Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Seeds Have Arrived!!

A sure sign that I will be busy this year are all the NEW seeds I've purchased this year. I hope, that with proper storage, I'll be good for a few seasons, but it sure is nice to have all these new & exciting seeds sitting on my counter.

I think what I will try to do this year - now, this is NOT the official Garden Plan for 2011, but I've a rough idea of where I'm going & that is spring/overwinter beds & then summer beds.

So, what am I exploring this year? Well, after such a success in growing my own lettuce last year, I'm going to work on trying staggered plantings with different varieties: purslane & wild arugula with 2 blends (a super gourmet & an oriental saladini blend). I'd really like to learn about harvesting wild greens (you know - WEEDS) to add to the mix -we'll just put that on my to-do list.

I'm also renewing a bunch of my herbs this year - and adding them where ever possible as that might be (according to my first initial flip through my new Deerproofing your Yard & Garden book) a good way to re-direct deer from the other tastey treats in the garden. I'm going big this year with herbs:
  • summer savory (my favourite - too bad it's an annual), 
  • winter savory, 
  • Italian parsley (actually prefer the taste of that to the curly stuff), 
  • creeping thyme (strictly ornamental & for ground cover along my hillsides), 
  • sage, 
  • marjoram (another favourite - preferred to oregano), 
  • chervil (a new one this year mainly for use in salads), 
  • Siam Queen basil & red rubin basil - staples now that I have figured out how to grow tomatoes!

I'm going to be a bit of a glutton for punishment this year with my tomatoes. I wasn't impressed with last year's variety - very bland - not the tomato flavour I was hoping for (I have many bags of frozen tomatoes in my freezer still & have not bought a store tomato all winter). This year I will try:
  • taxi (early yellow bush), 
  • yellow pear (vine) & 
  • moneymaker (vine). 
I'm hoping for the early variety to get me through the early part of the summer until the other 2 start to ripen. I've heard it suggested that on the coast - unless you have a 'proper' greenhouse (whatever that is), it's best to stick with tomatoes that are smaller (cherry varieties & such) so that they ripen properly & you should get better results. Yeah... we'll see... I'm also going to try Toma Verde tomatillos - just in case I end up with a bunch of unripe green tomatoes again; I'll make a green tomato salsa or chutney, anything other than green tomato raspberry jello jam...

I hope I have enough garden space for all my veggies:
  • 3 types of peas (mammoth melting sugar, cascadia snap peas, little marvel shelling peas), 
  • radish (easter egg blend for early spring & black spanish round for fall harvest), 
  • bush beans (a tricolour blend of green, yellow & purple), 
  • peppers (a new thing for me for the greenhouse - this variety is Red Bull's Horn - a sweet bell pepper), 
  • lemon cucumbers, 
  • yellow zucchini (Soleil variety - love yellow zukers), 
  • beets (the Detroit Supreme), 
  • carrots (Little Fingers - hopefully they will be true 'baby' carrots as my last attempt at a 'baby' carrot variety gave me monsters), 
  • kale (Lacinato - a winter variety),
  • parsnips (wanted to try these last year, so we shall see what Gladiator will do for me this year) and finally Buttercup squash (another new one for me). 
 Whew! That's a lot of veggies!

With my budget blown, I opted for only 1 package of annual seeds: beautiful sweet peas. I guess I'm a romantic at heart - most of my flower choices have been from the traditional 'cottage flower' bed & after trying them a couple years ago, I do enjoy their scent, colour & the way they keep blooming throughout the season.

The other package was a 'freebie' - I love free things! I have no idea what will pop up, but it contains annuals, biennials & perennials that should satisfy all the pollinators in the neighbourhood.

Now to start planning the actual lay-out of the beds....

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