2011 Planting updates

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Posted by RobPatton | Posted in New Plants | Posted on 20-02-2011

So I’ve updated the initial planting this year to 264 new plants from seed.  I’m spending my free time trying to get everything stocked up for the warmer weather.

Currently from seed: (each row is 6 plants)

Row    Type
1    Papya
2    Papya
3    Papya
4    Brussel Sprouts
5    Sweet Banana Peppers
6    Sweet Banana Peppers
7    Spinach
8    Lettuce
9    Kale
10    Kale
11    Spinach
12    Sweet Mix Peppers
13    Pimieno
14    Pimieno
15    CA Wonder Peppers
16    CA Wonder Peppers
17    Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers
18    Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers
19    4689 Peppers
20    4689 Peppers
21    4689 Peppers
22    Yellow Pear Tomatoes
23    Yellow Pear Tomatoes
24    Yellow Pear Tomatoes
25    Basil
26    Cilantro
27    Spaghetti Squash
28    Giant Watermelon
29    Sweet Watermelon
30    Sweet Watermelon
31    Super Heavyweight Hybrid pepper
32    Super Heavyweight Hybrid pepper
33    Giant Marconi Hybrid pepper
34    Giant Marconi Hybrid pepper
35    Chinese Giant pepper
36    Chinese Giant pepper
37    California Wonder PS pepper
38    California Wonder PS pepper
39    Giant Aconcagua pepper
40    Giant Aconcagua pepper
41    Bounty Hybrid pepper
42    Bounty Hybrid pepper
43    Virginia Sweets heirloom tomato
44    Virginia Sweets heirloom tomato

Fruits and Vegatables best bang for the buck

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Posted by RobPatton | Posted in Harvest | Posted on 12-02-2011

Productive Produce

Posted by Eric Hess

02/10/2011 10:30 AM
Cabbage, watermelon, and greens end up on top.

Cabbage-migeeYesterday, Jen posted on getting the most bang for your buck in the produce section. By comparing the price-per-cup of various fruits and vegetables to their ANDI score, she arrived at a rough ranking of the best, cheapest sources to get your vitamins.

(Note: neither of us is totally sold on the ANDI scoring method, but it at least provides some food for thought—pardon my pun.)

She didn’t have time to track down the whole list, but I did.

Here are veggies:

Veggies ranked

And here are fruit:

Fruits ranked

(Note: These figures were arrived at by dividing each item’s ANDI score by the average price per pound provided by the USDA–found here in Jen’s post.)

Jen already highlighted the smart choices: cabbage, leafy greens, carrots, and cauliflower for veggies, and watermelon, plums, oranges, and apples for fruit.

What shouldn’t you waste your money on? I wasn’t surprised to see corn on the bottom—fresh corn is often expensive and it’s starch-laden interior lacks much in the way of nutrients. Green beans, winter squash, and artichokes all ended up at the bottom, too. Potatoes didn’t rank as badly as I expected, but that’s just because they’re so darn cheap.

For fruit, grapes came in dead last—not shocking since they’re largely water. The most expensive fruit, raspberries, came in third, and despite being cheap nectarines landed in fifth.

For the most part, it’s all pretty intuitive. The things Mom always tried to get us to eat—like greens and brussels sprouts—look pretty good. But let’s be honest: if you’re fretting the choice between broccoli and okra—and not between Cap’n Crunch and SpaghettiO’s—you’re already way ahead of the curve.

Cabbage photo by Sightline staffer Migee Han.

New Supply Order today….

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Posted by RobPatton | Posted in New Plants | Posted on 09-02-2011

While looking for local (inside Florida) vendors, stumbled upon www.tomatogrowers.com website.

These guys focus on Tomato, Peppers, and Eggplants.   I loaded up on some nice looking options for peppers for this season’s growing!  I’m excited, both for some tasty peppers, as well as some fantastic pictures to come..

#9329A Chinese    Large Quantity 9329A –         1       $ 9.25       $ 9.25
Giant             Chinese Giant
1/16 Ounce $9.25
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
#9146A Giant      Large Quantity 9146A –         1       $ 5.25       $ 5.25
Aconcagua         Giant Aconcagua
1/32 Ounce $5.25
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
#9266A Super      Large Quantity 9266A –         1      $ 11.00      $ 11.00
Heavyweight       Super Heavyweight Hybrid
Hybrid            1/32 Ounce $11.00
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
#9037A Giant      Large Quantity 9037A –         1       $ 9.95       $ 9.95
Marconi Hybrid    Giant Marconi Hybrid
1/32 Ounce $9.95
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
#9254A            Large Quantity 9254A –         1       $ 8.70       $ 8.70
California        California Wonder PS
Wonder PS         1/16 Ounce $8.70
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
#9366A Bounty     Large Quantity 9366A –         1      $ 11.00      $ 11.00
Hybrid            Bounty Hybrid
1/32 Ounce $11.00

Top Ten Most Nutritious Vegetables and How to Grow Them in Your Garden

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Posted by RobPatton | Posted in News and Reports | Posted on 08-02-2011

Top Ten Most Nutritious Vegetables and How to Grow Them in Your Garden

by Colleen Vanderlinden on 02. 8.11

containerkitchengarden.jpgPhoto Credit: katmere via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License.

