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Thursday, April 5, 2012

What's Growing?

sage seedlings

This year, since we still have not found our little dream homestead, I am stuck, yet again, trying to grow things in the woods.

This year I decided to grow primarily herbs, with just a few veggies in pots that did well last year and one or two more experiments.

oregano seedlings
I despise these little peat pod thingies, but I had some from who knows where, and since I'm still reducing and de-cluttering in anticipation of a forever-in-the-future move, I decided to use them.
anise hyssop seedlings
Last year, a very good, long-time blogosphere friend, whom happens to also be one of my favorite gardening people, sent me a surprise package full of seeds from her gardens (thanks tlc).

I carefully stored them since we were having a wet and terrible growing season, and this year I'm going full force to grow some herb varieties I only dreamed of attaining seeds for.

marjoram seedlings
So far I've got my first round of starts for my standard five of six herbs I can't live without:

  • oregano
  • sweet marjoram
  • thyme
  • sage
  • parsley
The sixth would be rosemary, which I will probably purchase plants for since it is so slow growing.

bronze fennel seedlings
In addition, I've started some special herbs from my friend:

  • bronze fennel
  • love-in-a-mist
  • anise hyssop (i saved some of my own seed from last year, so i'm starting both hers and mine to see if there are any differences) This is a FAV herb and last year I created this Strawberry Anise Hyssop jam recipe which is to die for.
  • sweet cicely (This one is currently in the refrigerator for a dormant cold period needed for germination. My fingers are crossed for this one, my readings find that it can be troublesome to start from seed.)

I've also started some:

Once the first wave of starts are growing strong, and I've got those annoying little pods all transplanted to pots, I'll start a second wave of seeds of:

  • Dill
  • Basil
  • Feverfew (new herb from my friend)
  • Chervil (new herb from my friend, similar to parsley)
  • Buttercrunch lettuce
  • Arugula (another donation from my friend)
  • Butterbush Butternut squash
  • Delicata Squash
Yet to arrive, I ordered seeds for:

With the warmer weather a few weeks ago, I took full advantage to get some containers going as well...

 Spinach is growing strong.

Snow peas are in and growing now for a few weeks. These did fabulous in a container last year.

This year I'm trying Red Norland potatoes in a bag.  Last years bagged potatoes didn't fare well due to the constantly wet weather. While they grew like champs, I couldn't get them to dry out and the potatoes rotted before they could grow. Red Norlands are an earlier maturing variety, so I hope to harvest them much sooner than the later maturing variety I grew last year.

This year I've gone with a fully soil-less mixture to keep it light and well drained. I'm going to mix each addition of 'soil' with a little straw as it grows to really keep things airy and better draining.

My black peppermint is already on a rampage, taking over areas I didn't even know it was in. I'm ok with that as this weekend I'll pull up all this new growth to make peppermint extract.  Early spring mint is the sweetest and best for extract making.

My lemon balm is doing well as usual too.

… and we already have strawberry flowers in our tiny, pathetic, barely surviving due-to-being grown-in-the-woods strawberry patch.

Maybe if I can keep the skunks and raccoons out we may get one strawberry.


What are you growing?

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