How Does Your Garden Grow? 2014 Season

How Does Your Garden Grow? 2014 Season

Once again this year I plan on chronicling the highs and lows on my “garden” with How Does Your Garden Grow? posts! (This is the pinterest board if you’d like to follow that.)

I haven’t done much planning for the 2014 gardening season other than where I left off last year – I do, however, expect to plant an herb garden this year as well as a second thornless blackberry bush. I want a thornless raspberry bush too. We saw them on a country drive last year, so I know they exist, and they do grow up here. Now to locate one, and plant it at the right time. Last year we checked the local nursery for a second thornless blackberry bush a few weeks too early, and never went back to pick one up at the correct time. I wasn’t too sad in the end only because we had removed one bush the year before that had thorns, and since I didn’t replant in that same spot, I was able to take care of any residual thorned-black-berry-bush roots that popped up. And a lot did.

As far as herbs, we are hardiness zone 6a. The Old Farmer’s Almanac suggests rosemary, sage, thyme, and I know that our CSA had those in the u-pick portion last year. But, Hubby wants parsley and cilantro. Supposedly I can grow cilantro in western New York, but everything I have read suggests clumps of growth as it will bolt otherwise. In gardening jargon, to bolt means it will abandon leaf growth and seed very quickly once hot weather arrives. The plant is inedible after fully bolting as any new leaves will be bitter. Apparently planting in cilantro clumps will lessen the possibility of this happening. We shall see.

Parsley seems like a “can’t miss”. Sounds like I’d have to dump bleach on it to get it to stop growing! Anyone have any familiarity with growing parsley? Is it invasive? Should I pot it? Or will it be ok in the ground?

Looks like I’ll be digging up the dirt island (or more likely Hubby or Sonny-boy will be) sometimes in April or May and planting Mother’s Day weekend.

Are you planning on planting a garden this year? Have you started seedlings indoors yet? Or will you buy from a nursery? Flowers or fruits and vegetables?

Interested in more How Does Your Garden Grow posts from Ann’s Entitled Life? click here

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  1. Happy gardening!
    I’m excited to see that you’re going to plant an herb garden. I also grow cilantro-yes they tend to bolt, but it’s worth it. Nothing quite like some fresh cilantro in your home made salsa or fish/shrimp tacos. FRESH!
    Have you ever grown parsley before? They bolt too. (And get huge-last year my flat leaf got 4 feet tall) When the parsley bolts you have all manner of flies, bees, wasps, moths, ants (awesome pollinator magnet) drawn to the plant’s flowers. So, if it was me, I would not plant close to any doors or high traffic walkways. Good luck with those. Half the fun is in the learning.

    You mentioned planting time…down here in Zone 8 the optimum planting time is in the fall. October.
    Prevailing wisdom down here is that fall planting allows the plant to get busy with root development and establish itself to be ready for spring growth and production. Since we tend to have dry summers-new planting have a tendency to dry up and die-it may be different for you up there.

    When we move-we’ll be planting some berries too. Thornless-in the fall. 🙂

    • Sounds like I may do as Marie suggests, Barbee, and plant the parsley in a pot. And then not too much of it. LOL We shall see. Herbs are new to me. I can grow any type of flower or vegetable, but have yet to try herbs.


  2. The parsley I grew last year did excellent in a pot. I was it’s downfall…left it on the porch in -2 degree weather and killed it. As for the parsley in the garden, the tomato plants shaded it and the growth was stunted. The year before last I over wintered one plant indoors and it was alright as long as you like it tall and skinny. Starting seedlings indoors is something I’m not great at since I seem to break them when transplanting so I prefer to directly sow in the garden bed (I have the weather for it though). I haven’t really started planning the garden yet but I do have 3 cabbage plants I started indoors last fall that never made it to the garden so those guys are definitely on the list. As are the onions in the garden that survived this brutal winter. Spring bulbs are starting to sprout and I found one lone crocus yesterday.

