January 10, 2016

2016 Vegetable Garden Plans

We are planning to rototill the whole yard so we can rake it flat and seed grass in non-garden areas. Then the back yard is going to get a privacy fence. We've been really lucky in terms of animals messing with the garden. We've seen 3 big dogs and numerous cats that hang out in the backyard. The cats were usually hanging out behind the pepper bed (probably hiding from dogs). There's been a few trodden beds and dug up holes but nothing major.

The garden at the old house wasn't fenced either and I caught a dog eating tomatoes, he looked old and hungry so I just left him alone. And there was a wild brown rabbit that was living under the bush bean bed, she was definitely eating well for awhile. That was a great gardening year where the weather was perfect and it was definitely "the year of the tomato". Peppers produced and produced, and some eggplant (aubergine) plants ended up taller than me by August.

We are completely out of salsa, so next year will be a salsa garden. The plan is 40 tomato plants, 20 jalapeno peppers, 5 serrano peppers, and 20 anaheims peppers. Last time I wasn't able to get anaheims nor serranos to germinate so substituted Hungarian Hot Wax and Santa Fe Grande (set your hair on fire hot). If I can get the peppers and tomatoes in the ground by the last week of April, I can plan on canning salsa by the end of July. That'll be early enough to let the peppers set fruit before the heat sets in the peppers start to drop blossoms.

Hot peppers can be tricky to germinate, so they'll needed to be started in February so I can figure out what's not germinating and move on. Once they germinate they get moved under 24 hour lights in my husband's workshop, it's very cold out there so they don't get spindly. And when it gets warm enough they'll spend daylight hours outside.

Asparagus and artichokes will get moved to their permanent bed, so that'll free up a bed for potatoes which will be followed by winter squash. A bed of broccoli will once again be trialled with turnips planted in their under-story like Daphne does and I'll be using BT. Once the bush beans are finished in July, Brussels sprout seedlings will be planted in that bed. Eggplant will share a bed with Borlotti bush beans  for shelly beans, and once the Borlotti beans are done they'll get replaced with a planting of carrots.


David Velten said...

Sounds like a good plan. And if it works, you will be canning a lot of salsa! I have had the same problem with pepper seed germination, and this year I am looking into heat treatment to kill any bacterial spot bacteria, which is supposed to reduce germination even further. Hope you get what you need from those seeds.

Phuong said...

Hi David,
I've read about using diluted bleach to treat seeds against fungus but had never heard of heat treating before, very interesting.

I'm really hoping this year will be more cooperative weather-wise than last year.

Margaret said...

Bet you are looking forward to the freshly tilled & fenced yard - a blank canvas all ready to go! I did the turnip/broccoli inter-planting this past year and it did so well that it will likely be a permanent feature of the spring garden.

And it's funny that I start my peppers in February as well, specifically for that reason - some take soooo long to germinate! And even though I don't set out my plants until the end of May or early June, I have yet to have an overgrown or pot bound pepper transplant.

David Velten said...

Phuong, Bleach will kill bacteria on the seed coat but not inside the seed. Only heat treatment kill both.

Phuong said...

Hi Margaret,
Peppers are so fussy to germinate, but the challenge is part of the fun. I have a friend who is so excited to start her brassicas next week, and just the idea of beginning the seed starting process makes me cringe. I am so not ready to begin that long arduous process.

Phuong said...

Hi David,
For some reason the idea of heating seeds to those high temperatures makes me so nervous, but I guess nothing ventured nothing gained.