Tuesday, January 6, 2009

January 6, 2009

Well, I've been holding out on you since the weekend when I took these pictures, but EG convinced me not to pain you with one loooong post and then nothing for the rest of the week.  So, today is the day for my garden tour.

But before I do that, a reader suggested rather than starting my seeds under a light system, that I try out wintersown.org and winter sow instead.  I actually fully intend on winter sowing this year.  I love Trudi's site and am a big fan of Verna over in Eastern Washington who is one of Trudi's chosen few, if any such exist.  But for some things I want to give them a head start before Mother Nature would.  Tomatoes are one of them.  If I waited until they sprouted on their own, I would miss out on a month or two of prime growing for my plants.  So I'm going to do both methods, along with direct sowing.  They all have their benefits and I want to experiment with everything I can.

Now for the garden tour, but don't jump to the end for the secret I've been teasing you with for days.

Starting with my tiny bed, here are what's left of my cauliflower plants.

Not looking good are they?  If I needed the space to plant, I'd rip them out, but I think I'll just plant some more someplace else.  Why not, seed's cheap.

Of course, the freezing temps killed my cole crop, but my green onions?

Still looking pretty good.  They'll come out when I have new onions to take their place, which should be early spring.  Until then, we'll keep grazing.  And next year, less onions. hehe

Next is my spinach bed. 

I know it looks bad, but there may very well be something salvagable out of there.  We shall see. 

And behind the spinach, my peas...

Not much hope for those guys huh?  Well, I think beans are going there next year so I've got time to see what happens, though I'd be shocked if these came back.

Now to my bed #1.  My son loves carrots, so I was hopeful.

Ewww... yuck.  Drat.  Ok, how about my lettuce?

Again, like the spinach, I may very well be able to salvage something from that, and I could be wrong, but is that new growth coming out of some of them?  Maybe.  Again, no reason to rip them out yet.

And the best plants that survived fairly unscathed through that mess?  Yep, my succession lettuce.

So, the moral to this story is to harvest sooner, more often, and completly if ever we get long-term freezing temps again.  But wait, let's go back to the carrots for a second.  Scroll up and try to spot any of the candy-sweet carrots that I was soooo hoping to share with my eldest.  You know, let him truly realize just how important it is to grow your own food.  Scroll up, I'll wait...

Couldn't find them?  Well neither could I.  What's more, when I opened up the back of bed #1 to pull from my original patch, this is what I found...

And this...

Those, my friends, are clearly paw prints from the masked bandits of fresh produce everywhere.  My winter garden was raided by raccoons.  Silly me, I stopped putting down Shake Away in the fall thinking they wouldn't bother my garden in the winter.  Oh, how wrong I was.  Double drat!  I was so looking forward to sharing my root crops with my family.  And to add insult to injury, look what I found in my radish patch.

Guess they didn't like the spicy raddish.  Grrrr.  Thankfully my son was fine with not having any more carrots.  Though he did say we should feed the raccoons something sweeter than his carrots so they wouldn't want his carrots.  Ah, the mind of a child, how cute!

So, the moral to the story, in additon to harvesting better, is to continue to use my means to deter the coons year round. /sigh

Well, if I can ever find time to get home at a decent hour I plan on heading out to check on pricing out the pieces for my light system.

Enjoy your garden!


  1. Your spinach is DEFINITELY salvagable! You have lots of good picking there - just trim away the damaged leaves. Have you dug into that carrot bed? I am pretty sure you have lots of carrots there too in good shape for harvesting. The tops will die back like that in winter cold - but the roots are just fine and sweeter from the stress.

    Sorry about the rascally raccoon! Cheeky little devil leaving partially eaten produce!

  2. Oh yeah, I wanted to ask, what variety of carrots did you grow?

  3. I really enjoyed your sense of humor about the carrots...that was good stuff, dude! Racoons....they sure are crafty little things. Luckily, I haven't had any attack my garden yet, but it could happen, I suppose. Winter sowing is a pretty hot topic right now, but i'll just stay with what i'm doing, I reckon.


  4. DoubleD, thanks, I'll go prune them this weekend, if the rains let up. Sheesh! You flooding there?

    Toasty, Wow, you're alive! My Seattle Garden buddy visited me. How go the nanos or whatever you look at under your electron microscopes, hehe. Sorry, I don't recal exactly what area of physics you work in. But lunch sure was fun! Carrots, those would be Mokum, a nantes variety. Grew about 6-8 inches and decent thickness. My son loved them, and so did I when he let me have one. Definite keeper.

    EG, I was pretty bummed when it happened, but using your logic on sharing pics paid off. Shock, anger, denial, acceptance... those are the stages of grief or loss or whatever. After a few days I was at peace with it. Next year I deter year round.