Red Wicket Market Farm is a small farm 25 minutes from downtown Columbus, Ohio, near Slate Run Metropark. Breeding Black Ameraucanas and Black Copper Marans to the Standard of Perfection, as well as some Olive Eggers just for fun.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Garden Planning

It's the end of February, and there's not much going on with the chickens. I let them out, I put them in. I give them clean bedding, I carry water, I gather eggs. A pretty simple rhythm, but one that will become a lot more interesting in the next few weeks as we test the incubator and get ready for the first hatch of Red Wicket chicks.

This week, however, is all about the garden. As I shared last week, I am deep into Garden Mode. Last week I inventoried all of the seeds I saved from 2012, and made my seed order for 2013. Seems like no matter what I do, my seed order is always huge. I haven't managed to clear off my seed-starting shelves yet (they're filled with sweet potatoes from last years' harvest, which was over 300 lbs) so I haven't actually planted anything yet, but that's the plan for next week.

Garden planning is always a bit of a chore. I plant so many things, and I'm always running out of room. Last year we tilled a strip 5' wide and 50' long on the western edge of the garden, so I'd have room for those sweet potatoes. Then we tilled another 15' x 20' patch for the garlic last fall. I'd like to be done expanding the garden for a while--it's not that tilling up more dirt is an issue, but I'm the designated weeder, and I'm pretty much at my limit for what can be weeded by hand. Does anyone have a Mantis tiller that they'd like to donate? :)

After much planning, here is what I'm growing in Summer 2013 (all photos from Wikimedia Commons)

Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes
    • Paul Robeson
    • Big Daddy
    • Big Beef
    • Early Girl
    • San Marzano
    • Brandywine
    • New Girl
    • Pink Beauty
    • Sunpeach (cherry)
    • Sun Gold (cherry)
  • Summer Squash
    • Sweet Gourmet
    • Zephyr
    • Butterstick
  • Winter Squash
    • Autumn Glow (butternut type)
    • Bon-Bon (buttercup type)
    • Delicata
  • Carrots
    • Touchon
    • Hercules
    • Cosmic Purple
  • Cucumbers
    • Sassy pickling cucumber
    • Jackson Classic pickling cucumber
    • Diva slicing cucumber
  • Melons
    • Allsweet watermelon
    • Little Baby Flower watermelon
    • Sarah's Choice cantaloupe
  • Pumpkins
    • Winter Luxury pie pumpkin
    • Charisma Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin
  • Herbs
    • Thyme
    • Genovese Basil
    • rosemary
    • Italian parsley
    • dill
    • sage
    • summer savory
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Potatoes (whatever varieties Dills Garden Center is carrying)
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • French Filet Beans (and maybe Goldrush and/or Kentucky Wonder, if I have space)
  • Spinach
  • Watermelon Radishes
  • Early Globe Brussels Sprouts
  • Arcadia Broccoli
  • Red Knight bell peppers
  • Purple Rain eggplant
  • Butterbeans edamame
Whew! After looking at that list, I feel exhausted! But wait, there's more! I'm starting some perennial seeds so that I'll have some plants to put in my flower garden and around the house.
  • Cheyenne Spirit coneflowers (a mix of sunset-y colors)
  • Hollyhock
  • Coreopsis
  • Malvia
  • Rudbeckia
Hollyhock
AND I always need some color in the garden, so these will be direct-seeded into the garden in places I feel need some cheering up:
  • Marigold
  • Zinnia
  • Cosmos
  • Sunflowers
And lastly, I always have to try something brand new. This year, it's a greens mix called Salanova and some super hot peppers. Salanova is a new hybrid made up of hundreds of baby leaves surrounding a teeny little core. This makes it very easy to prepare--take out that itty bitty core, and it falls apart into hundreds of baby lettuce leaves, with no cutting required. I'm getting their "home gardener" mix of several types. I don't usually have very good luck growing lettuce, so I have my fingers crossed!

The super hot peppers include some of the world's hottest. I'm mostly growing them on principal--people get conned all the time on these pepper seeds, because they sell for a dollar a piece. There are a lot of counterfeit seeds out there--you believe that you are growing a Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, but it turns out the seeds were a standard habanero. I've done a lot of research trying to find the "real deal"--hopefully I wasn't conned as well!

  • Hot Hot Hot Hot Peppers
  • Trinidad Scorpion
    • Carolina Reaper (current world's hottest pepper!)
    • Fatali (top ten world's hottest peppers)
    • Naga Jolokia (Ghost pepper, former hottest pepper in the world)

My seeds should arrive on Monday or Tuesday, so I've got my work cut out for me next week. Mike made me an awesome seed starting unit, so next week I should have lots of pictures of the start of my 2013 garden. Happy planting!