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Welcome to Growbox Hill
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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

changing of seasons..

We went from true on cold as hell and got snow winter like we are supposed to last Saturday to full on early spring warm and lovely over yesterday and today. And dipping down in the next few days with snow storms likely

Been doing a lot of spring cleaning.. more like late winter getting ready for spring cleaning. Some rearranging of the furniture, tossing out stuff from the solarium to the garage or the curb. The solarium has gotten some attention, so I can start using the place more properly for potting and crafting again. It just gets too darn cold in winter, then stuff piles up... sheesh.

Anywho. In the gardening front... Some more major changes going on, heh. My brother and I got to talking the other day, and he wants a white chili veggie garden. He had no idea I ran a white year last year for tomatoes, hehe. I'm glad I did, so now I know which ones are the tastiest and best for chili. So I'm pulling a few other tomato plans of the list so I can grow white tomatoes. I have no white peppers, so I had to order some up real quick from Baker Creek. Three sweets and a white Hab. Now I'm changing pepper plans too, and pulling some off the list to just put into the sales pile. Like Sweet Banana and Hungarian Yellow Wax- those I can buy cheap and in plenty during the season locally.

Some of the beds are moving around more too. Not physically of course. But the time is long overdue for me to do some serious rotating, replenishing, and general attendance to all the beds. I'm learning a lot of things about all of this action. The different groupings and scheduling of rotation, what companion plants are what, what plants are for what bugs. I want to grow a bug patch this year, something to attract in beneficials and the baddies, hopefully get some bug control going on.
At the end I know at least a raised bed or two will be getting dedicated to the white chili garden. Still planning on going ahead with the black tomatoes- fewer of them, but still.
The lasagna beds- some of that space is being dedicated to growing Brussels Sprouts. Probably some broccoli and cauliflower too. But a lot of turning over and attending to kind of cleaning up and finalizing the borders more. We got the base layer materials built up nicely now.
I need to keep up on the beds down front- and I still want to add on another section to what I planted last year. I'm just not sure if I want to try to mimic the first section, or do something different.
The herb border on the fence needs a total overhaul I think. Serious amounts of work.
And want to keep up with keeping the pole barn bed cleaned up.
The kennel beds are getting the most overhaul. The garlic bed went in last fall, and the other leg of the L is getting cleaned out and the line of it straightened out before anything else. I'm thinking of doing a lot of container growing on the slab, but I'm unsure of just what I want to do there yet.
The FOH garden and kitchen garden will likely see more attention this year. The mint hill will also see some cleanup- last year was an establishment year, this year I'm hoping to train that into a fill in year. The solariam surround just needs a little cleaning up I think- I gotta remember to pull some irises for the bead lady. 

I'm thinking there might not be any real squash this year- I want to combat squash beetle. So melons, gourds, cukes are all out too. I might plant in some for trapping action, but I won't be anticipating any real fruiting off them.

And ah yes. That glorious gardening and preserving moment.. When at the end of February, I can fully restock the pantry with two cases of tomato products I put up last year. Another month or two of not having to buy any tomato product in the stores since last summer- priceless :)
Italian stewed tomatoes, crushed white tomatoes, and tomato puree are now out of the canning pantry. Still have the Rotels to pull out when there's more space in the kitchen pantry. And I still have several jars of tomato juice and a couple jars of dehydrated tomatoes so I can whip up more tomato goods as needed. Plus an ice cube tray or two in the freezer of other tomato stuff. Super concentrated pulp and refined juice. And a jar of smoked dehydrated tomatoes in the back of the fridge. I'm starting to think that perhaps I'm getting to around the right amount of preserving required to keep the household happy. 
I've been tinkering around with some other preserved food stuff lately too, wanting to eat out the pantries and freezers as much as we can right now. Been keeping notes on it all too, heh. But that will be another post for another day, it's already been far too long since I last posted.

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