Thursday, February 4, 2010

Planning for the new farm year - vegetables

I'm sitting down with the seed catalogs this week and working out what I'd like to try this year, and ordering the seeds of the species that did well last year.   The garden is mostly for my own consumption, at least for this year; I may expand it into a market garden next year. 

In Western Washington, and in particular on my farm, that's at 6 feet elevation off sea level, any crop that requires some heat to ripen is a challenge.  Tomatoes tend not to ripen on the vine if they're grown in the open, mostly because the climate is cool and we get marine air (46 degree marine air) that rolls up the river valley from the ocean. 

So the greenhouse was a solution for the heat problem, and it worked very well.   I'm going to order the watermelons again this year and hope for a better crop.   Basil did really well last year -- so much so that I had too much basil most of the year, which is a problem I've never had before.  Tomatoes did very well, but I'm going to have to work on some sort of trellis system.  Squash went nuts; only one zucchini plant this year and a couple of summer squash plants. 

Outside I have a need for a cover crop, to plant areas where there's bare dirt or areas that I'm going to have to disturb to clean up the soil.   Over at Natures Harmony Farms they used turnip seeds to good effect and I like that idea.  I'll see if I can find a turnip variety that grows well here. 

So here's the list of things we're going to plant for sure: 
Squash (various varieties)
Herbs (various varieties)
Salad greens (various varieties)
sweet corn

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