Ready for your Spring Garden?

March 17th is the planting date (in Zone 7a) for Broccoli, Collards, Kale, Red and Green Cabbage, Spinach, Orach, and Cauliflower.

With the exception of the Orach, all of these plants will need some sort of protection from Cabbage Worm, especially if you’ve planted Brassicas in your yard in previous years.

Cabbage Moth

Cabbage Moth

cabbage worm

Cabbage worm

My favorite way to keep the cabbage worms off the plants in my spring garden are to place netting around the plants.   I’m also experimenting by interplanting with tansy, which has an offensive smell to cabbage moth…I will let you know how that turns out 🙂

Below you’ll find some pictures and a description of the varieties we’re carrying this year. When you know what you want, send us a message either through the website form at the bottom of this page, through FB (www.facebook.com/thegreatfullgarden) or give me a good old fashioned phone call at 856-455-2294.
~jw~

Umpqua Broccoli

Umpqua Broccoli is a standard type Broccoli which has done well in my garden in South Jersey year after year.

Umpqua Broccoli is a standard type Broccoli which has done well in my garden in South Jersey year after year.  Seed sourced from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.

 

Collard Greens

Easy to grow and delicious. My favorite way to use collards is as a wrap for your favorite sandwich fillings. They are also useable as completely compostable, renewable plates! Just place your meal on them and when you're done...eat it!

Easy to grow and delicious. My favorite way to use collards is as a wrap for your favorite sandwich fillings. They are also useable as completely compostable, renewable plates! Just place your meal on them and when you’re done…eat it!

 

Dinosaur Kale

This is our favorite kale. Originally marketed as a loose-leaf cabbage, this kale is easy to grow and even the kids love its mild taste.

This is our favorite kale. Originally marketed as a loose-leaf cabbage, this kale is easy to grow and even the kids love its mild taste.

 

Orach

This slow growing green isn't just green! Often used as a substitute for spinach, which tends to bolt at the first whisper of warm weather, Orach grows to 3 feet tall, withstands frost and doesn't bolt even in the summer heat.  Again, It's slow-growing, though, so buy more than 1 or use it as a colorful filler in your favorite lettuce-mix.

This slow growing green isn’t just green! Often used as a substitute for spinach, which tends to bolt at the first whisper of warm weather, Orach grows to 3 feet tall, withstands frost and doesn’t bolt even in the summer heat.

 

Giant Noble Spinach

Spinach is a hardy plant for winter and is perfect for unpredictable late winter weather. Keep it moist by adding sufficient mulch to your garden and that will also help protect against it bolting with the first warm spring days.

Spinach is a hardy plant for winter and is perfect for unpredictable late winter weather. Keep it moist by adding sufficient mulch to your garden and that will also help protect against it bolting with the first warm spring days.

 

Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage

Cabbage - Early Jersey Wakefield (Green)

A favorite, old heiroom cabbage. It’s an early variety that is ready about 65 days after transplant.

Red Rock Mammoth Cabbage

Another favorite cabbage with deep red leaves and small core.  Good for fresh eating and for coleslaw.

Another favorite cabbage with deep red leaves and small core. Good for fresh eating and for coleslaw.

Purple of Sicily Cauliflower

Look at these bright purple heads! This variety is delicious and beautiful. If purple isn't your thing then you can keep it white as it comes in by making sure the leaves don't open and expose the head to sunlight.  But I say let it turn purple!

Look at these bright purple heads! This variety is delicious and beautiful. If purple isn’t your thing then you can keep it white by making sure the leaves don’t open and expose the head to sunlight.
But I say let it turn purple!

Place your orders below…

And please keep in mind that these plants are by NO MEANS the only plants for an Early Spring Garden. These are just the ones I’ve spent the winter months tending to. If you like snow peas, radishes, carrots and beets too, get in touch and we can talk about making an early spring garden happen for you. 🙂

Evolution.

February 2009 I moved into my home.

I built the first things I had ever built, 6 square raised beds. There are nails sticking out of the ends and they are a little bit crooked because I didn’t brace the corners. But they’re still holding on. I keep them because they are a reminder.

6 years ago.

6 years ago all the trees surrounding my house were shorter and I was convinced that maximum sunlight and straight rows of tomatoes, beans and peppers were all I needed.

A friend brought over some asparagus crowns and started pulling my weeds.
I thanked her for both.

And after three years of organic gardening in the best way I knew how…my soil SUCKED. I mean really…it was visibly worse than when I had started. My little homestead in a rural city was supposed to be the model of sustainability and here I was, 3 years in and realizing this wasn’t sustainable at ALL.

I started talking about taking out trees, to my husbands dismay. Using up more land. Making the garden bigger and bigger. There were entire times of the year where my soil was bare, exposed to the elements with no mulch, nutrients just washing away.

The switch flipped when my cherry tree died of fusarium wilt.

The first year I could expect cherries, the blossoms came and shortly after they shriveled up and died. Then the whole tree started weeping, the leaves turned brown and in time, it was just a stick in the ground.

So I started looking up orchard maintenance. I read that successful orchards are seen when a great number of different weeds are thriving around the trees.

What is that? I was taught all my life that plants hate competition. They can’t stand each other. They need 1 foot here and 20 feet there and don’t let them mingle because production will go down!

I did more reading. More and more reading. The internet is a great place for someone on a mission to learn something new.

I learned the names of all the wildlfowers and the weeds.

I learned most of them were edible, some of them were medicinal.

I learned that the soil is alive, that tilling it was like taking a knife to skin.

Basically, I learned that I was doing it all wrong.

So what did I have to change?

I started spending more time walking around the garden than working in it. I often wondered what my neighbors thought of me, standing in my yard, staring at one corner, then another. Taking three steps, looking down for ten minutes. Picking up a tool and not using it, continuing to JUST LOOK.

I started dragging peoples cut down trees home, and burying logs in the ground.

Then I learned about Hugelkultur.

I started wondering why my garden looked so bare in winter.

Then I learned that perennials will literally save the Earth because of their ability to trap carbon.

I planted my usual annuals and silently wished they could be as water independent as the dandelion.

I started eating dandelions.

For the last three years I’ve just let the garden grow. Of course I’m still planting things. I’m planting with GUSTO. Planting things everywhere!

But I’m doing a lot less pulling. A lot less yanking, sawing, trampling and no, I mean NO Tilling. My soil looks awesome, the garden is productive, I’m working less and reaping more. I’ve added chickens. This year I’ll be adding bees. I hope to one day add a pond for keeping fish.

My life is full of abundance. It always was I just had to learn how to see it.

First I learned how to work. Then I learned how to see. Then I learned how to be grateful.

And that’s how the Great Full Garden came to be.

Cleavers, nutsedge, morning glory, celery, rosemary and more...because life isn't about rows and rows of the same thing.

Cleavers, nutsedge, morning glory, celery, rosemary and more…because life isn’t about rows and rows of the same thing.