Fire Mountain Garden Exchange


December, Already? by Editor
December 8, 2009, 12:27 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I don’t know how December got here, I am still savoring Thanksgiving with its wonderful food, and good times with friends and family. We should take the opportunity to be thankful in these troubling times, if we can, because as one of my favorite poets, Jim Morrison, so eloquently noted “the future is uncertain and the end is always near”.

One of the things we can do is get our thankful selves out to the garden and plant vegetables so that we can have something to be thankful for in 3 months. This is another of my favorite months to garden on Fire Mountain, the lettuce, beets and peas make every salad a treat.

What I do with my starters this time of year is get a five gallon bucket and half fill it with a mix of potting soil, peat moss if the soil doesn’t already have in the mix, some perlite to hold moisture and a little balanced dry fertilizer (careful, more is not better), all this stuff can be purchased at Home Depot or Lowe’s or you can search out organics at Grangetto’s.  Soak it over night to spread the moisture evenly/ Get a regular black plastic flat (the kind you just threw out) and place a piece of fabric (I used a piece of geotextile fabric used in home construction to line drainage, maybe some one you know is a contractor and might have scraps around, but an old towel works too) in the bottom to keep the soil mixture for falling through the holes and fill with the soil mix. Plant a ton of seeds, I try to use rows, the last one I did was ¼ lettuce (use multiple varieties to make your salads look and taste better), ¼  beets. ¼ bok choy and  ¼ green onions. Keep the water on them, and you will have a bounty of starters in about a month. Pick them carefully apart and plant them directly in the garden. It takes a little time and care, and you will loose some whose roots have grown aggressively through the fabric.

Ok, enough of that, now get out and garden!



December Planting Suggestions by Editor
December 7, 2009, 12:26 am
Filed under: Fruits, Vegetables

As usual, our disclaimer and attribution is as follows, we get all of our planting suggestions from Charles Ledgerwood’s “Reliable Seeds 1994”. If you are new to our site, please go back and review the month by month planting suggestions and information about this wonderful man.

The best planting are capitalized:

BEETS, BROCCOLI, BRUSSEL SPROUTS, CABBAGE, CARROTS, celery, CAULIFLOWER, COLLARDS, MUSTARD, ENDIVE, KALE, KOHL RABI, LEEK, LETTUCE, ONIONS, PARSELY, PEAS, PARSNIP, RADISH, RUTABAGA, SPINACH, SWISS CHARD, TURNIPS, FAVAS. This is pretty much the same list as November, but watch your celery.

I am going to plagiarize myself with the flower on the advice of Mr Ledgerwood.

As for the flowers, Mr Ledgerwood was nice enough to suggest that we use the same list for November and December as we use for October.
To wit:

Acroclininum, Alyssum, Aquilegia, Basil, Calendula, Candytuft, Carnation, Centaurea, Clarkia, Delphinium, Dimorphotheca, Escholtzia, Foxglove, Larkspur, Linaria, Linum,
Lupin, Nemesia, Nemophila, Pansy, Phlox, Petunia, Poppies, Primula, Scabiosa, Schizanthus, Stock, Sweet peas, Verbena, Viola, Snap Dragon, Wall flower, wild flowers.

I will repeat the following from the October post excluding the basil recommendation.  I suggest poppies of all varieties, and Sweet Peas. These are all proven winners up on our hill. When Mr Ledgerwood was alive, he told us that he was able to buy color segregated flower seeds, so in the 80’s we were able to buy all purple or all white sweet peas . Seed companies (even the good ones) stopped offering single color seeds for many varieties in the early 90s. Mr Ledgerwood used to segregate his own seeds for his customers. If you grow poppies or sweet peas, you can put markers on same color or bloom type plants or for other traits you want to select.

Don’t forget to refer to Sunset’s Western Garden as a good starting point to selecting flowers and understanding water demands.

Get out and garden!