Sunday, April 22, 2012

How Does My Garden Grow?

Our vineyard

Spring has sprung up faster than I expected and I find that I missed planting some of the cooler weather crops (my broccoli, peas, and cabbages) but I will get them in this fall! I am now planning our warm season crops and I am going to try more new veggies this year. This will mean an expansion of my old garden plot which was about 1200 sq ft.  I plan on doubling it this year.  Below is the old garden plot, turned up and ready for planting.  I just need to get up the sod and double the size. 

I have my tomatoes, peppers and eggplants started so they will be ready to transplant in May.  I bought my seed from Sow True Seed in Asheville, North Carolina. They have over 400 varieties of non-treated, non-GMO, open pollinated/non-hybrid seed.  This means I can be sure that the seed has not been treated with fungicides or chemicals and I can save the seed from my own crop and it will grow true to the original plant's characteristics.  You can't do that with hybrid or GMO seed. I feel better knowing that my seed is certified organic and is of the traditional Southern Appalachia varieties so it should grow well for me.

my seed from Sow True Seed!
If you feel strongly about preserving our farming heritage and sustainable agriculture as well as ecological wisdom, Sow True Seed is an excellent resource.  I can't wait to try out all the new veggies! I've always planted the basics (tomatoes, peppers, squash and beans) but this year I'm planting everything from asparagus to watermelon (and everything in between). I hope I'm up for it!

Of course, I must mention all the plants I like to grow just for the  shear pleasure and beauty of it!

Variegated Weigela

 My Variegated Weigela attracts all those wonderful pollinating honey bees and beautiful hummingbirds!

Mountain Laurel
I have one Mountain Laurel outside the office window that is just gorgeous.  Every spring after the dreariness of winter it provides such a welcome splash of color. I'd love to plant more but they are poisonous to my goats so I dare not.

Bleeding Heart

In my shade gardens I have a few delicate Bleeding Hearts. They are such pretty little flowers and the girls just love them.  It never ceases to amaze me, all the wonders of God's hands! They fill my heart with joy.

Garnet Japanese Maple
Our little Japanese Maple packs a big punch of color that is so nice to look at from our front porch.

We planted several fruit trees. We have peaches, apples, figs and one apricot. We also have two huge pecans that give hundreds of pounds in pecans every year. 

Sweet Basil
This year I am planting my herbs a little differently.  I've always planted them in the garden with the rest of my veggies but this year I decided to plant them in the bed by our front porch.  I planted Rosemary, which is a perennial, so it should grow right through our mild winters. I also planted Sweet Basil, Curled Parsley, Cilantro, Oregano and Mint (peppermint), which I also think can survive our winters. I may plant some more     
herbs but I haven't decided what to add yet. Anyone have any ideas?


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