In the South, Mother’s Day is not only a day to celebrate the women we cherish, but it is also the day we farmers and gardeners stop holding our breath and put out the most delicate of summer veggie starts. So, tonight I sat down with my farm journal and decided to list how many veggies, fruits, herbs, and alliums. I’ve been pulling a number out of the hat when folks ask and have been guessing 17 total. Well, y’all, I’m excited to say, it’s more than double that! The delight of it is that my little farm, by my estimate, maximizes 350 square feet to include all these yummies for summer:
blueberries, wineberries, grapes, apricot trees (hoping for fruit this year)
Greens: lacinato kale, vates kale, russian kale, rainbow chard, and bloomsdale spinach
Legumes: fava beans, cherokee wax bush beans, white half runner bush beans, sugar snap peas
Nightshades: amish paste tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, red sweet pepper (saved from friends’ peppers), multicolor sweet pepper (saved from peppers from store), tequila sunrise pepper, rosa bianca eggplant
Squash: small sugar pumpkin, yellow crookneck summer squash, acorn squash (saved seed from store squash), dark green zucchini, butternut squash, white wonder cucumber
Root veggies: danvers carrots, scarlet nantes carrots, fingerling potatoes, red new potatoes
Alliums: red onion, american flag leek, yellow sweet spanish onion, garlic (to be harvested in summer but planted last autumn)
lavender, thyme, garlic chives, thai basil, sweet basil, bouquet dill, mammoth long island dill, cilantro
Looking forward to seeing what kind of yield summer will bring given vertical planting and succession planting. Come back and visit me in a few weeks–photos to follow!
So back in late January, I got a wild hair to start seeds in all the extra mason jars I have filling up shelves. If you’d like to follow the journey from the beginning, you can read here and here and here. It’s been awhile since I’ve given you an update so I thought I’d check in and give you my overall evaluation of how the mason jars worked this year.
They were easy to use. They were being upcycled. They did not include plastic that would leach into the soil. They were easy to tote. I could replant sprouts into bigger jars as they grew. Sun could reach all the soil and keep it warm.
And best of all, I could actually watch things grow from seed to sprout, from root to leaf.
As you can see by the photos, all the plants grew well–very hardy. The tomatoes and acorn squash actually required staking bec/ I didn’t want to transplant outside too early.
- the soil will grow some green stuff (sorry, I don’t know the technical term for it) if it gets too moist
- when the plants gr0w an extensive root system, it is harder to pull them out of a small mouth jar–will only use wide moth next year
As for the starts, this is actually the most successful year I’ve had. I’ve raised so many of each variety that I’ve given several away. In early April, I actually decided to go ahead and start some 2nd round seeds so that I can have produce later into the summer/early autumn. I’ve also had problems in the past with bugs eating my cucumber or pepper seedlings when I start outside. Now, I have plants that can hopefully take care of themselves in spite of a few insects that get the munchies.