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2012 Goals, Plans, & Resolutions

It seems like most of the garden blogs I read have been doing some type of New Year’s Resolutions, and so I’m going to jump on the bandwagon a few days late. This is a mixture of goals and plans for the blog and the garden. (The garden goals are going to be very general, since we aren’t having our first planning meeting until Jan. 17th!)

1. Have raised beds to plant in – hopefully early enough in the season to be reasonable!

2. Post more vegetable and herb recipes on the blog again. Last year I got away from posting many recipes (probably because there weren’t a lot of vegetables for a chunk of the summer). I’m planning to feature more yummy veggie recipes on the blog.

3. Grow some good tomatoes. Okay, this is probably more dependent on the weather than anything I can do.

4. Do a better job of staying on top of insect and disease problems as they occur – both for blogging purposes and enacting solutions.

5. Do more vertical gardening. We had a pretty successful year with the trellises, and I hope we’re going to try some new things again this year.

6. Think about water conservation – and maybe do something about it too. While conditions aren’t as dry as they were in the fall, we are still in a drought without many signs of it letting up. As we get a new irrigation system in place, I hope we can make it as efficient as possible. Many vegetables have a better flavor with a little bit of deficit irrigation (getting a bit less water than they strictly need), so maybe we can practice a bit more tough love.

7. Get a rain barrel. We’ve been talking about getting a rain barrel put in the Quiet Garden area, and maybe we’ll get that done as part of the renovation. We wouldn’t be using it for the vegetables, but it could be used for flowers and containers.

8. Explore Italian vegetables. Maybe this will happen this year or maybe next year. I have been salivating over the new Seeds from Italy catalog, and dreaming up ways to make fennel, radicchio, cardoon, and other fun things grow in Kansas.

What are you garden plans for the new year?

Friday PhotoEssay & Link Around

It isn’t often that I’ve gone outside the boundaries of our Demonstration Garden for pictures or post topics, but since our garden is pretty barren right now (see the previous post), I wanted to keep providing some garden eye candy for as long as possible. This week, I went out and visited the rose garden!

Our hybrid rose garden is still looking amazing, even after a few freezes. Aren’t these roses gorgeous?

This if the flower from the ‘Mister Lincoln’ hybrid tea rose. It is an older hybrid tea (introduced in the 1960s), and has big, beautiful flowers. A lot of catalogs show it as being a redder rose, but ours is definitely a paler, fuchsia color.

I also found a number of different articles and recipes to share this week, covering quite a range of topics.  Read the rest of this entry