Time to Plan Your Garden! ~ Sparks, NV

WARNING ~ LONG POST WITH LOTS OF GARDENING LINKS AT THE END! 🙂

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Even though it’s still January and in the middle of winter…I can’t stop thinking about my garden! I’m getting itchy and twitchy! I want dirt under my nails!

In between the rains last week and the snow over the weekend there was a brief break in the skies and the sun came out. I rushed out back and busied myself with my raised garden beds. Checked the soil, threw on some leaves, newspaper and grass that was mulching in a corner and some of Starbuck’s coffee grounds. Did you know that all Starbucks have a bucket near the door that have spent coffee grounds for free?! 🙂 If you’re anywhere near UNR…the Student Union Starbucks has more then plenty.

Last year was my first garden in the raised beds we made…and there were no wormies in the soil then. I dug around and found lots of wormies in my beds. 🙂 Eat and poop my little ones!

Here are the plans for and what the raised beds looked like before I took it apart and made it smaller. PLANS FOR RAISED BEDS

The BEDS BROKEN UP INTO TWO instead of one massive bed.

And THE BEDS ALL PLANTED.

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While over at ECLECTIC CULTURE FARM I found a great site called Local Harvest ~ Real Food. Real Farmers. Real Community!

LOCAL HARVEST ~ Nevada (I linked to the Nevada part of the site…it’s country-wide though.)

Here is a little closer to home ~ NORTHERN NEVADA & EASTERN CALIFORNIA

There are lot of local farms listed where you can buy from…also a shop page to buy seeds, gifts, and whatnot.

My mouth is watering over the HEIRLOOM TOMATO SEEDS! Are those the most beautiful lip-smacking things ever?! I’m all ah-giddy!

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I’m going to start my seeds soon…last year I planted most of my seeds right into the ground. But I think I’ll start my peppers and tomatoes inside this year…I harvested a bunch of seeds before eating them. 🙂 Hatch Green Chiles and Heirloom Maters….yummmmmie!

After some doing some online research I found that you can start your seeds in almost any type of container as long as it is at least 2 to 3 inches deep and has some drainage holes.

The seeds should be started in a soilless growing mix that is made up of fine, moist and spongy blend of sphagnum moss, vermiculite and perlite. You can mix your own, using 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 perlite, 1/3 milled sphagnum moss. This mix hardly contains any, if any, nutrients. Start feeding the seedlings with a weak fertilizer solution several weeks after they germinate…they’ll need to be fed weekly until it’s time to transplant them into the garden.

After the wee plants are 6-8 weeks old, they can be transplanted into larger pots with a coarser growing mix with up to 20% garden soil or compost…that will help the plants get ready for garden life.

Here is a cool schedule I found ~ WHEN TO START YOUR SEEDS from The Gardner’s Supply Company online site.

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MORE HELPFUL LINKS FOR NEVADA GARDNERS!

UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA COOPERATIVE EXTENSION'S HORTICULTURE PROGRAM

THE NEVADA MASTER GARDNER PROGRAM

WASHOE COUNTY CALENDAR ~ if you live in a different county than Washoe, just click on the drop-down menu and it will let you click on your county!

A Great Link for Teachers ~ SCHOOL GARDENS PROGRAM.

HORTICULTURE PUBLICATIONS for the State of Nevada.

SEED SAVERS EXCHANGE ~ Since 1975, Seed Savers Exchange members have passed on approximately one million samples of rare garden seeds to other gardeners. They are a non-profit organization of gardeners dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds.

A great write-up on THE THREE SISTERS GARDEN
~ The Three Sisters garden is a special way of growing corn, pole beans and winter squash, and its first use can be traced back to the Iroquois Confederacy.

GARDENING IN NEVADA ~ The Bartley Ranch Series. FREE CLASSES on Tuesdays starting 3 February through 31 March 2009.

End of the 2008 Backyard Garden ~ Next year’s Inventory

Well…I yanked the last of the tomato and pepper plants. We had a few nights where it dropped down to the freezing and my ‘maters froze.

Here’s a list of all the veggies I planted this year:

Sugar Peas
Corn
Pumpkins
Romaine
Red Leaf Lettuce
Carrots
Green Onions
Radishes
Black Beans
Bush Green Beans
Cayenne Peppers
Sweet Italian Peppers
Red Carribean Haberano Peppers
Cucumbers
Black Zucchini
Mexican Grey Squash
Yellow Crook-neck Squash
Basil
Yellow Pear Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes
Italian Parsley
Thyme
Rhubarb

Things I will do different next year:

Sugar Peas ~ I think I’ll pass on the peas next year. I don’t have the room to plant the amount one needs to get a good crop yield.

Tomatoes ~ No more wee tomatoes. My mom gave me two of her Heirloom tomatoes and I took the seeds out of one (then ate the tomato! Yum!). I’ll start plants from the seeds…definitely need plants in spring, not seeds.

Corn ~ Definitely more corn! It was very tasty and I didn’t plant enough this year. Excellent seed starters, do not need plants.

Onions ~ I’m going to pass on the green onions and plant yellow and red onions. Garlic too! The garlic will be planted this fall.

Radishes and Carrots ~ Yes! Excellent seed starters, do not need plants.

Squash ~ I think I’m going to just go with the Mexican Grey Squash and only two plants. I love that stuff and it grew much better than the zucchini and crook-neck. Excellent seed starters, do not need plants.

Of course Pumpkins…I’ll plant only two mounds and put them out front where they grew the best. Excellent seed starters, do not need plants.

I’ll only plant Green Beans next year and put them where I had the pumpkins in the back (that didn’t grow too well)…it’ll be a great place for them where it’ll be easy to stake them. (see picture below) Excellent seed starters, do not need plants.

More cucumber plants…this time I’ll make something for them to climb on. Excellent seed starters, do not need plants.

Yes to Cayenne Peppers and then I’ll plant New Mexican Hatch Green Chiles too. I seeded both of them and will start the seeds early so I have nice size plants to transplant in the spring…it takes too long to start them by seed in the spring.

Potatoes ~ I’m going to plant potatoes next year. I KNOW that they grow great in northern Nevada. I’d like to try Cabbage too.

I’ll move the basil out front where the parsley and thyme is. Rhubarb plants stay where they’re at. The Romaine and Red Leaf Lettuce didn’t do all that well as the squash plants over-powered them. If I plant them next year it will have to be in a place all by themselves.