Category Archives: 2012 Garden

Pictures of Early Spring Crops – Keep Planting

Veiw of the Garden 2012

Here are pictures of the crops I planted in early spring that are ready to enjoy. Salad greens, brocolli, and peas. Still waiting on Cabbage, which are looking good! First time really planting these from starts. Still waiting on Cauliflower – first time too – not sure what they are doing. Also, Attached are pictures of the rest of the garden so far; look at the pictures for labeling of veggies. Plant the rest of your seeds now – it’s warm enough!
Onions - some "left over" from last year I'm letting goto seed-the big ones
Bush "Wax" Beans in the front and French Pole Beans in the Back
All of the brocolli - From Starts planted in early March
>Mesclun "lettuce greens"

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Posted by on May 29, 2012 in 2012 Garden



Planting Time is Here and Near!

It has been a slow go on this years plantings, even for the early veggies. I had direct seeded snap peas and shelling peas around mid-march that have grown about a foot. I had also direct seeded mesclun which is just about ready to harvest (and last week made a succession planting of lettuces). My broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower starts didn’t make it – because I’ve no patience to “harden them off”. I had to repurchase starts of these. And by that time I had cut off the bottom of all the quart milk bottles I’d saved to proved each start a mini-greenhouse which has worked marvelously. I also see that some of my onion and leek seeds have sprouted and some of the tiny starts I planted are still alive. I also started some garlic and have yet to plant them in the garden; suspect they won’t be ready until the fall comes. Potatoes should have been planted in March, I didn’t because I wasn’t sure about my space and I live in Idaho where potatoes are plentiful (but you really can’t beat the taste of a homegrown potato – no kidding)

Early Spring, provides little windows to start your garden and you have to make the most of the sunny opportunities. I had started tomatoes in the house in february and transplanted them this past weekend, during a sunny spell, outdoors and placed Walls of Water around each of the 10 plants. IF you don’t have walls of water for your tomatoes or peppers, keep them indoors until around June; then plant them outdoors as it is still too cold at night for them.

Speaking of peppers, I will have to purchase starts of these too as my seeds just did not germinate! Must have been too old or I also didn’t store them right (but my other seeds have germinated fine so far that were stored the same way).

I may start indoors my some summer plants, squash, melons if I have time and energy. Otherwise I will wait until June to direct seed them, which will be fine.

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Posted by on May 1, 2012 in 2012 Garden


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Start your seeds now…

So, the local DB store sells the jiffy seed starter greenhouse kit for $3 (tray, 72 cell pack insert, plus dome lid). I bought one; I have 2 of just the trays only from last year. I found a website that sells the jiffy 72 refill cell packs to insert in my 11×22″ plastice jiffy trays that I purchased last year. Note: the peat pellets just dried out too fast. Found reasonably priced too at for $1.23 for a 72-cell refill pack PLUS shipping of course – but still cheaper than local store (IF you can find one that stocks just the refill cells).

Where I live we are about 8 weeks now before our average last day of frost (May 9). Although I have been told that our zone here in the treasure valley has been changed…I have not checked up on that. I prefer to go by local folklore and look at the snow on the mountains I can see from my kitchen window for most of my plantings.

Today I started the following seeds: Broccoli, Cauliflower (new), Walla Walla Onions, Leeks (new), Green onions (new), turnips (new), Cabbage (new). These are either cool season crops or long growing crops (onions) that will be okay to transplant into the garden in Mid March. In late February or by Mid-march (depending on weather) I will direct seed lettuces/arugula/peas. See Reference Tab for Specfic dates on when to plant what vegetable.

when I receive my additional refill packs next week (as I have 2 remaining trays from last year), I will start my peppers and tomatoes too and grow them indoors for several months; planting early with walls of water around them in May or June.


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Seed Starting Supplies at the Ready!

It is that time. Time to get your seed starting supplies out and get going. Don’t worry too much. I still have a mental inventory going in my mind of what I’ve got and what I need. I will have everything going no later than mid february. I am still waiting for seeds I ordered from seed-savers – and will deal with those when they arrive. ALSO MAKE YOUR GARDEN PLAN!!! (I need to get on this one too! will publish soon, last year’s is under resource tab)

I decided to switch out my starting strategy and NOT use the expandable peat pellets. Why? They dried out too quickly and the roots tended to stick out too much for the length of time I keep my starts indoors.

Instead I will purchase a couple of the plastic “cell” type starters. Like what you’d buy a 6pack of flowers in at the store – instead this size is about a cookie sheet and has (i don’t know) 60-72 cells? I will purchase soil to put into cells. This system should retain moisture much better and it’s reusable. The peat pots to me are just too expensive for the amount of starts I will do.

Remember, heat is what counts for germination (not light. Seeds are underground; they don’t get light; they respond to heat). The right temps are usually mid 60’s – 80 degrees. Cover with saran wrap to create a green house effect. I don’t have a warming mat. I cover with plastic wrap and put in a sunny window and this works for me.

Refer to my Resource Tab that has date table for seeds/starts. Start cool season crops brocolli, root veggies, onions from seed, lettuce (if you want-these usually germinate in colder temps fine), and other crops you want to get a jump on like peppers (for walls of water), tomatoes (for walls of water), zuchinni. Direct seed peas, lettuce. Plant potatoes in soil in mid-march. Just getting you thinking.

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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in 2012 Garden


Time for the countdown! Starting Seed Indoor?

It’s already here! Time to start thinking about what seed you will start indoors in the PacNW. Harvesting your own food; It’s not an off again, on again hobby. Our family recently finished butchering the elk my son harvested right before Christmas. We get to take January off! Only to start thinking seeds, starting late January, February.

If you are thinking of starting seeds, check out the seed savers exchange catalog. I received a membership from my husband for my birthday and the catalog has so many lovely heirloom choices!!! But, this year, I have so many leftovers – I doubt that I will order much, if any. Inventory any seeds you have and what you will need for starting seed indoor as well as your early spring plantings. And start making your garden plan for the year (as I will).
FEB-March – start seed indoors according to your last frost date.
Mid-March – Is timing to direct seed those early spring veggies, and if I am thinking correctly any started brocolli and plant potatoes and lettuces.

Note any big changes (here are a few of mine off the top of my head):

TOMATOES — One whole row devoted to tomatoes instead of the 5-6 plants. I notice that I use at least 1 quart jar of marinara sauce each month — and in addition, we use plenty of chopped tomatoes and sauce throughout the year. What I made this year will likely not last until next harvest.

PEPPERS – My 6 pepper plants were enough, I think – I still have a good frozen supply.

PEAS – shelling peas. I might plant more sugar peas and allow them to grow and shell OR plant specific shelling peas. The ones I shelled were the best peas I have ever eaten — so I’ll likely devote space for this purpose. AND the peas froze wonerfully!

CUCUMBERS – Might really try to plant pickling – depends on space.


Posted by on January 16, 2012 in 2012 Garden, Canning/Preserving