New Arrivals

Last week I submitted my seed order.  The new arrivals arrived in the mail only a few days later.  It was very exciting to open the mailbox and see it packet full.  The new arrivals include two new varieties of peppers.  I used all my pepper seeds last summer and ended up having to buy seedlings.  The new types are Johnny’s Yankee Bell and Ethnic Sweet Biscayne.  Last season I also used a lot of tomato seeds.  I decided to purchase Johnny’s Juliet tomato, it is a sauce or what I think of a Roma style tomato.  I found my family used tomatoes in sauces and salsas so I am hoping to save time simmering my sauces down.  I am planning on putting Johnny’s Genovese Basil between each tomato plant this upcoming season.  I will be growing Dill this year for the first time.  I was given a packet of cucumber seeds for Christmas so I thought having some dill  would be good for pickles. My final Johnny’s purchase is a packet of Shelling Peas.  My family decided we really enjoyed peas this past year so I thought fresh peas would be better than frozen.  I am hoping we can freeze some of our own for use in Chicken Pot Pies next Winter.

I made one purchase from Burpee.  Burpee sells carrot seeds in “seed tape.”  I tried this last summer and it was so easy that I decided to use it again.  The carrots variety is Nantes Half Long.  We ate them so quickly I knew I would plant them again this year.

The new arrival seed packets

I borrowed two books from my local library recently.  The more practical book is Great Garden Companions by Sally Jean Cunningham.  She does a nice job of making suggestions about how to create a diverse environment in your garden.  I read this book last summer when it was a bit late to make changes, but decided I wanted to implement some changes this summer.  So now I am skimming it to decide what changes I will attempt this summer.

The second book is more philosophical and/or practical on a larger sense.  The Unsettling of America Culture and Agriculture by Wendell Berry. In just a few pages Berry makes a compelling argument.  I am encouraged to continue to develop my organic gardening/farming skills and knowledge.

This next I will be working on building a couple of cold frames and tomato cages.

Stay warm.

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It has begun

Today is a snowy, cold, and windy day here. 22 degrees on the thermometer with a wind chill making it feel 8 degrees. While the ground is frozen hard I have been thinking about spring.

The traditional garden “chilling” out. Some garlic volunteers popped up last fall. I thought they were a failed experiment from Spring 2010. However, they popped up last fall. I can not wait to see what happens.
The berry patch under snow and straw. I am looking forward to strawberries and raspberries this summer.
There is garlic planted under straw and pine bows.

I was reading Crockett’s Victory Garden a couple of nights ago and James Crockett mentioned January was the month to get projects done before the weather warms up, because soon the garden will be demanding lots of time.

Inspired by his words I began ordering my seeds. I get so excited by this time of year, the promise of good things to come inspires me and gets me motivated.

I created a garden plan. I rotated most of the crops from last year. Compost will be laid on top of all gardens. I am also planning on creating at least two new beds. Two beds will be for trellised cucumbers and peas. You will not see those beds in my garden plan, because they are recent additions. The current plan is to put them on the South side of the garden where they will receive plenty of sun but not shade any of the other gardens.

Your thoughts and advice are encouraged.

Your thoughts and advice are encouraged. Below is a list of my seed inventory. You can see the varieties that I have and plan to use this upcoming year.

I “Googled” garden quotes and found this website www.quotegarden.com/gardens.html. While reading the great quotes I came across some of my favorites. A new quote spoke to me.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it.  If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.” Author Unknown.

How often in the Spring when young plants are coming out of the ground have I questioned myself, wondering if I planted this plant or did Mother Nature. Well, as my preparations have begun, I hope yours have as well.

Stay warm.

My Favorite Seed Company

The past two years I have primarily been using seeds from Johnny’s Selected Seeds.  I love their variety, customer service, and product.  I find their seeds are very productive and consistent.  Their catalog is very educational and filled with helpful tips to maximize productions.  They also publish an interesting blog on a weekly basis.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds Blog

Johnny’s Catalog Link

Check them out and let me know what you think.