The rain has set me back a few weeks. I didnt want to plant nice straight rows of seeds, only to have them be washed away/around by all the rain we have been having.
Seriously, its been a very ugly winter.
Today was a gorgeous day, and the weather forecast predicts that the next few days will be rain free. So I immediately took advantage of it, and worked in the garden.
But first, back on December 29th I harvested the first broccoli heads from my "Major" hybrid broccoli. This broccoli formed heads that were much more bunched together, resembling the kind you buy at the supermarket, than the heads I got from my "Packman" broccoli, which was very loose in comparison. When I mean is all the little flowerettes were much more bunched together with "Majors", and looser with "Packman". Also, according to me, "Majors" has more of a mild flavor, compared to "Packman", which I liked very much. Not that "Packman" tastes bad or anything.
I was able to harvest the "Major" hybrid broccoli heads, 2 weeks earlier than the 85 days to harvest date. That was nice. I started these from seed, which were from Burpee.
"Major" also doesn't seem to produce as many side shoots as the "Packman" variety does. "Packman" has made tons of side shoots, its hard to keep up with it all. So far, its January 17th and I dont see any side shoot formation coming off the "Major" plants that I cut the heads off back in December.
So if you want lots of broccoli production, and dont mind a looser head formation, "Packman" is the hybrid to choose.
Ok, back to today.
My summer crops, such as California Giant sweet peppers are still alive, despite all the cold weather we have. They aren't producing like the used to in the hot weather, but to my surprise they are still alive.
I also have some Super Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes which I started from seed September 20th 2013. It took them a long time to get going, but they have lots of growth, a few tomatoes are forming, and slight frost damage. But they are still growing. They should have been producing crops back in November, but I think the cold weather has caused delays.
My "Salad Select" Spinach from Burpee is growing, but has been badly eaten by bugs. I dont care because I dont like the texture of this spinach. The leaves are thicker than what I would like.
My "Ruby Perfection" hybrid cabbages are finally forming heads, probably triggered by the cold weather. So far they are looking good.
Today I finally tilled and added tons of compost to my newest, and 3rd plot, in my community garden. It took me 3 hours! It was full of really thick roots, rocks, and other things. I spent lots of time trying to get it as perfect as I could, because this is how the plot will be for the rest of this year. Then I marked off square foot spaces with some twine to create my square foot garden. This is the first time I am using the square foot garden method.
This plot is 3 foot by 11 foot. Then there will be a space of 21 inches between this plot and the one to the right of it. The plot on the right is my 2nd plot which has all my winter garden stuff growing in it. When everything dies down, it will all be tilled into the soil and be turned into another 3 foot by 11 foot square foot garden.
I planted the following seeds today:
Carrots: Muscade (given to me from another gardener), Danvers (some cheap seeds I got from American Seed), Chantenay (also from American Seed), & Amarillo (from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds).
Spinach: Bloomsdale Longstanding (from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds).
Lettuce: EZ Serve (from Burpee), and Red Romaine Lettuce (from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds).
Onions: Red Globe (from Burpee) and White Portugal (given to me by another gardener).
I was able to cut lots of lemon grass today and I made a wonderful tea out of it. I added several stalks with a stick of cinnamon, and a sliver of ginger. Then I boiled it until it smelled wonderful. My family is from the Dominican Republic and they make this tea all the time.
I am zone 9, so I started lots of seeds today in little pots. I started all my watermelons (Jubilee & another unknown variety given to me by another gardener), squash (Fordhook zucchini & yellow squash), and cantaloupe (Ananas D'Amerique, Canary, & Amish) so they get nice and strong before I put them in the garden. We have a squash borer problem in the community garden. I was told to start these plants early so that by the time I transfer them into the garden in April they will be big and can withstand the borers.
I also started all my tomatoes (Blueberry blend, Cherokee Purple, Pink Oxheart, Patio tomato, and Fat cherry), Giant Cape Gooseberry, Ground Cherry, and stevia from seed today. I hope all these will be ready by March 1st to transplant into the garden. I still have my sweet peppers, herbs, and flowers to start from seed.