2012 was a fabulous gardening year. We had a hot dry summer which led to our only concern being water, which thankfully we have more than enough of in our well to supplement the garden with. Tomatoes, peppers, corn, melons, beans and ground cherries all love the heat. We had some of the best tomatoes I've ever grown this year. Nothing really did poorly besides spring broccoli and lettuces bolting in the heat, that usually happens anyway at a certain point. I may only grow broccoli in the fall this year. I did get a good crop in the summer months, but nothing compared to the lovely heads you get in the fall months. The broccoli seems to prefer to form during the colder months and since it takes up enough room I may just forget it this spring. Besides, I can grow things that do much better in that weather like kohlrabi. My kohlrabi seemed unaffected by the warmer weather completely, and I will be growing much more of this crop as it's one of my, many, new favorites.
Here's some of my favorite shots from the gardening year. The funny thing about this time of year is that all my gardening pictures look so much better than I perceived they did in the summer months, nothing like some snow to remind you of the beauty in plants.
January 17th, Cold frame Radish.
Not a fantastic picture, digging in the cold frame in February for greens.
Kitty in a warm cold frame. Removing old crops and planting new ones at the first of March.
Again, she loves it in there.
We leave our parsnips in the ground all winter, dig them up in the spring for a feast of sweetened, super tasty, parsnips.
Baby spinach and a thick band of arugula.
About a foot of greens.
Lettuce to the left, radish to the right.
All the new seeds planted in March have germinated here, the kale spinach and scallions are left overs from the fall.
Baby spinach. In Early spring we rely heavily on spinach, arugula, scallions, kale and lettuces.
Crocus blooms in April. I have a few come out in March, but the majority of these bloom in April.
Band of lettuce.
Progress. I sowed my seeds way too thickly after reading an article telling me I should do so. No need! Germination rates were fantastic.
Kale coming back.
Chives come up nice and early.
One lone arugula plant lasted through the winter months. I allowed it to flower and then go to seed, eating both.
Planting. Our rutabaga seeds are started under the row cover. They get eaten really badly by bugs. I don't think I could successfully grow them without a row cover.
Cold frame harvest.
Changes, garlic growing itself.
Pea trellis number one.
Pea trellis number two. I could never grow enough peas. We eat them constantly, my boyfriend takes them in his lunch to work.
Strawberries, we have over 50 some plants.
Summer kale and beets, protected from chomping bugs with a row cover.
Big kale harvest. We rely heavily on kale, year round.
My three sister's bed. Squashes, corn and soybeans. My first ever, rhododendron in the background.
Pole bean tee-pees.
Lots of lettuce!
Bush beans to the far left.
Mostly potatoes here.
The big picture, although I can't possibly get the entire garden in one shot from the ground.
Three sister's bed progress.
Ground cherries in the front, then peppers and tomatoes.
Our rutabagas in the front. No longer needing the row cover since they're nice and big.
Some late carrot thinning.
Corn! First year growing any amount.
Ground cherry plants.
Head of cabbage.
Summer broccoli, pretty good harvest...still only growing it in the fall next year.
I start a lot of petunias from seed.
Echinacea and lilies.
All these petunias were started from seed.
The view from our roof.
These aren't our best carrots, by far, they are colorful though!
Butternut squash plant in front.
Pumpkin vines travel.
The summer of beans. We grew pole beans for the first time and we almost overrun with beans. We fermented and froze them and are just now using them up.
Kohlrabi. One of my very favorite crops. I know I say that about almost every crop, but they all have so much to offer.
Kale and more beans.
Pole beans climbing away at the end of the garden.
First year raising turkeys, gobble gobble.
The three sisters.
An ear of corn.
Onions, ground cherries, tomatoes and peppers.
Garlic harvest, in it's rough shape here, prior to being cleaned.
My new asparagus bed.
Soybeans grow in little pods like all other beans.
This is when I realized that this was a cantaloupe....
and this was a watermelon.
The pumpkin trying it's best to escape.
Field of beans.
Eating beans for scale.
Sick of looking at beans yet? I didn't even take a picture EVERY time I harvested. I couldn't get sick of them though, we only have them in the summer and they're so darn good!
The garlic cleans up nicely. The top box is specially selected for planting again and the bottom box is to eat.
One of our largest bulbs.
Veggie tray for company.
Best summer for tomatoes, that I have ever grown in.
Basil and tomatoes, best combo on earth.
Man down, we had a windstorm.
On the vine.
Head of cabbage.
We love butternut squash and we never grow enough since they take up more than enough room. I am going to get creative this year and squeeze some in somewhere.
Pressing apple cider, my new obsession.
Fall broccoli, the best time for it.
High-fiving the swiss chard. My boyfriend always wondered why everyone else's swiss chard grew so much larger than ours. I kept telling him it was because they hardly used it. I pick mine when it's nice and tiny, so much more flavorful. I left one plant to grow and go to seed to show him how large it would grow.
Bam! Brussel sprouts, one of my favorite crops to eat! If you think you don't like brussel sprouts, then I will bet money you haven't tried them from the garden.
Leeks, my fall and winter fresh onions. I used a piece off of one of these about a week ago.
We covered every bare spot of the gardens with a cover crop of oats. The oats will be killed over the winter and make a nice layer of mulch.
The cold frame ready to rock and roll for the winter. On nice days we're still eating things out of here. There were a few days when things were too froze, we've had an awful cold snap on and off here.
My fall table, busy times.
Kale in the cold frame.
One of the last spears of celery before the cold weather.
Oat cover crop.
Oat cover crop on the back garden bed, where the three sisters hung out for the summer.
Frost hits broccoli.
Pak Choi thriving.
Spinach, I ate some of this the other day.
Super-food crop, pumpkins. Love my pumpkins.
One of our first major snowfalls.
Storage squash, butternut.
Then it was the Holidays and I made my first X-mas wreath,
and watched my first amaryllis bloom. These days I am planning away for seed starting, (starting in February), adding new perennial crops, bushes and shrubs, greenhouse construction, a possible root celler construction and general vegetable and flower planting.
It takes a lot of work to rotate my crops efficiently in a way that fits my garden. I draw plans, plot things out and take several measurements. I can't wait for planting to resume, usually in March, and flowers to bloom. I planted some new bulbs in the fall and keep forgetting about them. Nothing gets me as excited as bulbs blooming in the spring.