Its been a challenging start to the year for my gardens. Peppers and Cucumbers are growing slowly and look rather unhappy. I haven’t given up hope. There are some bright spots however. The Kalettes are looking great and the rat tailed radish is still producing at an alarming rate, people are getting tired of being asked if they’d like some. In the coming weeks I hope to see my Jerusalem artichokes shoot up a couple more feet and my Cucumbers and beans start to climb their substantial stems.
The busy time here at Martin Farms “The Veggie Guy” is coming to a close. We can now turn to our trial gardens, as well as our own gardens for another season. Our Trial beds are planted and pics and updates will be available to view as regularly as I can manage. We are growing some very interesting plants this year that show promise for our future product line as well as sharing for interest sake here on the website. The highlights so far appear to be Kalettes, Ground Cherries, Rat Tailed Radish, Mizuna and Jerusalem Artichokes. Honorable mention to Burr Gherkin, Kiwano Melon and Litchi Tomato. We have a few varieties of tomato growing as well but I will reserve comment on those until they are a little further along. Unfortunately my peppers are very sad looking due to the cold nights and high winds we’ve experienced. I’m hoping to they bounce back but I may have been guilty of getting a little over excited about the early nice weather. Keep posted!
Our booth at Canada Blooms. Great fun meeting and speaking with so many gardeners from all over. Even better to see kids getting involved at our Veggie Guy educational planting station.
It is still too cold to get out there and get the gardens ready for planting but we are busy seeding spring vegetable plants so they are ready on time to plant. There are a number of plants you can start on a window sill with little difficulty. Lettuce, Cucumbers, Swiss Chard, and any of the cabbage family (ie: Broccoli, Kale, etc) to name a few. Tomatoes are ok but get a bit tougher and Peppers, Eggplant etc do need more care. Most can be seeded into a 4-6” pot or small growing tray, placing the seed on the surface than cover so the soil is just covering the seed. Water, cover with a plastic bag or clear stretch wrap and set in a warm place.
In 3-5 days or so, as soon as you see the plant break the ground, put in a sunny window. Water to keep the ground moist not soaked, a very weak fertilizer solution is good. As the plant grows keep it a bit drier and cooler finally hardening it off outside in a sunny protected spot for a few days before planting in the garden. Most seed catalogs give general timing charts but keep notes. Good luck.
Today is a perfect day to get ready for spring gardening season. Looking out the window it is snowing and blowing, a good day to leave the car where it sits and plan for spring. Between the internet and the many gardening seed and plant catalogs there is a wealth of knowledge and new ideas you can incorporate into you spring gardening plants. It is also great fun getting the mail when you know there will be another catalog full of spring colour and ideas there to explore.
So sit down in a comfy chair with a mug or glass of cheer, a pen and paper and plan your garden. A quick sketch of your garden and a plan of what to put and where gives you a great head start. While you are at it you can put together a list of seeds you can easily start yourself. We will tell you how next time.