Last year I became more interested in growing vegetables. I started with the usual stuff - tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, okra, and beans. The cucumber vines tried to take over the garden! My Sweet 100 tomatoes did really well, but the others were disappointing. I planted the beans late, so it was a race to get them mature enough to harvest before frost. Okra was good - it loves our hot Summers. The bell peppers barely made a few peppers, but the Jalepeno hot peppers did wonderfully well. But the real high point of the garden was early one July morning when I discovered a baby bird just learning to fly!
When the heat of Summer finally began to ease, I planted onions, radishes, and carrots in containers, a mixture of seeds in each container. Planting dates were August 31, September 13, and September 20.
The first radishes, Early Scarlet Globe, matured quickly. The first harvest (from August 31 planting) was October 4. October was the month of the radishes!
In November I began covering the containers at night as our temperatures dipped below freezing.
Plastic bags filled with hay or straw snuggled up against the containers, along with plastic sheeting over the tops at night, keeps them warm enough to continue growing. This is a recent photo - all the radishes have been harvested; just onions and carrots left in this container.
On November23, just in time for Thanksgiving, the first carrots, Little Fingers, were ready for harvest! These baby carrots really are about the size of your finger, but will grow larger if you can resist pulling them! They are deliciously crisp with more carrot flavor than mass-produced store-bought carrots. And we had fresh radishes from the garden, too!
The radishes were all gone by mid-December, but we enjoyed baby carrots all through December and January.
The Garden in 2012
The onions, Evergreen Long White Bunching, have been very slow growing. According to the seed packet, maturity is 120 days.
I pulled this one on Tuesday, January 24, just to see if they were big enough to eat. Small, but delicious! Look what a root system! Great potential, I think, for future growth. I'll give them more time. In the Spring I am going to plant onion sets instead of starting from onion seed, so as to get them going faster.
I've never grown lettuce or other salad greens, but thanks to the 52 Week Salad Challenge at Veg Plotting, I am going to give them a try this year.
Last week I bought radish seeds (Cherry Belle) and two packets of lettuce seeds (Black Seeded Simpson and Mesclun Greens Mixture). According to the packet directions, I can start them in March. I still have Little Finger baby carrot seeds left over from last year. As soon as onion sets are in the stores, I'll get them. By mid-April it should be warm enough to set out tomato plants, cucumbers, and peppers.
I am hoping for a great year of growing my own salads!
And may all of you have a great year of growing and eating salads!
Mississippi, USA, Zone 7.
Forecast: low temperature Saturday night 25 F, Sunday's high 54 F.
After a light snow on Thursday and below freezing temperatures, I was surprised to find any blooms, but here they are!
An Oxalis sheltered by the porch thrives in our hot, dry summers and cold, rainy winters -
a real winner!
Hellebores - The Lenten Rose bloom hangs down, so I lifted its head to see inside.
This double daffodil is commonly known as Butter and Eggs. As the bloom matures and opens fully, the green petals turn to buttery yellow - the color of scrambled eggs!
I do not know what this is. I think the buds are just as pretty as the tiny flowers. It is a shrub about 5 or 6 feet high, with branches that arch over and hang down. Below is a photo made last November that shows the beautiful Autumn foliage.
Can someone help me identify this wonderful plant?