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...
In the Garden