Friday, January 2, 2009

Learning Curve

Let me begin by assuring some of my blogger buddies from up North, that this is, in no way, meant to be a "nana, nana, boo-boo" sort of post.
This blog, was originally meant to be a sort of diary for myself and my family.  I am lucky enough to have new cyber friendships that follow my musings as well.  
If you are suffering from the It'sbeensnowingandsleetingwaytoolongalready Blues, then you better not read this post. If you are feeling brave, and are up to reading about gardening in December, then read on.

Above, you see the fruits of my labor.  My second year trying my hand at Fall/Winter gardening.  This is the broccoli from three plants, not just one. It will be all I get.
Three things worked against me.

1. Lack of rain.  I have been profoundly aware that the only thing well water and rain water have in common is that they are both wet.  Plants would choose rain water, hands down--if they had hands. 
This is the 5th driest year on record (150 years of records), and the driest in the last 50 years.  

2. Lack of Sun. I admit, this is my fault.  I failed to remember the sun moves in the sky each winter, when I planted my seedlings.  That whole "full sun" thing means a whole lot in the winter.

3. Temperature Fluctuations.  Broccoli does not like large temperature swings.  It prefers cold nights and warm days.  Someone failed to email Mother Nature and tell her an 80* day followed by a 28*/sleeting night is not good for my broccoli.  She also didn't get the memo that several 60* nights in a row are challenging as well.  
That said, I have no idea how Brenton at the CSA farm I volunteer at, grew such beautiful broccoli.  Well, I sort of have an idea.  He has amazing soil--river bottom soil.  He has full sun.  His temperatures are a little more moderate, because he's right next to the river.  It tends to run cooler at his place.  
Not that he doesn't have bolting problems as well.  Yesterday, while I was picking, I was also tossing.  He had an entire row (probably 100 plants), that had bolted.  It was a shame, but that's the gamble in gardening.

Pearl ate the extent of our broccoli crop for lunch today.  I will share my broccoli and cauliflower from Johnson's Backyard Garden with my church family.  We have a potluck on Sunday.
I'll either steam it at church or take my favorite broccoli salad.  Maybe both.

PS...I planted more Spinach in large planters today.  I moved the planters into full sun this time.  I'm learning. :)


  1. Nicely done! I'm going to start brocolli in 2 weeks for an early spring crop, I hope it will work. I've never actually gotten brocolli to grow, so if it fails it won't be anything new.

  2. MMMMM...that looks really good right about now! Good work. The less you have, the more you appreciate it!

  3. Sometimes you win sometimes you loose with veggies. My broccoli was a bit pitiful this year, I suppose there is always room for improvement when you are learning.

    Hope you had a great Christmas and all the best for the New Year :)

  4. Wow, that makes me excited to move back somewhere I can actually grow a garden. It's difficult on the 3rd floor of a condo. You'll have to point me in the right direction for where and when to start once I'm ready. Fresh veggies would be awesome. good for Pearl for eating up the good stuff!

  5. Some broccoli is better than no broccoli? Sounds like you had tough conditions for gardening this year. No doubt about it, drought makes gardening really difficult! Keep us posted on your spinach growing. :)

  6. Your brocolli looks great. Makes me wish I had a garden where I could grow vegetables.

  7. I think your broccoli looks great. I realize it could be better but it doesn't look bad. Ours did really bad during the summer but when fall came around Wow! It really took off and did beautifully. But all things must come to an end and now it is gone.