Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Zone 7

With lower elevations and longer days, a variety of vegetables will thrive in a Zone 7 garden. Lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts can be planted before the last frost. Carrots, beets, radishes, and parsnips will also do well. Onions, potatoes, peas, radishes, salad greens, and a variety of herbs can also be planted during this time frame. Most areas in zone 7 get moderate to high rainfall and many areas have little snowcover in winter. This makes zone 7 gardening an ideal gardening environment. Fall-grown vegetables, in particular, are usually of very high quality.

Monday, February 24, 2014

I studied these topics online for one year and participated in discussion. One practice we adhered to was posting our progress every few weeks. Canning, preserving, growing, gardening, harvesting, storing, recycling/reusing/repurposing, to-do list. We stayed busy and productive all year long. 
Who's planting veggies in their flower beds this year? Did you know Rainbow Swiss Chard is gorgeous even if you don't eat it? Strawberries make great ground cover in blank areas. Green sweet peas have pretty flowers and you can grow them on your fence or a trellis. You don't have to go all-out. Start small, and if you're a landscape gardener, think of adding pretty veggies to your yard. Even if you live in an apartment you can grow veggies on your deck. In giant pots, plant tall full-sun vegetable so you can grow more shade-requiring veggies beneath. I'm all about the food garden this year. One last thing: PLEASE, if you buy seeds, buy organic. GMO (genetically modified seeds) are pernicious evil things that pollute not only your garden, but your neighbor's. If you plant your GMO near my Heirloom Organic veggies, I'ma be mad.

I keep posting about starting small growing areas anywhere you can. Even large pots work in a sunny location. This UN Report says small-scale organic farming is the way to feed the world. This year I plan to over grow so I can donate to the soup kitchen here in town. I urge you to grow something --- anything edible. Do it this year. Save the world.

*I'm making new beds in the back for flowers, like zinnias, to grow. That way bees will flock to my garden. I'm using the lasagna method, which is excellent. I first learned of it from Peter Fossel. I believe he still works the Hermitage...? Anyway, other than straw bales, the lasagne method is the easiest way to start a new bed. 

*Using hula hoops to grow plants. I'll cut them and bury the ends, then attach small fence mesh to cover them. This is how I'll grow my tomatoes this year. I want them up and off the ground. And this year I'm collecting yogurt cups, etc., to create cutworm guards.

*If you use a cold frame to extend your growing season, line the inside with plastic milk jugs filled with water. The water be warmed by the sun, and will help reduce temperature swings inside the cold frame. The result: a lower chance of frost damage at night and overheating during the day.
*Dog food as fertilizer boost? Need to build a cuke trellis? 

*More trellis ideas