February 2012

2 week old Snap Peas

Right now we need to be putting plants in the ground that require the longest growing season.  i’ve just sowed peas and onions, and i’m about to get the spinach seeds and more carrots in the ground too.  If you plan on growing asparagus, you need to get that planted now as well.  i already grow asparagus, and even planted more 2 year roots last year.  Keep in mind with asparagus that you need to let it grow without harvesting the spears for 3 years and let the root system get established.  So it’s easier to buy 2 or 3 year roots from an organic nursery.

This is also the time you need to start your seeds indoors for transplants.  i haven’t done that yet, but i will next week.  i set up a few coffee tables in the kitchen by the big bay windows so they get plenty of sunshine, and i also use a few grow lights so they don’t get long and spindly leaning toward the sunlight.  The cruciferous veggies and seed potatoes need to be started 6 weeks before the last frost indoors, including:  broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower.  Also celery, cucumber, lettuce, melons, peppers, pumpkins, squash and tomatoes.  Although those can be direct sowed in March and will still do fine, as they are more heat tolerant.

Right now, what’s going on in the Homestead gardens:

Tall Telephone Peas

There are tons of little flowers on the pea vines, but i still haven’t been able to harvest enough for a meal, and there are two 20 foot rows of them.  But, as i’ve mentioned before,  they will still put nitrogen into the soil when i till them into the garden in 2 months or so.


The radishes are doing great.  i have about a 20 square foot or so block of radishes that finally decided to come in.  i planted them in October, and they took much longer to come in than i expected.  But now we have plenty for salads and to can for pickled radishes.

Giant Purple Mustard

The mustard is unstoppable.  i harvest all of it every week, and it grows back so quickly.  It’s tasty in salads.  i’ve started canning it, pickled mustard.  It’s so good!

Oregon Giant Peas

We are actually getting some peas from it, but not much.  i’ve really had much more success with the spring peas than fall peas.  But they are huge!  Much bigger than the ones i harvest in the spring and summer.

Fava Beans

 The plants themselves are huge!  This is my first time to grow favas so i didn’t know what to expect.  They’re awesome in that i don’t have to trellis them, they grow up without support like little bushes.  They have tons of little white and black flowers, but no beans.

Rainbow Swiss Chard

i didn’t have much luck with the swiss chard from the get go.  Most of the transplants died shortly after planting.  But the few survivors are growing strong!


Finally, we’re getting heads on the cauliflower!  Woo-hoo!  They’re good and strong, and haven’t been affected by the frosts at all.  i should be able to harvest by the end of the month.


i’m dissappointed in the broccoli.  They are big strong plants, probably 3 & 1/2 to 4 feet tall, and they do have lots of florets, but they are all flowering.  Before the florets are big enough to harvest, they turn to seed.  i’m not sure what to do about this, but i’ll work on it and post my findings.

Tommy-Toe Tomatoes

Yay!  We have tomatoes!  They are growing in the greenhouse and finally producing.  Some of the plants didn’t make it, but there are a few that are actually bearing fruit.  It is just too cool to eat tomatoes from the garden in the winter.  I LOVE THE GREENHOUSE!

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