Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Mixing Compost, Garden Soil, Peat Moss and Vermeculite
 Happy New Year to all!  It was a quiet Fall Season for The Ambitious Gardener.   I believe I needed a break as my Spring and Summer crops kept me hopping.  I loved every minute of it of course.  A very prolific growing season, especially for Beans, Japanese Eggplant, Peppers and Tomatoes.  I learned hard lessons on insect control, blight, root rot and the list goes on and on!
Frame for Frost Protection cover

First, a quick summary on my Fall planting:  The Carrot seeds planted months ago are coming along very slowly but they are looking good.  Green Onion and lettuce are coming up also.  There is also a square with radishes that don't seem to be maturing so they may have to come out.  The Romaine lettuce sprouted but never matured either.

The Broccoli produced a few nice heads, maybe harvested twice from 6 plants.  Cauliflower was a disappointment, however, heads did appear but an early hard frost proved too much for them and they stopped growing and basically rotted.  I don't
 think I will try growing Cauliflower again.

My most prolific plants were the peppers.  They just wouldn't stop putting out!  Cowhorns, Red Cherry and Habaneros, had so many of them that I actually did my first canning ever and made hot sauce with the Habenaros. 

Anyway, I am SO ready to prepare the garden for spring planting and spending time outside.  I have started mixing soil, cleaning out beds and making plans for what seeds I will attempt to grow this year.  Since I am SO Ambitious and impatient, I decided to put up frost protection covering four
Frost Protection
 feet in each bed, sixteen squares each.  It may be a bit early for some seeds but I figure if I provide some protection from the elements, I may get lucky.  Putting it together was very easy and inexpensive.  For each 4 x 4 area, I used 2 - 10' 1/2 " PVC pipe and tied them in the center with cable ties.  Super Simple folks!  I used a 10 x 10 sheet of plastic or 6 mil clear tarp and secured it with 4 spring clamps.  Pretty ambitious right?  :)
Tarp is on and clamped
 I am going to try a few new vegetables this year, Potatoes in pots, Kale and possibly artichokes.
My first year, I was very successful with different types of lettuce so I figure Kale should be a breeze and is so good for you!  I've been reading a lot about potatoes and this may be a challenge as I may be starting a bit to early.  Other root crops I'm planting this month are Shallots, Red Onions, yellow onions and garlic.

Spring Clamp to Hold Tarp

 I haven't decided if Melons will be on the list this year or not.  They really take up a lot of room, which I don't have.  Corn is also off the list also, live and learn.  Last year I planted so many tomato plants and had numerous problems with them that I've decided to take it easy this year.  Four plants is the max, in pots not in the beds.

Green Onion growing in Deck pots

Confederate Jasime

Petunia in hanging pot


More Carrots

Sweet Peas on Trellis

Sweet Peas

Frost Damage to Begonia

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