What with all this at-home time more and more of us will have, I bet some folks are looking outside and fancying a bed extension or additional containers.
This Spring, I’m all-in on containers, and will take my time making my beds and permanent vegetable garden through this year, with the goal of some late Summer-early Fall plantings for late 2020 harvests, and some late Fall plantings for mid-winter and Spring harvests. Except for catnip – I’ve got a live plant of my buddy’s weapon-grade catnip he grows in Colorado (I’ve got many seeds for and from it, if you’d like, just let me know). And I ordered a dwarf Kafir lime tree because I cannot easily find the fresh leaves anymore, and I’m over that hassle. Indoor tree, hello!
I’m trying a bunch of new veggies and can’t wait for my first harvest, which should be some 18-day radishes on April 1, but since I planted them on Friday the 13th, I expect I’m going to get a double-whammy and that date will slide a few days. I’ve also got some greens, beets, and carrots (three kinds!) in for late-April and early May harvests, assuming global warming continues making it unseasonably warm here.
Except for those first few pots, most of my seeds are either starting in trays, or will be soon. I’ve got an aggressive plan to do a lot of staggered and succession planting, so I’ve got a rough road map from now through mid-November. I’m also taking advantage of my limited space by dual-planting, so radishes for example are planted with squash because by the time the squash blocks out the radishes, they’ll be long-gone (folks, for so many veggies, it’s not just the bulbs – those greens are yummy too).
This year I’m using seeds from two different companies, plus I ordered some heirloom tomatoes that arrive in early April. I have varied tastes and love all kinds of plants, so it took me some time to find my seed sources, and I thought I’d share them with this great group of folks. I still have seeds from years past, but this is my first real garden since 2013. Accordingly, I ordered lots of new seeds.
First is the Kitazawa Seed Company. I use them for all my Asian veggies, greens, and herbs, though for things like gongura, I had to look elsewhere. They are a treasure if you like Chinese, Korean, Japanese, or Thai herbs and veggies. I’ve been a customer since 2006 and happily praise them to any- and everyone.
Second is Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, also known as RareSeeds. This is a new company to me, but their selection of seeds is amazing, and their pictures and Whole Seed Catalog are inspiring, to put it mildly. (Side note – was going through some art and other large format books this week and found my old Whole Earth Catalog. Ahh, the old days…)
I found this great seed source because I was so impressed by this post a few years back from Ozark Hillbilly, especially the pumpkins and squash. So I did some searching for Galeux d’ Eysines seeds and founds this amazing source, smack dab in the middle of Missouri. I assume that’s his source since it’s local and well-known. Regardless, I was impressed with their selection of obscure squashes and so many other veggies, herbs, and flowers. They strike me like a “Penzey’s for seed”.
Since I’m a cook and love pumpkin and squash dishes, I’m excited to be growing those Galeaux d’ Eysines (since one plant makes two fruit, I’ll have one to perfect the French soup recipe with, then use the second for Thanksgiving dinner). These are a long-term investment, as they germinate now and are ready in the late Fall to early Winter. I’m also growing a standard zucchini and a Pattison Golden Marbre Scallop Squash. I’m certain they will be fine summer dinners, sauteed and served with some buttered pasta, good bread, and a glass of wine.
I’m also growing two small bush peas so I can have the joy of a few fresh peas without the space and trellis needs of traditional pea plants, then I will rip them out and put in some spinaches and mustard greens, staggered so they are a week apart. Once it gets too hot and they aren’t doing as well, I’ll plant some Fantasia Orange Chard for Fall harvest. I’ve got one slotted for late April harvest, but will likely grow something else with a 60 day or less window so I can have a mid-to-late summer planting for early Fall.
I’m also growing two special melons from Baker Creek, and if my peppers do not germinate, then I’ll be growing a couple of additional squashes and some okra and some beans. My goal this Fall is to have my beds ready so I can plant some Japanese bunching onions, asparagus, and something I’m forgetting at the moment so that they produce for me in 2021 if I’m lucky. Then, look out I’ll have beds and tons of seeds and no reason not to go crazier than I’ve already gone!
As I’m now into the continuous planting and harvesting plan, I’ll be growing seedlings indooes off and on until October; some of these greens are ready in 15-20 days and others 30-40, so I can get late harvests with cold-tolerant veggies into November, even early December if the weather remains warm and I’m on top of my game.
Open thread – stay safe and keep our eyes on the prize – getting back to normality.