Sunday, February 27, 2011
Year Two, Second Planting, Lessons Learned
With the first year losses under our belt and the knowledge garnered by our mistakes, we set out to prove that we could grow reliably in our zone. My favorite Grappenhall which can grow to 4 feet across, we had propagated easily in our basement (but sorry to say can only be an annual in our zone) died again in the second planting. We ordered another 320 plants of 4 different varieties that should have done well in our zone. Here again, just because a variety may be said to grow well in a certain region it needs to be tested to be tried and true. Out of this planting we found a wonderful pair of varieties that survive our winters fabulously. Folgate and Buena Vista are tight compact plants that green up quickly in the spring with little winter kill. Melissa on the other hand was slow to green up and we lost about 10 of the 80 we planted compared to next to none of the other two varieties. My friend's field is protected on three sides and truly a sheltered field. So I considered the results on this field relevant. In the second year, we put down weed fabric to help us control weed growth. No raised beds. The losses this year were variety specific. Edelweiss, a beautiful white lavender, couldn't make it through our winter. All 80 died. We lost about 5 out of 80 Melissa. Folgate and Buena Vista nary a one. We were successful! Out of 320 we still retained over 2/3 of what we planted, with one variety taking the brunt of the losses and the few that did die of the other varieties we could chalk up to poor planting.
Next: Year Three New Farm, New Plans