Friday, January 16, 2009

Seed List 2009

Due to encouragement from my husband, Victor, when we put my new garden in last spring I made it much larger than I'd originally planned. I am so thankful. As it was, I felt crowded and short on space. This year I am expanding my growing areas into some other spaces I have scattered around our yard. For two cents I could pick up and move to a 10 acre farm house. We've joked about it, but how could I leave my asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries? My blueberry bushes, pear, apple, peach, cherry and apricot trees? They are like my children! Plus, we are settled here, have wonderful neighbors and who wants to sell a home in this market? Not I. 

This year I am going to down size my perennial garden -- which everyone loves and compliments -- however, you can't eat a day lily. Well, even if you can, I don't want to. I'm not going to get too radical, but I am going to downsize a little bit. I want to plant more herbs and thanks to Raingarden I am going to try growing my own Chamomile Tea. Next year, who knows?! I might even get Victor going with the chainsaw and push back into our woods, just a little bit. 

The other area I plan to plant in is our side yard. Our side yard is a wooded area. There are all kinds of beech trees scattered throughout with wood chips underneath to cut down on weed maintenance. But on the edge where the wood chips meet our front lawn, I have full sun in the summertime. In this location I plan to plant vegetables that take up large areas like squash, pumpkins, watermelons and cantaloupes. I am going to make mounds all along our side yard in which these plants can grow. There is plenty of room for them to roam without taking up my precious garden space. Isn't that a clever idea? 

The other thing I would like to experiment with are extra places to grow potatoes. I understand that you can grow potatoes in old tires. Anything stackable. I need to do some more research on this. All in an effort to gain more growing area! 

Here is a list of things I learned last year and hope to improve on this year:
  1. Better utilization of garden space. I am amazed when I see pictures of city and suburb gardens jammed into small spaces and producing enough to feed their families of 4-6! 
  2. I don't have room to do too much experimenting. 
  3. Only grow those things that your family LOVES to eat and plant lots of those things. 
  4. Learn more about succession planting and take advantage of the additional yields this practice will give you. 
  5. Obscure vegetables are fun and all, but be sure the majority of your space is used planting things you know you will get lots of use out of. 
  6. Start seeds earlier in the winter. I don't have a good window to put my seeds in to grow them (we only have one window on the south side of our house, and it's in Ripley's bedroom), so I rely on florescent lighting in the basement to grow my seedlings. It's cooler down there, and florescent lighting just isn't a good as the Sun God created. So when I brought my seedlings out in May to plant they were literally 2 inches tall. Friends were planting enormous "seedlings" they'd purchased at Home Depot and I was left praying over my microscopic dwarf crop. It all worked out more or less in the end, but my sweet peppers didn't have the opportunity to mature for the most part. So most of them were picked green and small. My tomatoes brought forth a great crop, but ripened later than my Home Depot friends' tomatoes.
  7. Cut back on weeds using layers of newspaper and straw (thank you Raingarden, again). This was a huge time saver, after I finally learned about it.  

Benjamin took an inventory of last year's seeds, from that list I ordered new ones and now have created a list of all that I have and plan to plant this year. It's so exciting! Keep in mind that many of these things I have only a few seeds left over from last year. But, enough to grow a few plants with!  

Here it is:
Winter Density Lettuce
Barcorole Lettuce
Ruben's Red Romaine
Gourmet Greens Arugula
China Choy
Mesclun Salad Mix
Bloomsdale Spinach
Siberian Kale Mix
Nutri-Bud Broccoli
Broccoli Rabe
Heirloom Cauliflower
Cascadia Bush Snap Pea
Sugar Pea
Tendergreen Bush Bean
Stringless Green Bean
Cannellini Soup Bean
Bluelake Bush Bean
Tavera Bush Bean 
Italian Pole Bean
Edamame Sayamusume
Black Beauty heirloom Eggplant
Black Eggplant
Brandywine Heirloom Tomato
Yellow Pear Cherry Tomato
Yellow Perfection Slicing Tomato
Roma Paste Tomato
Martian Giant Slicing Tomato
Peron Sprayless Slicing Tomato
CA Wonder Sweet Pepper
Sweet Bullnose Red Pepper
Sweet Sunrise Orange Bell Pepper
Serrano Chile Pepper
Cayenne Pepper
Thai Hot Pepper
Black Beauty Summer Squash
Butternut Winter Squash
Hopi Orange Winter Squash
Small Sugar Pumpkin
Howden Pumpkin
Dakota Rose Watermelon
Harvest Queen Muskmelon
Italian Dark Green Parsley
Slow Bolt Cilantro
Lettuce Leaf Basil
Genovese Basil
Russian Mammoth Sunflower
German Butterball Potato
Bintje Potato
Yukon Gold Potato
Red Sangre Potato
Kurota Chantenay Carrot
Riverside Onion
Siskiyou Onion
Celebration Celery

Still to order: 
Yellow Summer Squash
More Cucumber Varieties

As you can see, our selection is pretty straight forward. This year, I hope to have more to store away for the cold months. As it is, I am almost completely through my supply from 2008. Sniff. Sniff. The other thing I would like to try more of is saving seeds. Last year I only tried a few things. 

May is coming soon, before you know it I will be harvesting asparagus! 

Be well.
Go ahead, start your own garden. Take back your food!


geisme said...

Can I put in my requests? ;) Also, your perennial plants can easily be transplanted, but I know fruit trees can take awhile to start bearing fruit again if you have to start all over. For perennial flower garden, you can try nasturtiums. The flowers are very pretty & VERY edible! They taste a bit peppery & look wonderful on salads.
My mom used to grow them & I'd just pick them off the vine & eat them-okay, I'd make sure there were no bugs on them. :)

Amy said...

Jonathan had a garden growing up and he plans to do a small one for summer. I kill everything I try to grow so I will just eat it all instead!

Sandy said...

Now, now, now Amy . . . you aren't THAT old yet, are you? :) You can learn new things, really. I kill any indoor plants that don't have the hope of producing food for me to eat! Once you taste the yummy veggies, you'll reconsider, er, watering your plants. :)

And yes, Gail, you can. Even plants I am keeping could use a split. So, if you're interested, bring your spade and bucket! :)

I grew nasturtiums last year around my fruit trees b/c they were supposed to be good to deal with pests. I just couldn't bring myself to eat any. Come on over and have your fill! :)

lborg said...

I enjoyed reading your 2009 seed list. I haven't ever yet planted my own garden, as my husband and I have been married about a year and a half and just bought a house about five months ago. Unfortunately, there's not very much room for a garden here, but I've got to start somewhere! One day I hope to have my own "Seed List" half as neat as yours!

a. borealis said...

Yowzas!! That is a HUGE list!!!

Sandy said...

Yes, it is big, however a lot of these seeds are left over from last year and only have a few seeds left in their packets. So, it's not quite as extensive as it seems. :) Really, I want to be a farmer, before you know it every inch of our land will be covered in food producing plants!