Sunday, March 15, 2009

Home Gardening Boom

I'm up at Healdsburg today, and in between gardneing stints I ran across this article - Dollars from dirt: Economy spurs home garden boom

"People's home grocery budget got absolutely shredded and now we've seen just this dramatic increase in the demand for our vegetable seeds. We're selling out," said George Ball, CEO of Burpee Seeds, the largest mail-order seed company in the U.S. "I've never seen anything like it."

I'm certainly one of the Johnny come latelies in this regard - of course we just got our plot here in Healdsburg this year and the raised beds and fruit trees that come with it. But now I've extended this to growing cilantro, dill, and arugula in our yard and patio in SF. I got sick of buying huge bunches of Cilantro for two-three bucks to use a couple of sprigs, and then send the rest off to compost, instead of picking what I need grown from a penny or two of seeds. While I read a lot of info about things you "must do" to get this stuff right, even screwing things up a bit you can get some production.

Off to the garden. Today - after some serious weeding and cutting back the remains of November's planting, I'll be putting in some carrots, cilantro, and dill. Maybe some more after a trip to the Healdsburg Nursery - one of my favorite places on earth.

Scoreboard from November. Everything grew like crazy in January when it was so hot, and crops that were supposed to be coming out now, are bolted and gone. We did get 2 arugula harvests by January, but it was bolted and I cut it all the way back. Between then (mid Jan) and now, the cut back arugula grew back so fast it is going to seed again. I left one plant the finish seeding in hopes it will re-seed, of course the plants I cut back may come back AGAIN. Arugula is like a weed!

We harvested some great mixed lettuces last night. The spinach we harvested in January grew back beyond usefulness. The Broccoli probably hit perfection in late February but was now in flower completely! Doh. We have 3-4 cabbages to harvest now and I'll make some coleslaw. And the parseley and Oregano plants are in perfect condition right now and I'll be harvesting them by cutting them back so we can make something using them this week.

Even a hack like me can have fun with this stuff, and save a few bucks if you have the place to plant. For herbs like cilantro this could even be your windowsill.

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