The catalogs are filling the mailbox, the store aisles are filled with patio furniture, and the robins have been flocking back en masse…spring is right around the corner. And if you own a green thumb like me, you know this is the time of year to plan and prepare your garden. This daunting task reminds us of our successes and failures the year before and makes us re-imagine what could be once again. It also reminds us of all those soon to be hard working weekends rewarded by fresh and easy dinners off the grill.
Even in our semi-urban setting, we still manage to find space for a garden in our small yard. Right now we have an about 53 square foot plot for our veggies. I am thinking we may need to bump out the garden another foot (again) this year to accommodate my new plans though. There is more space in the yard, but I try to leave some for a play area too. (We also have flowers and bushes and other landscaped goodies as well but that will be another post.) Because of the affordability and quality of selection, I like to start as much from seed as possible; so it is important to get into action weeks before we even get outside.
Here’s what I am planning:
Heirloom Tomatoes –
Big Rainbow – mild variety from the 1800’s with striking yellow and red streaked flesh
Brandywine Pink – beautiful large pink fruit from 1885 variety
Black Krim – medium sized dark maroon slicers
Burpee’s Supersteak Hybrid – giant, delicious, red beefsteak
Italian Ribbed Zucchini (heirloom)
Five Color Silverbeet Swiss Chard (Heirloom)
Red Russian Kale (Heirloom)
Green Beans –
Still undecided variety, but something stringless for sure.
Hot Peppers –
I am thinking a cayenne plant so I can use the fresh peppers and dried seeds.
*Italian flat leaf parsley
*these items will probably be planted in containers outside the main garden plot.
I may also try (once again) a sweet red pepper…I tried for two years in a row to grow sweet peppers to no avail. I may take a plant out of the garden though and see if I can get any results elsewhere. We’ll see.
For us, this garden is very user friendly. We have a small space, so I am embracing only the items that we would use regularly and potentially heavily. For example, I like cucumbers, but we can’t seem to ever eat more than 1 or 2 a week; so I know I can’t keep up with the kind of growth those plants can support.
Last year I tried to make my own seed starting pods and it was basically just a pain in the ass and a huge mess. This year I bought a fancy schmancy seed starter kit that has 75 cells in one handy and leak free tray. Hopefully this will get me started off on the right track this year. It is about 5 weeks till it is safe to plant outside here…so here we go!
*Check out my April seedling update here!