Memphis Backyard Farmer

March 30 Garden Update
March 31, 2012, 5:47 am
Filed under: Gardening, Memphis, Urban Ag | Tags: , ,

Potatoes!I picked peas today.

I know, no big deal, right? Except that these are peas from seed I put in the ground last fall. That should give you a taste of how warm the winter has been here in Memphis. Turnip greens, spinach, and peas are still producing for me (though the greens have gone to seed now).

I keep trying to put off planting something substantial until at least Good Friday, though April 15 has been the de facto planting date around here. But today I threw caution to the wind and put out some herbs and some loofah gourds. The loofahs have a long growing season, and I never seem to get them in the ground early enough to pull them before the first frost of fall, so I end up losing a few. Not this year. And two weeks ago I put collard greens, carrots, and more spinach in the ground. Everything except the carrots has come up in spades.

And to add to all this green glory, I have strawberries on my plants and the grapes are preparing to bloom. I’m holding my breath – will there be one, last, humongous frost? What about the prognostications of Punxsutawney Phil?

To round things out, I have the prettiest, heartiest tomato and pepper seedlings I’ve ever had. I’m hoping that I’ve learned the secrets to successful starting from seed after three years of trying. If they continue the way they’re going, I’m going to have a fantastic crop of tomatoes to put out in a few weeks. I’ve chosen three varieties. “Early Treat” is a Burpee hybrid that produces in 49 days. I usually have a great crop of late tomatoes, but I never have tomatoes before August because the heat sets in so quickly here and the blossoms drop. Hopefully “Early Treat” will put me ahead of the curve.

Second, I have “Black Krim”, an heirloom variety that was recommended to me a few years ago by a farmer friend in Ohio. This is my first year growing these and I’m not sure how they’ll do. I’m substituting them for the “Cherokee Purple” I grew last year. The Cherokees were great – no complaints – I just want to try something new.

And finally, old faithful, Brandywine, rounds out my top three.

Stay posted – I’ll try to write a post about my seedling success soon.


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