I have been negligent on keeping the Fran's Victory Garden blog up to date, sorry. The garden is up to date, not the blog. This year I have an excuse tho, I broke my shoulder when a ladder gave out under me while hanging a bird house, don't ask...

This year I had help, my nephew's son Jack. He is only 11 and is a good worker. He dug all the holes for xplanting, dug furrows and sowed the seeds, relaid the paths between the trellises, and helped me move the trellises.

Jack working in the garden


In between rains over the last week or so I have transplanted from the starter pots:

  • the four varieties of peppers
  • the eggplants
  • the four varieties of tomatoes
  • when all the planting is done I will find miscellaneous spots for the left over brussel sprouts

Everything previously planted is doing great but the raspberries. Of the four root sets, only one survived, it was funny taking back three bags of dirt to Lowes, they took them tho and I got two potted raspberries, they appear to be doing great.

I have thinned the:

  • carrots
  • beats
  • cabbages
  • cauliflowers
  • brussel sprouts
  • spinach
  • lettuce
  • radishes

When I transplant from the peat starter pots, I tear off the bottom and plant two together. This year it has been so wet every starter pot worked, more thinning.

The peas from seed are doing great. GOOD NEWS, repeat, GOOD NEWS, the Fig tree survived the winter. All the perennial herbs in buried pots have also survived and have been dug out and are up on the deck.

All that remains are sown from seed after it stops raining in a couple days:

  • more carrots
  • more spinach (in pots on the deck ?)
  • more arugula (in pots on the deck ?)
  • more lettuce
  • cucumbers
  • pole beans
  • basil in pots on the deck
  • cilantro in pots on the deck
  • summer squash
  • winter squash when the peas and beats are done

This will complete the planting vegetables.

I will transplant the marigolds in the corners and in pots.


the GreenHouse. Each white tab is a seedling

On March 27th I planted from seed peas & spinach. From root stock I planted four raspberry of two varieties. In the past I have gotten starter plants from my local high-end garden store, always successful. This time I bought from Lowes, I don't have a warm & fuzzy about it. I also planted more Asparagus root stock, wish me luck.

Today March 29th I plan to plant Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Lettuce, Radish, Arugula and maybe the Cabbage & Cauliflower.


This is where the  Fran's Victory Garden 2017 Plan Planting Dates on the GrowVeg GardenPlanner comes in super helpful. I was getting ready for the Spring planting March 15th. The ground hog saw his shadow and we are getting his six more weeks of winter. I can't see the ground for a half a foot of snow.  The forecast has a frost down in the teens at dawn on March 23rd, five days from now. The forecast is mild until then. I'll start planting later that day. Now I will sprinkle some BBQ ash on the snow to encouraging melting where planting is planned.

The planting will include more roots for asparagus and raspberry plants. Here is the list:

  1. Arugula from the starter trays, I will do this last in case planting takes me several days.
  2. Asparagus from roots I have to purchase. I will be adding to an existing patch.
  3. Brussels Sprouts from the starter trays.
  4. Cabbage (Summer) from the starter trays.
  5. Cauliflower from the starter trays.
  6. Lettuce (Leaf) from seed.
  7. Peas from seed.
  8. Raspberry from starter plants I have to purchase.
  9. Spinach from seed.


2017 Seedling Trays, yes, that is snow outside

Started germinating the first batch of seeds on February 22nd just before going to St Croix for six days, turned the house heat low, it was 62 when we returned, so a low temperature environment.

The following is transcribed from my ad hoc clipboard notepad I kept when I set the seeds in damp filter paper to start germinating February 22nd. The 'Started' date is when the sprouted seed is placed in the starting tray (above).

. Plant Note #
1 Cauliflower Germinating 2/22, Started: 3/1 7
2 Eggplant Germ. 2/22, Started: 3/6,3/8, 3/10 12
3 Arugula Germ. 2/22, Started: 3/6 7
4 Lettuce Old seeds, no germinating, will start in garden from seed 0
5 Cabbage Germ. 2/22, Started: 3/1 9
6 Brussel Sprouts Germ. 3/1, Started: 3/6 16
7 Marigold Germ. 3/1, Started: 3/6 8
8 Bell Peppers Germ. 3/1, Started: 3/10 13
9 Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper Germ. 3/1, Started: 3/10 12
10 Peperone Corono Roso Germ. 3/1, Started: 3/10, 3/15, ... Germ 3/10 (a) 10
11 Sweet Bannana Germ. 3/1, Started: 3/6,3/8 6
12 Tomato, Money Maker Germ. 3/1, Started: 3/10, 3/11, 3/14 ... Germ 3/10 (a)   - Matures 75 5
13 Tomato, Glacier Germ. 3/1, Started: 3/14 ... Germ 3/14 (a) -  Matures 55 7
14 Tomato, Cherry Germ. 3/1, Started: 3/8 ... - Matures 65 6
15 Tomato, Plum Germ. 3/1, Started: 3/10 ... - Matures 80 6


Last year didn't get much blogging done. My excuse is I spent the Summer right up to the first frost relaying the patio's pavers. I am now attaching the patio to the paths. I'll add a pic when the snow is gone.

This year I am making some changes to the garden layout. The big plot with the diagonal paths is being enlarged by adding another foot in width by moving the path closer to the deck. Last year's smallest plot is being attached to the big plot by removing the path between them. These changes add about fourty more square feet to the garden. This additional space will be used to add another diagonal trellis in the large plot. I will try to grow eggplant and peppers on this new trellis.

I am using the GrowVeg Garden Planner for the third year, love it. Here is the plan.

This year the first sign of life was almost two weeks earlier. February 22nd saw the first rhubarb breaking the soil, this has been a mild winter, the next week+ looks tough tho.


This is the second year planning Fran's Victory Garden with the GrowVeg Garden Planner.

The big change is the large plot by the deck will be filled with trellises diagonally situated so they face south. The garden is located on a squarish piece of land where the corners of the square point toward the points of the compass. With the trellises diagonal to the square they will be facing straight south. In the past, the trellises would be at an angle to the sun and the phototropic nature of plants would pull the plants to the southern corner.

Also, this year the cabbages and cauliflowers are going in tunnels right from the get-go. Yeah, lets beat those cabbage worms.

Another big improvement this year is edging for the plots, in the past the dirt had a way of migrating onto the pavers, dirty.


Today March 2nd, I put some late starting seedlings into the starter tray, they are:

  • Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers (1)
  • Burpee Sweet Bell Peppers (4)
  • Eggplants (5)
  • Pole Tomatoes (10)

I also set out a second batch of seeds to germinating, they are:

  • Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers (1a)
  • Peperone Corno Rosso (2a)
  • Sweet Banana Peppers (3a)
  • Burpee Sweet Bell Peppers (4a)
  • Eggplants (5a)
  • Cauliflower (7a)
  • Cukes (9a)
  • Pole Tomatoes (10a)

The first batch of germinating seeds were perhaps too wet and the temperature was kept at about 70 degrees F. The second batch is just damp and the temperature is being kept a little above 80. The method of maintaining the temperature is set the plate of seeds on the cable box.