A perfectly ripe, juicy tomato, still warm from the sun. Sweet carrots, pulled from the garden minutes (or even seconds!) before they’re eaten. Growing your own vegetables is one of those activities that balances practicality and indulgence. In addition to the convenience of having the fixings for a salad or light supper right outside your door (or on your windowsill), when you grow your own vegetables, you’re getting the most nutritional bang for your buck as well. Vegetables start losing nutrients as soon as they’re harvested, and quality diminishes as sugars are turned into starches. For the tastiest veggies with the best nutrition, try growing a few of these nutrient-dense foods in your own garden. And don’t let the lack of a yard stop you – all of them can be grown in containers as well.

Grow These Good-for-You Veggies

broccpeasbeans.jpgPhoto Credits (left to right): Wanko, Qfamily, George Scholz, via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License.

1. Broccoli

Broccoli is high in calcium, iron, and magnesium, as well as Vitamin A, B6, and C. In fact, one cup of raw broccoli florets provides 130% of your daily Vitamin C requirement.

  • How to Grow Broccoli
  • Grow Broccoli in Containers: One broccoli plant per pot, pots should be 12 to 16 inches deep.
  • What to Watch Out For: Cabbage worm. If you start seeing pretty white butterflies fluttering around your broccoli, you’re guaranteed to start seeing little green worms all over your broccoli plants. To avoid this, cover your broccoli plants with floating row cover or lightweight bed sheets. If you start seeing cabbage worms, simply pick them off by hand.

2. Peas

There is nothing like peas grown right in your own garden – the tender sweetness of a snap pea just plucked from the vine is unlike anything you can buy in at a store. Aside from being absolutely delicious, peas are high in fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and Vitamin A, B6, and C.

  • How to Grow Peas
  • Grow Peas in Containers: Sow peas approximately 2 inches apart in a pot that is at least 10 inches deep. Provide support for peas to climb up.
  • What to Watch Out For: Hot weather. Once the weather turns hot, pea production will pretty much shut down. Grow peas in early spring and late summer/autumn, or any time of year when temperatures are consistently between 40 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Beans (especially navy beans, great northern beans, kidney beans)

While snap beans (green beans/wax beans) are a great addition to any garden, it’s the beans we grow as dried beans that are real nutritional powerhouses. Dry beans, in general, are high in iron, fiber, manganese, and phosphorous.

  • How to Grow Beans
  • Grow Beans in Containers: Bush beans are your best option for growing in containers. Plant beans four inches apart in a container that is at least 12 inches deep.
  • What to Watch Out For: Harvest at the right time. Harvest dry beans when the pods have completely dried on the vine. The pods should be light brown, and you should be able to feel the hard beans inside. Shell the beans, and let them sit out a few days to ensure that they’re completely dry before storing them in jars in a cool, dark, dry place.

brusselstompepper.jpgPhoto Credits (left to right): norwichnuts, photon, S. Diddy, via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License.

4. Brussels Sprouts

The bane of many a childhood, Brussels sprouts get a bad wrap mostly due to overcooking. When prepared right, Brussels sprouts are sweet, tender, and delicious. They also provide tons of fiber, magnesium, potassium, and riboflavin, as well as high levels of Vitamins A, B6, and C.

  • How to Grow Brussels Sprouts
  • Grow Brussels Sprouts in Containers: Grow one plant per 16-inch deep container.
  • What to Watch Out For: Cabbage worms (see “Broccoli, above.)

5. Tomatoes

Fresh, homegrown tomatoes are the reason many gardeners get into vegetable gardening in the first place. There’s just nothing that compares to eating a perfectly ripe tomato, still warm from the sun. Tomatoes are also incredibly good for us, packing plenty of fiber, iron, magnesium, niacin, potassium, and Vitamin A, B6, and C. They’re also a great source of the antioxidant lycopene.

  • How to Grow Tomatoes
  • Grow Tomatoes in Containers: Container sizes will vary depending on the variety you’re growing. If you’re growing an indeterminate variety, your container will need to be at least 18 inches deep. For determinate varieties, 12 inches is a good depth, and for dwarf or “patio” type tomatoes, 8 inches is perfect. One tomato plant per pot.
  • What to Watch Out For: Tomato horn worm can be a problem in many areas – these large caterpillars should be removed by hand whenever you see them. Also watch out for signs of blight, which is a real problem in many parts of the U.S.

