Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Growing Unique, Er, Strange Plants

Ok, I just have to share this GardenWeb thread: What's the weirdest/oddest/unique thing you're WSing this season?

Feel free to have a good chuckle and contribute if your growing/grow/grown something odd! No, it doesn't have to be something you're going to WS. Join in the fun - you know you want to! :)

A Review Of Home Grown Popcorn

Last year the hubs and I happened to spot a packet of popcorn seed at a local Ace Hardware.
We hemmed and hawed about wasting space/money on something that might not produce well, but since we try to grow something a little bit different every year (this year it's the Peter Peppers - someone is sending me seed! Yay!) and since my Aunt has experience growing it, we weren't totally in the dark. So, we decided to go ahead and waste a sweet corn row/seed money on the popcorn instead.

Wow, am I ever glad we did!

Even though it wasn't the best growing season for corn (see previous post), it still turned out very well. The ears ended up small, again, because of the weather, but it still did well even in adverse conditions. We harvested the ears after the stalks died, stored them in the open in a mesh bag inside the house for two months and my youngest and I sat at the table and shelled them all within 30 minutes.

And holy cow - the flavor! What a difference from store bought kernels! Seriously, we were blown away by how fresh it tasted. No comparison to the stale store bought. Of course, until you taste the difference you'd never know. And it did take a bit longer to start popping. But, those hard kernel skins that always get stuck in your teeth? Not so with those we grew. Those skins were so soft you could actually chew them!

This year, we're growing three rows!

Summer 2009 Will Be One Of The Warmest

And it won't stop there.

Or so says Met Office:

2009 is expected to be one of the top-five warmest years on record.
According to climate scientists at the Met Office and the University of East Anglia the global temperature is forecast to be more than 0.4 °C (.72F??) above the long-term average. This would make 2009 warmer than the year just gone and the warmest since 2005.
The updated decadal forecast indicates a rapid return of global temperature to the long-term warming trend, with an increasing probability of record temperatures after 2009.

I'm sitting at a forcasted minus 15F, so right now this 'warmth' sure sounds pretty good to me. Especially since last summer was a total bust for any warm weather veg growing. It was just too darn cold and wet. (the onions loved it) It rained almost every day! Rain is nice, but roots sitting in puddles and blasted by cold winds, not so good.

I was still sitting on the fence about ramping up on the amount of pepper and tomato plants this year, and even though I don't know how reliable this info is, this tidbit just shoved me over. Yeah, like I needed a push/excuse to sow more seeds! Tsk, tsk.

Time to plan for more of those warm weather crops in everyone's gardens?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Want That!


This is exactly the garden I want to eventually have: English Cottage Gardens, Alaskan Style!

I have never, ever seen a cottage garden as beautiful as this one.
Total plant porn!

A few people over on GW were lamenting about it being much too packed with plants with no style. I most humbly disagree! No style?! Hmmmm...

I suppose with 6 months of daylight, it grows without too much effort -But I could never, ever deal with 6 months of darkness. Hell, I'm lucky I can make it through a few months of decreased sunlight. I'd be reduced to a melted, depressed, dismal puddle up there in winter.

Plants growing on top of plants. I want that!