Saturday, April 3, 2010

Fun in the Garden

We planted a winter garden this year and have had mixed results. Something is eating our lettuce. We aren't sure if it's lizards or crickets or squirrels. I'm pretty sure the rabbits living in the alley can't jump our five foot fence. I guess if we see an explosion of any of those populations, we know what we fed through the winter.

I think the biggest problem was we planted too late in the season. Or I expected too much from the garden during the cold weather. Or we need to add some fertilizer to the ground. We planted in mid-September and weren't able to harvest anything until February. We had some very wet spells in the fall, so I stopped watering as much. As a result our carrots weren't able to grow very deep into the ground and came out short and squatty. Then we found this carrot last week that is the biggest I've ever seen from our garden. Mr. S ate the whole thing. He loves to eat the carrots from the garden. Our winter carrots have definitely tasted better than the ones we planted in the spring.
We also had some success with broccoli. I think we planted the wrong variety because none of the bunches of broccoli grew very big. It took four or five plants to get enough broccoli to feed our family.

We also planted beets. I think beets are very pretty when you slice them. My parents always had beets in the garden when I was a kid. We've found a great recipe for beet green that some of the kids will eat. We also were able to make some Ukrainian Borscht soup with beets and carrots from our garden. This is my favorite recipe Chad brought home from his mission. Unfortunately the cabbage wasn't ready in time so we had to buy some. Maybe the beets will survive for one more round of soup when the cabbage heads finally finish forming.
As our winter garden is finishing up we have started again on the spring garden. We cleared out another area of the year and hope to rotate our garden between these two areas. We waited to plant until after Valentine's day to avoid any freezes, and then there was a late freeze. Our tomatoes and peppers survived, but their growth is definitely behind what it could have been. Some new things we've tried for this year is garlic, potatoes, and asparagus. I'm really hoping the asparagus roots produce. That is one of my favorite veggies.

Right now Chad is at a feed store doing some research into chickens. He's been studying some building plans for a chicken coop for the last few weeks as well. I keep telling him if he really wants chicken he has to take care of it. If they die from neglect because he's not around, so be it. I'm not taking care of chickens and a baby at the same time. I guess we can't be like normal sane people and get a dog.


Andy and Sara said...

That carrot looks fantastic. You're making me want to plant a garden.

Sarah said...

Maybe Chad could use the same chicken coop building plan as Darrell and Kendra -- their coop is adorable.

TrishAnderson said...

That is a huge carrot. My sis in law Jen has multiple chickens at their house. Mu kid love helping uncle Craig go gather the eggs when we go over there. Good luck with those.