Sunday, June 13, 2010

Early Summer Garden Checkup

So far so good. My Romaine and Lollo Rosso are doing great despite the heat and humidity. The Broccolini is growing well and hasn't shown any signs of bolting. I will post tomato pics soon as I am almost done with my brand new bamboo staking method. Stay tuned.

Planting Store Bought Potatoes

I can't tell you how many times I've had store bought potatoes sprout in my pantry. Sometimes we don't use up all the potatoes we buy and they start to sprout in the warm dark pantry. I've always wanted to plant these sprouting potatoes but when I would do some research online the consensus was that you should only plant certified seed potatoes, other wise the potatoes wouldn't produce tubers or they would simply succumb to disease.

Well rather than waste the potatoes I decided to go against mainstream potato wisdom and plant the sprouted grocery store potatoes. I planted these in March and I just recently dug up some potatoes to see how they were doing. You can tell by my pics that the grocery store potatoes are growing just fine.

So guess what? Plant those old grocery store potatoes you have in your pantry... They will grow!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Indoor Seed Starting Update

My seed starting is complete and everything is ready to be planted in the garden. Outside photos to follow shortly. I was a bit late getting these shots uploaded but better late than never.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cold Frame Winter Garden Results

So my spinach, bietola swiss chard and trevisio radicchio all over wintered successfully in the cold frame and are now ready to be transplanted to their permanent raised beds. Again I'm really surprised how well the cold frame worked. We've had the worst winter in recorded history here in PA, and the cold frame was able to shield the greens from any permanent damage. All the greens you see above were sown in October of 2009. I regularly watered them once spring
temps began to rise so they wouldn't dry out inside the cold frame. The one thing you have to remember is that the cold frame doesn't let much rain water inside, so it's up to you to either remove a lid from the cold frame once you expect rain in your forecast.

Spinach Harvest

This spinach was sown in October of 2009. After overwintering in the cold frame for nearly 6 months I decided I was finally going to harvest the spinach on April 10th 2010. I was surprised at how long green leafy vegetables can survive in the cold frame for so long. I washed the spinach and sauteed them with evoo, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt & pepper. Next time I will plant a bigger patch of Spinach since they went so quick. The spinach breed used was Bloomsdale Longstanding. I used these seeds since I didn't have any Italian spinach seeds laying around at the moment.

Artichoke Seedlings

This is my first attempt at growing Romanesco Artichokes here in zone 6b PA. So far so good as about 80% of the seeds have germinated with one really taking off. I didn't need to chill the seeds or pre soak them. They resemble tiny red pine cone seeds. Hopefully these will take off during the summer and become hardy enought to survive the PA winter. A little known fact is that Artichokes are actually perennials and fruit in their second year. Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

How To Propagate Fig Cuttings

This past July I brought back some of my uncles fig cuttings (healthy branches of fig trees that are cut from the parent tree) and buried them in my raised beds in september.

Today I uncovered them and was happy to see new buds leafing out as well as some root growth. I replanted them in a small container and thats where they will finish establishing their roots for the rest of the summer.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Italian Gardening Was Featured In TreeHugger's Reader Fall Garden Photos

I submitted some photos of my cold frame crops this past October and TreeHugger was kind enough to display them in their reader slideshow.

I was surprised to be included in their slideshow . I look forward in submitting my Summer garden photos. I think they will be impressed with the number of fig trees I have growing.

Raccoon Caught Eating Broccolini

I had no Idea raccoons like to eat Broccolini. I caught this guy in the garden when I recently noticed the tops of my broccolini plants were munched off. Maybe he's Italian...

Lettuce In Cold Frame (November 2009)

Cold frame lettuce in december 2009. Seeds were sown in September 09 and overwintered in the cold frame.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010