The Backyard

The Backyard

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The First 2012 Seed Order is In

Fedco Seeds now has my first seed order of the year.  I say first because I've never been finished with just one order of seeds and I was using up a gift card so I had to limit my purchase to a certain amount.  You'll notice a big hole in the list --  peppers and tomatoes -- probably the two most popular plants grown by gardeners far and wide.  Perusing the seed box, I found 7 varieties of tomato seeds and 5 pepper varieties.  Needless to say, there was no need to order tomatoes or peppers this year.  Here's what's on order for 2012:

Kentucky Wonder Pole Bean
Cannellini Bean
Spring Treat Yellow Sweet Corn
Early Frosty Shell Pea
Oregon Giant Snow Pea
Early Wonder Tall Top Beet
Perpetual Spinach or Leaf Beet
Arcadia Broccoli
Kale Mix
Zefa Fino Fennel

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Needing Advice on Sweet Corn Varieties

My 2012 garden plans include a huge patch of sweet corn to freeze.  My luck with sweet corn has been less than favorable and I could use some advice on the best varieties to grow.  In the three times I tried, only one was successful and I can't recall the variety I grew that year, although I know it was a hybrid.  Last year I grew an heirloom variety that produced tiny ears and very few of them.  It seemed like a waste of time and effort for the little amount of corn I got.  Two years ago I grew another heirloom variety that also grew it's own disease and I don't recall getting any ears out of that crop.   Could I please, please get suggestions from my friends?  Please post a comment on your successful sweet corn varieties. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Taking a Break - Enjoying the Beauty

This is the time of year us northerners sit back, relax, and start daydreaming of spring and getting our fingers dirty again.  The temperature is currently 19 degrees (Fahrenheit).  The ground is frozen and not  too much is going on in the backyard in terms of food production.   My FEDCO seed catalog is close-at-hand and dozens of pages are already turned down as I peruse the catalog in the warmth of my cozy little house.  Now that the leaves are down, mother nature is making another showing for us -- bird nests.   Yesterday, hubby and I found this very-coolly-constructed nest in a sugar maple tree near our house.  It's a nest I never saw before.  Bird nests are interesting to look at and figure out what breed of bird constructed them.  Through the years, common nests we found near our house are the stick nests of mockingbirds, the grass nests of eastern bluebirds, the horsehair nests of the house finch, the feathery cavity nest of a sparrow, the mud nest of a robin and also swallows make mud nests, and the beautiful hanging nest of a Baltimore oriole.  The nest in this picture, we believe, is a red-eyed vireo - a unique, new find for us.  I can't say I've ever spotted this type of bird on our property, so I'm doubly excited about the find.  One nest eludes me -- the hummingbird.  Hummingbirds frequent our property spring after spring, yet I never saw one of these compact, tiny nests. I'm sure mother nature will share one of these with me some day too.  We're looking forward to that day.