Thursday, February 5, 2009

Farming calendar; planning the kitchen garden

We're going through the seed catalogs tonight, looking at what to plant, and ordering seeds. The growing season here is pretty short; our last frost-free day is in April, and it doesn't really get warm until July, and stays warm until the 2nd week of august.

To get a head-start on the growing season I order all of the seeds now, and then working with a calendar I figure out when to start each type of plant.

So for Juliette tomatoes, they're listed as 60 days. (We plant a lot of cherry tomatoes because they ripen quicker). So if we want the plant to be in place the first week of July, we've got to plant that tomato in the first week of may or so. To get the best yield, we use a variety of methods to raise the soil temperature. Hoop house, raised beds, mulching, cold frames and so on. I do this sort of planning for each planting.

My current favorite seed vendor is harris seeds; they have a wide selection of interesting vegetables, and provide commercial quantities for those items that I want to grow in bulk. I'm going to order a bunch of mint seeds and plant a half acre in mint to see what sort of honey it produces.

My second favorite is burpee, which i like for their variety of seeds, but the quantities are smaller, and the prices higher.

Here's my garden list from the harris / burpee catalog

Juliet 60 days
Tumbling tom 65 days
Pony express 72 days

Nantindo 70 days
Scarlet nantes 68 days

Sweet Corn
Applause 75 days
delectable 80 days

Patio pickle 49 days
Raider 52 days

Basil / serata
Basil / sweet
spearmint - from burpee

Green Beans
Crockett 60 days
Kentucky 63 days

Root vegetables
Potatoes - red - local source
Potatoes - russet - local source
Potatoes - white - local source

Super sugar snap, 63 days
Oregon sugar, 65 days
Little marvel, 63 days

Watermelon sugar baby 85 days

pumpkin Magic lantern, 115
pumpkin Cinderella, 115
summer squash; peter pan and sunbirst, 50 days
zuchini, zuchini elite, 48 days
acorn squash, 100 days

spinach whale 37 days
spinach olympia 46 days
romaine green towers, 74 days
leaf lettuce, ithaca, 72 days
Cabbage, blue lagoon, 68 days
Brussel sprouts, oliver, 90 days

Marigolds - from burpee
Sunflowers - seed type, from burpee
Peanuts, 120 days - from burpee


Bruce King said...

I pressed the wrong button and deleted this comment:

Just found your blog. It looks interesting.

Surely your last frost is in April not "our last frost-free day is in April"? Isn't what you have in coastal Washington a long growing season but not a lot of hot days? No frost from April until October is a long time!

Bruce King said...

Maybe I'm just speaking about hot days. I was born in california, where there's basically a mediteranean climate. So you could grow tomatoes pretty much year-round and you had plenty of heat for things like watermelons.

In washington, I have to work really hard to get watermelons to produce.