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12 May 2006 @ 12:10 pm
Before we begin planting, we're going to have to have a lot of trees cut back. Vegetables, fruits, and herbs require lots of sun, and we have large shaded areas of lawn. It's entirely possible we won't get to plant until next year, as having all these limbs trimmed (and half of one tree entirely cut down) is going to be expensive. But it will be so worth it when we start eating out of our garden. :)

Avocado- Taylor is the best self-pollinating, disease-resistant tree. Another tree! I'm not sure we'll have room for all these trees.

Beans (soy)- We can grow soybeans! Excellent protein source. I'm not sure what I'll do with them, but soy is always good to have around, and grows well in humid areas. Envy is a variety good fresh or dried, so I'll probably go with that to have more choices.

Broccoli- I hate broccoli. Rob loves it. So I'll plant a little bit for him. Ptui. Varieties are Early Emerald, Green Comet, Green Duke, Green Goliath, Packman, and Premium Crop. Again, ptui.

Cardoon- I've never heard of this. Apparently, it's similar to artichoke. It's grown mainly for its foliage, not for eating, but can be eaten. I'll put this in only if there's space, as it requires full sun too.

Carrots!- I <3 carrots. We are going to have lots of carrots. Varieties I want are Sweet Sunshine, Little Finger, and Short 'n Sweet.

Corn- Rob loves corn. I don't, so much, but I'll eat it sometimes. We'll grow a few rows-- it has to be in at least a 4x4 foot space for proper pollination. I like the way it looks, at least. :) Silver Queen is a classic sweet corn. Breeder's Choice, Bodacious, Trinity, and Ambrosia are bred to stay sweet longer. Popcorn is possible, but must be grown far enough away from sweet corn that it doesn't cross-pollinate. Maybe hold off on popcorn until we have a larger area to garden.

Cucumbers- Trellis to conserve space. Only a few plants, or we will be drowning in cucumbers. Sweet Slice and Sweet Success are mild-flavored.

Eggplant- I don't really know whether I want to plant eggplant (aubergine for my UK friends). It's pretty. I've never tried it. Rob doesn't like it. I wonder if it would taste better eaten fresh? I might try it for a year and see how it goes.

Garlic!- Yay garlic! Garlic garlic garlic! I will grow so much garlic!

Onions- Short- and intermediate-day onions can be grown in Central Florida. Short-day onions are sweeter, but don't keep as long. Plant a mix. Short-day: Burgundy, Crystal White Wax, Vidalia, Southern Belle, Sweet Georgia Brown, Texas Grano, Yellow Bermuda. Intermediate-day: Candy Hybrid, Stockton Sweet Red, Super Star Hybrid.

Peas- Snow peas and sugar snap peas. Mmmm. Snow peas: Dwarf White Sugar and Snow Wind. Sugar snap peas: Super Sugar Snap, Sugar Sprint, and Sugar Lace.

Peanuts- I am so growing my own peanuts. How cool is that? Any kind but Spanish will do.

Peppers- Argh. I am going to grow peppers. I have an irrational bias against them, as I do with most vegetables. But they are good for me, and if I chop them up fine enough, I can eat them and not freak out. Sweet varieties: California Wonder and Peto Wonder are red, Early Sunsation is yellow. Hot varieties (for Rob): Jalapeno and Tabasco. I don't think he could handle Habanero.

Potatoes- I <3 <3 <3 potatoes. Heat-tolerant varieties are Anoka, Caribe, Irish Cobbler, Kennebec, Red La Soda, Red Pontiac, and Yukon Gold.

Shallots- Just buy grocery store shallots and plant them. Whee!

Squash- Mrah. Possibly, but it looks like too much space and trouble for something I'm not all that into. Maybe later.

Tomatoes- I have the same problem with tomatoes that I have with peppers. I may use them to make sauce, or just chop them up fine. Good paste tomatoes include La Roma, Plum Dandy, Roma, San Marzano, and Viva Italia. Heirloom tomatoes for fresh eating or cooking are Arkansas Traveler, Cherokee Purple, Eva Purple Ball, German Johnson, Giant Belgium, Mule Team, and Mortgage Lifter.

Next up, herbs. :)
cocoajava on May 12th, 2006 10:32 am (UTC)
A thought. If you intend to plant raspberry canes anywhere (not sure if you're thinking about those), try to plant them over some of the old tree roots, especially if you have any of those trees cut down. Raspberries adore rotting wood, and will seek out old roots when left to their own devices.
Elletheletterelle on May 12th, 2006 10:39 am (UTC)
Thank you! I was planning on boysenberries, which I think are a cross between blackberries and raspberries. Unfortunately, the trees we're trimming and cutting are all outside our planting area. The to-cut-down tree is on our hellstrip-- it has a crotch right at the ground, so is basically two trees in one. We want to cut one of them down, because it hangs right over the front yard. The other trees just need limbs removed, and are either on the hellstrip or on the property line.

I will try and rent a woodchipper, though, and use the branches for mulch for the berries (and for other plants too). Thank you!
cocoajava on May 12th, 2006 10:45 am (UTC)
Excellent idea for chipping the branches into mulch. I *heavily* mulch in my raspberries with wood chips, and they are the happies plants ever! And besides, it's a real pain in the arse to weed in those places, so it's a double bonus.

Oh! Another brainstorm. Do you have a dehydrator? I just got one a month ago and already love it. If Ken finds a deal on bananas this weekend, I'm going to make banana chips. I do a lot of preserving the old fashioned way in mason jars, but I wanted to learn another way to preserve food. this is where I got mine.
Arioffbeatentrack on May 12th, 2006 10:33 am (UTC)
I love tomatoes, but only out of the garden. Store bought I can barely handle. I love, *LOVE* the Cherokee Purples I boug them a couple of years ago. Wonderful things.
Elletheletterelle on May 12th, 2006 10:41 am (UTC)
With me, it's not a taste problem so much as a texture-and-seeds problem. I get freaky about those for no reason. I'm taking small steps to overcome the irrationality, because eating fresh tomatoes rather than, say, Ragu spaghetti sauce is so much healthier.
Jerlugonn on May 12th, 2006 12:23 pm (UTC)
It's easy to toss out the seedy inner pulp of a tomato. Then you could put slices of the outer (unsquishy) section in various things like salads.

FYI, when cooking tomatoes, it is best to remove the skins - otherwise you find the skins flopping around in your sauce. I believe you drop the tomatoes in boiling water briefly (about a minute?) and then you can remove the skin rather easily. I started buying canned, peeled, whole tomatoes instead to save myself the effort.

I kinda like eggplant, and I just can't imagine it being worth your effort. It is so hard for me to cook (or buy) an eggplant dish that is so perfectly cooked that the eggplant isn't hard and undercooked or slimy and overcooked. Given your texture/seed issues, I'd probably put off the eggplant.
cianconnell: cianconnell on May 12th, 2006 10:57 am (UTC)
I'm glad to see that you're more knowledgable than me. The first time I planted a garden, we did way too many cukes. And they started wrapping around the railing towards our house and I had many, many nightmares about them coming in and killing me in the middle of the night.

Going light on the cukes is always a good thing.

I hope you post pics when it comes in! Not really a "garden" option out in CO, I'm sad to say (or actually not...I've got a black thumb...and have been known to snap at the husband if he *wastes* money on flowers...or even living plants).