Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring is here!

Can't you tell?

My seed orders have arrived! I've gardened some in the past, and my mom had one of those famed giant, farmwife gardens for years, so I'm not inexperienced - but I've happily bitten off far more than I can chew this year. I want ALL THE VEGETABLES!

I did something quite foolish last year. I only had access to about 20 square feet of garden space, so I planted spinach, peppers, and tomatoes. Mostly tomatoes. The spinach had bolted by the end of June, so effectively, I monocropped. In the wettest summer in decades. My tomatoes got early blight. My tomatoes got late blight. I got a scant boxful of tomatoes, many of which subsequently rotted. I learned my lesson.

This year, I have a strategy - and access to three garden plots. I concentrated on ordering short-season crops (we have 109 frost-free days where I live, which makes it riskier to grow, for example, an onion with a 110 day maturity from direct seed rather than transplant.) I ordered some hybrids so I'd have more of a guarantee of a good yield, and I ordered some heirlooms so I could save seed and choose varieties bred for my specific climate by local growers. I've started two varieties of onion and three of peppers already. I plan to succession plant (in this happy future when I have endless leisure time) to hopefully have at least one planting that grows during the weather it likes best. I also ordered.... wait for it... over fifty varieties of vegetable.

I've ordered some pretty interesting ones - Riesetomate, like a cluster of partially fused cherry tomatoes; Dragon Tongue beans - but the vegetable I'm most excited about is the Costata Romanesco zucchini.

That's right, I'm excited about zucchini. I generally like zucchini, because I see it as a blank canvas on which delicious sauces may be poured. But this zucchini - they say this zucchini is different. That it has flavour.

I can't wait.


  1. oohhhh, Dragon Tongue Beans are yummy. YUMMY. I want all the vegetables too, and have no idea where exactly I will put all the seeds I am sprouting/planning on planting out later. I figure it'll all work out.

  2. You should start your plants inside to extend the growing season, then there's a bit more wiggle room ... As you already know ...

  3. Helen - I am! I have peppers, pansies, onions, tomatoes, and bachelors' buttons started. I'll direct seed onions too. I am debating whether to start the vine crops indoors in a few weeks.

    I think my soil will be ready for some spinach and peas in a week or so.... if they rot, oh well, I'll replant!