6. Red Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers are high in potassium, riboflavin, and Vitamins A, B6, and C – in fact, one cup of red bell pepper packs an amazing 317% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C and 93% of the recommended Vitamin A.

beetsamaranthcarrots.jpgPhoto Credits (left to right): La Grande Farmer’s Market, SummerTomato, color line, via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License.

7. Beets

Beets are a great “two-fer” crop – you can harvest the beet roots, of course, but you can also harvest and eat the greens. Young beet greens are delicious when added raw to a salad, and larger beet greens can be sauteed as a quick side dish or used the way you’d use other greens such as spinach. Beet roots are very high in iron, potassium, and vitamin C. Beet greens are even better, as they are high in iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and Vitamins A, B6, and C.

  • How to Grow Beets
  • Grow Beets in Containers: Plant beet seeds three inches apart in a container that is twelve inches deep. Because each beet seed is actually a cluster of seeds, be sure to thin the seedlings to one per cluster. Thinnings can be added to salads or sandwiches.
  • What to Watch Out For: Knowing when to harvest. Beet roots are at their best when they are harvested small – between one and two inches across. At this size, they are sweet and tender. Larger beets tend to be kind of woody and less flavorful.

8. Leaf Amaranth

Leaf amaranth is a less-common vegetable that is well worth a try in your own garden. The leaves have a sweet and slightly tangy flavor that works well in a variety of dishes, from stir-fries and soups to simply steaming it all by itself. As a bonus, leaf amaranth is one of the few heat-tolerant greens. It won’t bolt in the heat of summer the way spinach and kale are prone to. Nutritionally, leaf amaranth is very high in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, riboflavin, zinc, and Vitamins A, B6, and C. Everyone should be growing this!

  • How to Grow Leaf Amaranth
  • Growing Leaf Amaranth in Containers: Scatter the tiny seeds over the soil’s surface in a pot that is at least 8 inches deep. Harvest the leaves when they are two to four inches tall. You will be able to get at least two or three harvest before you’ll have to sow more seeds.
  • What to Watch Out For: Leaf amaranth is fairly easy to grow, and relatively problem-free. Rarely, leaf miners can become a problem.

9. Carrots

Carrots are at their sweetest, crunchiest best when freshly harvested from the garden. These icons of healthy eating deserve their “good-for-you” rep – they’re very high in fiber, manganese, niacin, potassium, and Vitamins A, B6, and C. Their only drawback is that they do tend to be high in sugar, so if you’re watching your carb intake, you’ll want to limit the amount of carrots you eat.

  • How to Grow Carrots
  • Grow Carrots in Containers: Sow carrot seeds two to three inches apart in a pot that is at least twelve inches deep. Look for shorter varieties, such as ‘Thumbelina,’ or ‘Danver’s Half Long.’
  • What to Watch Out For: Harvesting at the perfect size. Carrots are at their tastiest when harvested small. Leaving them in the ground too long can result in overly large, woody carrots. You’ll also want to make sure to keep your carrots evenly moist, as letting the soil dry out too often can also result in somewhat bitter, fibrous carrots.

leafygreensall.jpgPhoto Credits (left to right): Oakley Originals, djprybyl, djprybyl, via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License.

10. Leafy Greens

OK, I cheated here. I can’t recommend just ONE leafy green, because they are all incredibly good for us, as well as delicious — kale, collards, spinach, turnip or dandelion greens — how can you possibly choose just one? In general, the “green leafies” contain high amounts of calcium, iron, potassium, and Vitamins A, B6, and C.

  • How to Grow Kale and Other Leafy Greens
  • Grow Greens in Containers: Grow one kale or collard plant per ten inch deep pot. Other greens can be grown a few plants to a pot — they should be planted at least 4 inches apart and harvested small.
  • What to Watch Out For: Heat and cabbage worms. Most leafy greens are cool-weather crops, so they’re best grown in spring and fall in most areas – hot weather will cause them to bolt. In addition, many of these greens are members of the Brassicas family, which means they are prone to cabbage worm infestations. Control them with the same methods outlined in the “Broccoli” section, above.

Try growing one or two (or all!) of these nutrient-dense, delicious vegetables in your own garden, and you’ll get double the health benefits: healthy food and time spent outdoors, nurturing your plants.

Copied from http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/02/top_ten_most_nutritious_vegetables_how_to_grow_them_in_garden.php

Looks like the blueberries are blooming!

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Posted by RobPatton | Posted in Blooming/Producing, New Plants | Posted on 02-02-2011

Came home today and noticed that the blueberry plants have started blooming.