Saturday, January 3, 2015

Winemaking and seeds

Happy New Year! Apologies for the long silence--we've been busy enjoying winter sports, making some wine and just generally ignoring everything gardening related ( a bit of burn out after apple and tomato season).

Tonight, though, Jess and I moved a batch of Malbec from the primary to a carboy and started chatting ("keep stirring!") about the garden for next year. Santa brought Jess some seeds for her stocking and she has some ideas of her own.

In the "more" category are carrots, golden beets and tomatoes. The tomato mill I got for my birthday made making pizza sauce a snap and we're almost out. We're also hopeful to get a decent crop of zucchini this year and I'm hopeful for some pumpkins out front. I'd also like to grow a few more green beans and more shell peas--although we may freshen our seed stock here.

In the "less" category, fall Russian blue potatoes, swiss chard and white onions. We'll replace them with more yellow storage onions and another batch of walla-walla onions (which were amazing while they lasted). Also, slightly fewer scarlet runner beans are the plan.

We still have a few onions, lots of garlic and a bunch of potatoes so I think we're in good shape. I also seem to have over-estinated the amount of apple sauce and crab apple jelly we're using--although we're a long we from new preserves so I guess we'll see!

I'm keen to see if I can coach a seed crop out of the carrots and beets we're over wintering in the basement. On my list of chores is hunting up the grow lights for tomato seedlings this spring. And perhaps we'll also grow our own bedding plants.


  1. Sounds like you've been busy. I've grown Stupice tomatoes and they're good for this climate (very prolific, too!). I did manage to coax a few carrots to seed last year (totally by accident). I'm convinced that trying too hard nets me bad results most of the time! Most of my garden successes are thanks to mistakes or volunteers - go figure.

    1. Good to know! I'm keen to try these. And yes, volunteers are important--all of my lettuce is pretty much volunteers.

  2. As I look forward to the planting season, I worry about where to plant. I've moved back to my own house, which has a number of less-than-ideal planting locations:
    1) A raised bed that my ex-wife decided to fill with raspberries two years ago
    2) A large (-ish) area with poor soil and shaded by a fence on three sides
    3) A small area that would be bright but is open to the alley (and potential vandalism)

    I suppose I could replace my ex's flower garden with vegetables :)

    PS: My brother got an oak barrel for Christmas, so his apple cider is going to be much more interesting :)

  3. Raspberries are a bear to move (just hard work). The raspberries might like the poor soil. I'd grind under the flower garden. You can also thin the flowers and plant in some veggies.

  4. That's what I've been thinking too - move the raspberries over (and maybe fill up the remaining space with potatoes until the raspberries take over). I don't really care about the flower beds, but there were poppies there in past years, and those things produce about a million seeds each.