Monday, March 23, 2009

New Things for the Garden

I sat down with my box of garden seeds this morning, checking to see what I'm lacking, and then put in an internet order for the seeds I know I can't find locally. One hybrid I just had to have was Joi Choi, the only bok choi I've found that doesn't bolt to seed once our summer heat gets here. I also wanted Kuroda carrots, an Asian type that handles our summer heat nicely, yet keeps well in storage until the following summer. And I'm trying Delfino Cilantro in my on-going search to find the slowest one to bolt.

I also ordered seeds for a few more heirloom vegetables. I'm trying to move more and more to heirlooms, so I can save even more of my own seeds. This year, I'm trying Lutz Green Leaf for my beet crop, and Danish Ballhead for storage cabbages. I found the things I wanted in the Jung Seeds catalog.

I like additions to my perennial plant selection even better. I ordered a Wolfberry herb plant, also called a Goji berry. It's supposed to be a hardy, drought-tolerant, vining perennial shrub, and the berries, high in anti-oxidants, are commonly dried like rose hips. Sounds like it will fit right in around here. I wanted a couple more blueberry plants. I already have a dwarf Northland that is doing ok in a little bed where I've added sulfur, plus mulched with pine needles and coffee grounds, to make the soil more acid. Blueberries are supposed to do better with three varieties cross-pollinating each other, so I'm trying a dwarf Northblue and a Rubel to complete that planting group - I need to find varieties that can both take the heat of our summers and survive our freezing winter weather without snow cover.

Then, I'm trying something new for my sweet husband. He likes to make beer, getting the ingredients from a brewers supply place in Reno, but has always wanted to play with home-grown hops. So I ordered both Nugget and Willamette plants. Before they get here I'll have to decide if I want to just grow them as summer privacy screening on the fence and treat the hops flowers as a bonus, or set up a trellis system designed for efficient harvesting of the flowers. I've thought about growing them up a string outside the south side of the chicken pen to a pole just inside to give the chickens some more summer shade, or maybe I'll design a hops arbor. Aries is pretty good at figuring out how to make my design sketches a reality, and we've got quite a bit of salvaged wood for building projects.


Carol said...

Very ambitious plans! Do you think the Goji berries can take the heat? I thought they were original from Tibet (or some other very cold and elevated place that hardly knows summer). Keep posting about their progress -- I"m interested in how they will fare in this country.

Anonymous said...

I too am looking forward to hearing how the goji berries do, I've never learned much about them as I've just not seen them grow yet, but plants seem to have quite a will to live and survive, so it might amaze you :-)
How is the dwarf blueberry Northland? I have ordered that and the Northblue too, and know nothing about their "care and feeding" - tips?

Nancy M. said...

You have some really interesting plans! I am new, so my plans are very modest. I have learned a lot from reading your posts.

Callie said...

Hi Sadge,
I'm really enjoying your blog, you're a lady after my own heart. I recently started a garden blog as an offshoot of my family blog, and I would like to include you in my blogroll, if you don't mind. Come on by and check out my brand new gardening blog. (not much to see yet, hehe)