Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Garden 2012

Small Sugar Pumpkins:
Great for baking! I will try 3-5 plants. Pumpkins take up a bit more space than I'd like to give up, so I decided I will try just a couple to see how they will grow in my area.  I'm thinking about growing the pumpkins vertically to save precious gardening space.

I bought 2 small pumpkins at a local pumpkin patch this fall and saved the seeds. They save their seeds from year to year so I'm hoping we get a few good baking pumpkins from these little guys!

Brussel Sprouts:
I love good, fresh brussel sprouts. I am in Zone 3 which may prove to be my downfall with these but I'm going to try. I have a few spots that get the most sunlight and will try these in one spot.

My sister was lucky enough to grow eggplant this year. I held off just because I didn't know much about eggplant, or whether I wanted to eat it! I'm going to have to start these little guys early to plant as full plants. We don't have the growing season I need to get them up to size in time for the fall frosts. Will be fun to add some color to the garden!

Green String Beans:
I grew beans last  year but it was too shady and too cool right away. Most of my plants curled up and died shortly after sprouting, most about 4-5 inches tall. A few little plants made but not as many as I would have liked. My family eats a lot of beans so I would love to have lots more for next year. I have a different spot in the garden picked out and have cut down a few little trees that were blocking the evening sun. This will keep the ground warmer and give the plants more sunlight after 3 p.m.

Here's another veggie that I didn't even attempt this year. I didn't feel like I had the room. I'm hoping to use a vertical system to get more bang for my buck with peas next year. There is really nothing better than eating peas fresh out of the garden! 

This year I tried a few herbs and wasn't overly happy. I used a few pots and one small box planter. Maybe these were too shallow, maybe not enough sun, or soil, or water? I tried Stevia (twice), Sweet Marjoram, basil (twice), and dill (grew wonderful).

Two herbs survived my terrible herb-thumb and lived! I had pineapple sage and spearmint. I used a little bit of the spearmint for Mint Juleps in August (recommended by Tara and very tasty). Pineapple sage, from what I read, is best the second year so I let these grow, pruned them back, and will find a good use for them next summer. 

After doing quick research on herbs I decided for next year I am going to try:
Dill - cooking and to use for use in making pickles.
Thyme - for cooking, possibly tea, and possibly in baths.
Coriander - hoping to use the plant, seeds and roots for cooking.
Chamomile - use for visual appeal in the gardens, and possibly tea.
Lemon Balm - possibly tea, mosquito repellent,
Chives - cooking

My garden is under a light blanket of snow at the moment. Hibernating and rejuvenating for a few months. She will be pretty fun to see in July 2012!

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