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      So, last night, after a few days of illness, getting worse, I took some codeine and a sleeping pill, lay myself down to sleep, and couldn’t. Right then, obviously serious enough that I needed to go the hospital. I arrived, at one of Toronto’s (Canada’s largest city) largest hospitals. There was no one else in […]
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Something to look forward to

The Nuttery garden in winter at Sissinghurst Castle, England

It’s the dead of winter but surprisingly mild here in New Jersey.  The weather is going to be sunny and in the high 40s, low 50s all week.  Weird.  So, I’ve been watching gardening videos and visiting gardening sites.  What do I know about gardening?  Not much.  I’m usually a horticidal maniac.  But lately, I have been able to keep a few plants growing.  I wouldn’t say they are thriving but they haven’t died yet and they are still green.  And I’ve managed to do that for at least a year with one plant and several months with the others.  Yes, I lost a rhododendrum last summer but I kept the limelight hydrangea going.  It’s a start.

Last year, I introduced some of you to Titli Nihaan, the English Halal cook.  But I only recently found that Titli, who really should have her own show on TV, also has a very busy garden.  I was wondering where she got all that rhubarb.  Last year, she documented her garden in something like 46 youtube episodes.  You catch the last half of these episodes on youtube, the beginning half is only available on DVD.  Pretty nifty business model.  I like to watch Titli not just for her gardening skills but for her camera appeal.  Here’s a montage of Titli’s Busy Garden from 2012 so you can see what I mean:

I’m thinking of trying my hand at some real gardening this year and might even plant some GMO tomatoes.  Just kidding.

Or am I?

But wait! There’s more!

The Vermont Bean Seed Company has a garden planning app that will help you layout your garden, set up a Gant chart of when to plant and will send you reminders and tips.  Too cool.  The first 30 days are free.  It’s $25 after that.  I haven’t found a similar app on the ipad or for OSX yet.  If I’ve missed one, let me know.


13 Responses

  1. Can you afford the seeds?

    • Seeds are not expensive. Check the Burpee site. Special offer: $10 off an order of $50. That’s like getting 2-3 packets of free seed. And with lettuces, you can sow several crops, a couple in the spring and a couple in late summer. That’s a s^&*load of greens from a single $3 packet.

  2. The only GMO tomato I ever heard of was Calgene’s FlavrSavr. It was rolled out for a while and found to be disappointing. Its putative claim to faim was supposed to be its long shelf-life with good taste/flavor/mouthfeel right to the end of its on-the-shelf storage lifetime.

    Meanwhile, classical and neo-classical plant breeder Tom Wagner of Tater-Mater Seeds had developed a much underpublicised months-long-shelf-life tomato called the Kinjack, achieved by breeding a naturally high-pectin rock-hard tomato with a tasty cherry tomato.
    I don’t have time right now to find a web-entry about Kinjack tomato but here is a Tom Wagner relevant entry.

  3. We’ve had good luck in north Jersey with peppers and tomatoes. Not much else. The best tasting tomatoes we grew were Juliets. Outstandingly sweet but extremely hard to get. I saw them touted in a Washington Post garden column. I would think they’d do very well in south/central Jersey. Much tastier than Sweet 100 or other cherry tomato/grape tomato varieties commonly sold.

    Yellow peppers, red peppers, green peppers have all done well here. They grow small; but have a ton of taste. One small pepper equals a regular sized one in recipes because of the taste. Very nice in salads.

    Between rabbits and deer we had no luck with lettuce.

    Go get em.

  4. She clearly has fun getting stuff done. And she has a lot of space to work with. Someday I hope to have that much space.

    I tried finding the alligator she showed us early in the program. This was the best I could do . . .

    • The funny thing is, I don’t think she does have that much space to work with. It looks like a very small space and it’s stuffed to the gills with plants. It looks like less than 1/4 acre.

      • It’s all relative, I guess . . . I was looking at the video and drooling over “all that space” . . . bed after bed after bed . . . AND a greenhouse . . . ANNND a potting shed . . . ANNND a . . . ANNND a. . . she makes 1/4 acre work very hard and efficiently.

        It makes me hope to someday get myself in order enough to get a real yard with a real house on it . . . someday . . . and have more than my current 250 or so square feet of beds to work with. Though she could do more with 250 square feet than what I’m doing with it. I know more about “the literature of” gardening than the actual practice. If I drag myself up to the level of serious amateur in practice, I will brag all over everywhere about it.

  5. Starting your own tomatoes from seed gives you a chance to try so many varieties that you would never find as plants. I usually grow over 15 varieties each year.

    Our garden club has held tomato taste testings a couple of times, and the cherry tomato Sungold is always on top along with Prudens Purple, Paul Robeson, Cosmonaut Volkov and for a good tasting type that looks like you picked up at the grocery store (consistent in shape, size, etc), try Jet Star.

    Here is a fun catalog to peruse – lots of great black and white drawings and fantastic write-ups for the seeds.


  6. love the video, thank you

  7. Here is a you tube video about a labor-savor hand tool that you and/or others might possibly like. This is the first time I have ever seen it and I like the idea of it. It is a spring-loaded “auto- spade”.

    And this seems to be the source for the autospade and a few other
    “backsaver” enhanced hand tools.

    Now . . . I am not sure how one would get these tools over here from England. But knowing they exist is the first step.

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