  3. I am very much looking forward to some gardening weather. I started parsley in a pot last week. Just sprinkled a few seeds on top of the moist soil. Loosely covered with a transparent plastic bag so the soil does not dry out too quickly. I am not sure how long it would take to sprout, but I am keeping an eye on it. I will not do cilantro this year. Last year it went to bolt (thanks for this word Ann!) right away I mean it was complete waste of time for me. I have a few kinds of seeds of heirloom tomatoes and peppers that I’d like to start some time soon. I will probably do it in late March. It is hard do this though because plants suffer from lack of sun on my window seals and they have to be acclimated to sun once the weather permits for them to be outside. They burn easily. So its a lot of work. Better to buy tomatoes and peppers already as plants in April or so.

    • I am sorry that happened to you, Tatiana. I hope that because I am so much further north and we don’t have many above 85° days, that the cilantro will do well here. I guess all I can do is try it and see?

      I am going to ask Hubby if he wants to do tomatoes. If nothing else, a pot of them may work. He’s talked about it for years, so I think it is time. I fear peppers would just be a rabbit smorgasbord in my neighborhood. It is too bad too, because Hubby cooks with a LOT of peppers.


      • You should try the peppers, Ann. You might be surprised. There are websites that will tell you which plants should be planted next to other plants and others sites will tell you what to do to keep rabbits away. I looked it up last year, but turns out I didn’t need to. The rabbits were more interested in the peaches that fell off the neighbor’s tree! I did plant onions in front of the peppers as suggested.

        • I’ll ask Hubby if he’s interested, thanks Marie. If this turns out like “his” thornless blackberry bush though, I think I am just going to do as much as I am comfortable taking care of.


  4. Parsley is not invasive here.. never heard anyone say that about it anywhere to be honest.. Anything in the mint family is the only one I’ve heard issues about..

    For any of you who only want to plant a few things but dont have the time/space/sun etc to do it properly need to check out Winter Sowing.. it is MIRACULOUS and I have to get myself on the ball & get some seeds out myself.. I tried it last year for the first time & it works REALLY well.. winter-sowing
    I also make my own pots & start seeds in my basement but Im moving more & more towards W. Sowing.

    Cilantro doesnt bolt in a New York Minute here like it does in the South.. (Southerners plant in fall or super early Spring) It does eventually go to seed but even when it does, we just use the ferny leaves.. I’ve never heard or known it to be bitter.. thats a new one on me.. I sow it at different times so its at harvest at different times… and thicker stands are better… at least in my opinion.. Thats how I sow it. I just scatter seeds everywhere.. thickly. And if you can get fresh seed, coriander seed IS cilantro seed.. I just buy a pound of it from San Francisco Herb Co and its cheap and I have plenty to eat & plant.

    I’d like to have some thornless berries after looking at yours all summer..
    Year before last I planted a fig tree and 3 blueberry trees… last year I added a slew of strawberries and divided several rhubarb plants so hopefully I’ll have SOME fruit this year.. I’ll have to see if I can find some good thornless plants.. Do you know what variety yours are?

    Im not planting anything yet.. I’d love to plant some warm weather It’ll be months yet, I know.

    • I am STILL jealous of your fig tree, Kim! Darn that 100 miles.

      I am hoping for the best on the cilantro. Hopefully the summer isn’t too hot and it does ok.

      As far as the thornless blackberry bush type – I can check when I get home in April. I know where I purchased it, and they have a frequent buyer’s card, so I should be able to find out that way.


      • You know what Ann? If I were you.. I’d give that fig tree a chance..either plant it in a giant planter (not my first choice) or plant it in a wind protected area… has the Chicago Hardy Fig.. so far, mine has done fine.. and I’ve read that people up in Maine & Rhode Island have them.. so Im SURE they’d grow there where you are.. Even if they do die back to the ground every year, if you have the roots protected from heaving,(and drying out & dying) they should be fine..
        I really am thrilled with this fig tree.. I might buy another one or two if my blueberrys dont ever do well.. Im gonna give them one or two more years and then they’re outta here if they’re not productive. 🙂 More figs for me! 😉

        • I may give it a go Kim. I’ll look into a spot and see if the soil will accommodate it, as well as the light and wind. Thanks for the type to look for too!


  5. btw.. cilantro does not like to be transplanted.. so just plant your seeds where you want it to grow.. its like radishes.. Every seed will germinate.

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