait to see the snowmen!

    Darla, Trade you some greens for some time to do a puzzle:)

    Dave, Cilantro is good! I tried it last year but the seedlings did not last thru the summer. Maybe I'll try it again.

    Marnie, It has been so nice. I need to go pick some soon.

    Tatyana, Hard to believe it is nearly spring!

    Sarah, You have fun! What a life!

  8. Tina, I'm amazed to see all these greens growing in your vegetable garden! Here the earliest I might even think about the veggie garden is March, and usually it's much later than that before I can really work the ground. I don't start seedlings for the vegetable garden either; the tomato and pepper plants I can buy at the garden center do so much better for me than anything I've tried to start indoors.

    Skeeter, sorry to hear you're giving up on the vegetable garden, but I understand having the proper location doesn't always work out. One the things I was disappointed with in my own garden this past year were the gourds, which never grew; I think I planted them too late. Love your little snowmen! I hope you'll show us the finished pieces.

  9. WOW!!1 Tina.... U have grown awesome veggies in your garden... all thrilling... just hang on.... Mehnat ka phal meeta hota hain...

    Those gourds that u have & are going to use in your art projects are simply mind boggling ones... The ones u have made are so cute & interesting.... & I can imagine the ones u would shaping up.... further... They are going to be sure wonders...

    Perfect for all those artistic crafts that can be a part of your beautiful home.... Hand Made ones!!! That thought gives the satisfaction.... when admired by loved ones.... WISH U ALL SUCCESS!!! which I am sure of...


  10. I must plant something.

  11. Wowie Tina, you have done great for all the cold you have had. It has snowed for the best part of 4 days here and I bet we have over a foot of fluffy pristine snow. It sure is pretty right now since I can't remember when we have had this much snow. Since it is nearly 40 degrees here on the coast it will not stay long so my window scene is awesome right now.

    So sorry the veggies did not work out for you Skeeter. As much as I love flowers I get much more pleasure out of the veggies but I can relate. We have 3 acres here with only a few trees but yet we really only have 1 good spot for veggies and it does not even get full sun but it works for me and I am thankful for that. Love the pending snowmen.

  12. Good morning everyone! I soooo should not be on here as the Saints parents are arriving today and I still have so much to do in order to get ready for them but I wanted to say hey to all….

    Dawn, I am not sure just yet on the gourds. I have so many to play with now and I am just getting to the years 2008 so I doubt it....

    Darla, Tina and I both put up some informative post on making birdhouses from gourds. Tina’s postings got me to give them a try. If you have luck with the seeds, look on the sidebar and click on gourds and you will find them…

    Dave, I had no luck with Cilantro last year. I so wanted to make fresh salsa with it, my peppers and tomatoes…

    Marnie, we never planed a veggie garden from the time we moved into this house and if we had, we would have placed it where the Semi-Formal flower garden is located as it would have been a perfect spot. Flowers can go anywhere around here…

    Tatyana, I hope I can get to them soon…

    Sarah, a ski with the dog sounds like fun in the snow!

    Tina, you have such greens and soon you will taste those salads! I may try a few smaller things in the flower garden but nothing on the mind just yet. I was just telling Dawn I am doubt I will plant gourds this year as I have so many from last year and just now getting to the craft ones from 2 seasons ago. Lol….

    Rose, How funny as the gourds were the only thing I really had luck with in the veggie garden and my stuff was put in way late. But then again, I am in warmer zone so we have long summers here…

    Ashkuku, The most rewarding thing I ever did in the garden was to grow a gourd, turn it into a birdhouse and watch two families of blue birds being raised in it. Most rewarding craft of all my crafting over the years!

    Mothernature, get busy!

    Jean, I just don’t think it was meant to be with us and a veggie garden. I saw how my next door neighbors flourished last year and he got the bug of a veggie garden after seeing us work on one. Now he has luck and I did not. Location is the key and we just don’t have the location without cutting trees or putting it in a not so appealing spot for my eyes to see. Oh well, thank goodness for roadside veggie stands!

    I'll get back on here when possible....

  13. Tina ~ Seeing your veggies makes me want to grow some, buy the cost factor, the soil we have here, and the night time critters who wreak havoc make me say no.

    Skeeter ~ I'm sorry your veggie garden didn't work out. You live in a great area for gardening too.

    The snowmen are going to be sweetiepies.


  14. Tina the Chard does sound like a great one! Sweet Pea tried some but the slugs found it and ate it practically overnight. I was just thinking that it's getting close to starting tomato seeds. I love the cold frame idea and need to make that a project for us this year so we can grow some greens next winter.
    Skeeter - I wish I could grow those gourds! I love the ones I've seen as birdhouses, and the snowmen will be very cute! I'm cutting back on veggies too this year and will probably grow mostly the same things you will be.

  15. Isn't it amazing what continues to thrive despite adverse weather? I am sorry your vegetable garden didn't work out the way you wanted. At least you can still grow some vegetables in your perennial beds.

  16. Amazing Tina. You'll be harvesting soon. I didn't know lettuce could take that kind of cold. I'm thinking of starting some cold hardy veggies in my little garden plot but not till March! I thought that was early but no way I can compete with you girls!
    Creative idea to make snowmen out of the gourds too Skeeter. They will be adorable.

  17. Very impressive !!
    Veggies after all our bad weather.
    Next week I'll get out there and do some cleaning....maybe some surprises.

  18. Hello tina.

    Love your white gourds!! So beautiful and fantastic! We used to dry gourds, hollow them out and carry them as water flasks for centuries. We didn't usually paint them, though. I like to eat the Chinese cabbage too. Yours look fresh and delicious! Thank you for sharing all these!

  19. Looks like you made some great veggie choices. My lettuce was not in a cold frame and it is a mess now. There may be some new growth since we had some warmer days. As Skeeter said -- more rain- UGH!!