Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 - A New Garden Year

The first flowers of 2014

Reflecting on the posts for 2013 there have been less of them this year but I hope they were still informative, helpful and fun to read. 
We had some successes in 2013 and a few flops - the quinoa was a big flop for sure.  It always pays to check out the genus and species name and take a quick look at the Family that a new plant belong to because that gives important clues about the plant in general.... and in the quinoa - looking like "Lambs Quarters" is a big clue...
The tomato crop was OK, but the grape varieties did a wonderful job in both quantity and quality.  TomatoBerry is going to be planted again for sure, even though the size of next seasons garden will be smaller because I am really thinking about letting the soil go fallow for a season and just plant cover crops and rototill them in several times during the season - still in the planning but could be a reality.
The blueberry plants in the EarthBoxes are covered with snow and awaiting spring for the final test to see just how they manage the winter - but they too might be on the way out because of the constant care issue for the results we might get.
Sadly the figs were missed this summer but in this climate and with my shoulder issues this year - huge planters just don't do it any more, and with the very cold weather we have had so far this season I am sure new fig trees would not have made the cold again - so sadly they are off the list too.  I did protect the stems of my currents with plastic pots to keep the meadow voles off them.  With all the snow we have I am sure the lawn is riddled with vole trails already.  Dogs of the past helped take care of this problem.  I will put out the rest of the traps this month and hope to curb the population.  My successful trapping in the fall for a month, I thought would help; but I have already seen snow tunnels early in the season that assures me the critter are out there still.
My shoulder surgery in September brought an instant end to all garden work so the garden and lawn did not really get a good clean up this fall, all that awaits me in the spring. That is partly why I am thinking about letting the garden go fallow for a year - just so I can have a breather and see just what I want to do and how much I can do.
 Plus, after many years, almost 30, the greenhouse and its brittle glass are scheduled for demolition in spring of 2014.  I might get one more seed crop grown in the space in April but even that is not for sure.  I will take the glass and aluminum down, recycle all the aluminum when the price is good, and the contractor will demolish the walls and give us a new cerement slab in the space. We will even tear up all the BRICK WORK in front of the greenhouse (and that was sooooo much work).  The new space will be fine for a few rain barrels and a small plastic greenhouse that I can start plants in and not have to brush off after every snow fall all winter long, and just MAYBE a nice hot tub.
I hope to keep posting, at least monthly, as this new garden season begins and one can always look back to see ideas and suggestion in the past but most of all -

Looking Back at  2013...

I remember falling into this cold frame - reason for NO GLASS.

March crocus...

April snow.

Compost for the EarthBoxes.

Using the brown cotton I grew for the birds.
Quinoa, amaranth and other seedlings for 2013.

Dwarf blueberries.

Cucumbers and lettuce.

Lettuce marking parsnips - Inter-plant to save space.  
Lambs Quarter - NO - Quinoa.

I will miss the greenhouse for growing cukes.

2013 Alpine strawberry crop! one picking!!


One of the only perennials left in the yard.

A blue ribbon fair entry - wish they were mine.

TomatoBerry - great grape tomato.

Zinnia friend.

Passionflower - Mayhop.

The chickens we almost had - Black Austrolorp .

We like zinnias - red, pink, and yellow.

A true marrow squash - great zucchini.

The fountain friend.
September and recovery until MARCH.

Red Okra - only good for decoration.

Next years beans.

Vole traps - PVC and poison baits.

Bloodgood Japanese Maple

Vole proof red currant stems.

A sad (post surgery) September garden.


  1. So how do you like your earth boxes? I have wondered if they are worth purchasing etc.

  2. I really like them especially for peppers - I have the best crop of peppers in them for two years running and growing them that way eliminates all pests - earwigs and slugs!!

    1. Thanks for the info. I have had trouble with peppers even in my raised beds. Perhaps this could be a good solution.

  3. I love all the pictures. I have grown Rounde De Nice before. I have never heard of marrow before. Is that a specific zucchini variety?