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GARDENING- FEBUARY- Herbs & Seed Prep. Orchard House Heirlooms

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GARDENING- FEBUARY- Herbs & Seed Prep. Orchard House Heirlooms

Post by Sonshine on Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:59 am

If you thought ahead and grew herbs in your windows you could be clipping nice fresh herbs for making our winter dishes sparkle with freshness even tho' the days are gloomy and in many places icy, or rainy and cold. Basil grows nicely all winter long in a warm room-it is a perennial while other herbs like cilantro, Echinacea, fennel, dill, and mints come back from seeds over wintering outside- Parsley is a Bi-Annual- it seeds the second year and can be kept outside. However, OreganoThyme,Sage, and Rosemary can survive nicely in a protected spot outside even in zone 5.

A good plan is to determine your families favorite herbs-study the needs of each herb and get ready to grow the ones you like the most/ Most herbs are really easy to start but Rosemary can have it’s challengesI usually soak them over night the, do the paper towel seed starting method. I fold the seeds [this is best done with larger seeds] into a paper towel then run it under water; squeeze it gently and put it in a jar [the saturated paper towel] don’t squeeze too hard, cover the jar then the next day I squeeze out most of the water and put it back into the jar-cover- and check on it every few days. Most seeds will sprout in 2 weeks-some tho’ take up to years. Rosemary only takes 2 or three weeks. Seeds need dark and moisture and warmth [most anyway] to sprout so keep them covered until they start peeping out. I like using closed containers and put them by a heat vent.

So have you decided what you are going to grow this year? It’s always good to get your seeds delivered before the end of Feb. In the Northern Hemisphere. Many things like Tomatoes and Peppers really need to be started so they have 6 weeks before the “last frost date” in your area. Please check a Zone chart [you can search for it or most seeds companies link to one] Ours does so you can find out when the safest time to plant your tender plants. You can always write to me at webriter@frontier.com or call 269-782-3000 and I can try to help you with questions. Decide which of the many Tomato varieties and pepper types you want to grow and get the seeds before it’s too late. A good time to plant is when the soil is at least 70 degrees and has been for three days last year it was so hot so early I planted early we did get a mild frost but covering them overnight was all it needed. The tropical plants really need a warm soil to thrive and that’s the important thing. Don’t
Forget they need lots of water.

As for Brassicas if you grow Broccoli Brussels’s Sprouts Cabbages Cauliflower[this is a short list but there are lots of brassicas also called cruciferous veggies*] Rutabagas Turnips and other greens also are quite cold tolerant and can be planted early most can even be over-wintered-even carrots. You can eat them in the Spring.

If you want to get the best bang for your seed bucks remember all the brassicas/cruciferous veggies can be eaten right down to the ground. The stems can be peeled and cooked the leaves and of course the flowers [like the broccoli]. Just because conventional cooks only use part of a vegetable doesn’t mean the other parts are really yummy too and good for you! In fact I eat all the broccoliBrussels Sprouts and cauliflowerI even eat the hard inner stem and leaf parts you get in the cauliflowers you buy at the store. When you cut the cabbage off the plant in your garden do not pull the cabbage plant it will grow another four cabbage ‘sprouts that are yummy when steamed.

Corn is a hot weather crop that needs good cross-wind pollination or lots of bees for best results. It also needs lots of water and fertilizer.

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He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of poverty
Proverbs 28:19[b]
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Re: GARDENING- FEBUARY- Herbs & Seed Prep. Orchard House Heirlooms

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:31 am

I've been thinking of geting some herbs started soon just to have some fresh to use daily. I won't start my garden seeds until late Feb or early March as my last frost date is mid-May. I like to transplant them into larger containers so that they have a good head start for the season.

I definitely need to rework the garden rows this year. Instead of running N/S, I want them to run E/W to help hold some of the moisture in each row. I will also be adding a new bed at the end of the garden for a block of corn, sunflowers and drying beans. In the past I have not grown in that spot but last year I added a lot of grass clippings to the area to help build up the soil. I have a ton of manure from the chickens to till into the bed as well. I have some manure composted to use for my containers.
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Re: GARDENING- FEBUARY- Herbs & Seed Prep. Orchard House Heirlooms

Post by Sonshine on Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:47 am

Have you considered trying the three sisters method of corn, beans and squash? Corn takes so much nitrogen that I've had problems growing it, although the chicken manure has helped. With the three sisters the beans will produce some nitrogen to help feed the corn.

We can plant earlier than you, so I started my seeds on Saturday so they'll be ready to plant in March/April.

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He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of poverty
Proverbs 28:19[b]
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Re: GARDENING- FEBUARY- Herbs & Seed Prep. Orchard House Heirlooms

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:10 am

I have done the three sisters, but I won't have enough room for the squash in the new space. I plan on tilling some fresher manure (as in from the coop in the spring) into the plot for the corn, sunflowers and beans. It is supposed to get warm here this weekend and I might even just shovel the manure out of the house & into the spot so the snow can help mellow it out before planting. Wink
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