In My Garden

It’s the holidays! A time when a young girl’s fancy turns to…

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SPRING and gardening! This is what I found in my mail box on Christmas Eve! The perfect gift for this girl! I just couldn’t believe my eyes! I also couldn’t believe I was going to have to set them aside until all of the Christmas frivolity was behind me! T-O-R-T-U-R-E!

Rest assured, as soon as Wednesday rolled around, with a mug of hot Chai tea in hand, I dove head first into planning my 2013 vegetable garden! It truly is the most wonderful time of the year for me! The thoughts of providing healthy, home-grown, vegetables for my family, trying new things and playing in the dirt are what get me through the dreary winter.

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This year we are expanding our gardens so that I have enough surplus to put up plenty of those things we use most like beans, salsa, potatoes, carrots and more. We’re also trying our hand a a couple of new things too! I’m so very excited.

Some may think it’s too early to plan but we’re starting so many things from seed this year and  many of the plants I plan to start from seed will need to be started in mid-February if they are to be ready to go outside in time. I also need time maturity times for my salsa ingredients if I want to have plenty to put up! Garden’s just don’t happen, they take planning for success and I’m determined for this year’s garden to be the best ever!

Here’s what I have planned to grow this year:

  • Lemon Cucumbers
  • Boston Pickling Cucumbers
  • Good Mother Stallard Pole Bean (dry bean)
  • Blue Lake Bush Bean
  • Illini Gold Tomato
  • German Lunch Box Tomato
  • Tomatillo Rio Grand Verde
  • Pasella Bajio Sweet-Hot Pepper
  • Bullnose Sweet Pepper
  • Long Island Improved Brussells
  • Lincoln Peas
  • Amarillo Carrots
  • Brunswick Cabbage
  • Tronchuda Kale
  • Candy Onions
  • Dill
  • Rhubarb
  • Maincrop Potatoes
  • Early Potatoes

For my cukes and pole beans I plan to set up 3 panels of 6’x4′ kennel fence we have in the back yard. This way I can train them up the fence and can grow other things in the center making the most of my limited space.

For funsies I am going to try:

  • Wonderberry
  • Cherry Vanilla Quinoa

These will be worked into my flower beds! I’m excited to see how they work out!

My Herb Garden includes:

  • Mint (Pineapple, Speriment and Sweet)
  • Thyme (Cocoanut, and regular)
  • Bay Laurel
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Sage
  • Parsley

Things that I already have planted that come back

  • Strawberries
  • Black Berries
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic

The best little tool I’ve discovered this year is the R. H. Shumway’s Vegetable Garden Planner. Not only am I able to lay out my garden so I can see what will fit and how many, but it will email me when it’s time to start seeds, when I should start planting outside and when I should harvest. It’s got a free 30 day trial and costs $25 for a 1 year subscription after that. Whether you are a serious gardener or a beginner, this could be a useful tool for you. Coupled with my Garden Journal I am looking forward to a bumper crop this year!

I am by no means done with the planning phase of my garden though. No, there is so much more to do. The next step is to find the best price on the seeds I want and to place the orders before the varieties I want are out of stock. I’ve also got a lot of research to do on pest control. I’m winning the war with the Japanese Beetle this year! Mark my word! I also want to make sure that I use as little chemicals as possible. I plan to start a compost pile too. So much to do!

So, there you have it! My little bit of heaven. I’m very excited to start getting the seeds and to get them started. I’ve had issues with starting seed in the past, but I’ve spent a fair amount of time the last few days studying up on that and I think I’ve figured out the error of my ways. I’m planning on working hard and throwing myself into my gardens this year.

Is it Spring yet? Better get back to work!

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