Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

Mid-Winter in an Austin Urban Garden February 5, 2014

There are still 42 days until Spring and I’m already getting antsy about planting my Spring garden.  I’ve been somewhat lazy this Winter, and did not plant many late Winter crops.  I had an amazing harvest  of broccoli and cauliflower in January and am still eating broccoli.   But I did not plant more when I could have.  Much of my gardening activity has been covering and uncovering existing plants, to protect from the brutal freezes we’ve been experiencing.

Herb Bed prepped for freeze

Herb Bed prepped for freeze

I have some lettuce that isn’t doing much.

Lettuce

Lettuce

The two big onion beds are looking great.  I’ve been worried about the onions bolting, (going to seed)  with our erratic weather and the really  warm days that have come between freezes.  That wouldn’t be a disaster, because I would harvest them as green onions and eat them anyway, but I’m holding out for the big storing onions.

Onion beds

Onion beds

There is more going on inside the house than outside.  I picked up some seed potatoes from The Natural Gardener a couple weeks ago, and they have been sprouting roots in brown paper bags, while I wait for planting day, which typically is around February 15th.  I may go ahead and get them in the ground this weekend.

Seed potatoes

Seed potatoes

Every year I try to grow something new, and this year it is going to be peanuts.  I planted these inside a couple weeks ago, and they sprouted quickly.  I have them under a kitchen cabinet light at the moment.  Apparently they like heat and sandy soil, so my efforts may prove to be too early.  I need to add some sandy soil to one of my raised beds for them.  A crop of peanuts would be fun.

IMG_2122

I planted a bunch of tomato seeds at the same time I planted the peanuts.  They started putting on their true leaves last weekend, so I transplanted the healthiest of them to 4 inch pots.  They are still on their heating mat under the light, and I’m spritzing them daily with a dilution of John’s Recipe, from The Natural Gardener.  Once they get a bit bigger, I’ll start letting them spend warm sunny days outside ( if we have more of those.)

Tomato seedlings

Tomato seedlings

I’ve ordered lots of seeds from Seed Saver’s Exchange – several varieties of peppers, watermelon, tomatillos and cucumbers.  Those should come today or tomorrow, and I’ll start those inside as well.    If we are to believe the famous groundhog, we still have lots of Winter left before we can get these plants in the ground.  I plan to be ready.

If you aren’t into turning your living space into a greenhouse, there are some really amazing plant sales you can get your Spring transplants from.  My favorite is the Sunshine Community Garden plant sale, which will be on March 1st this year.  According to their website, they will have over 70 varieties of peppers and over 130 varieties of tomatoes this year.  There is a list of the varieties on their site as well.   I can’t wait!

Grow some food, ya’ll!

 

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