Sunday, March 13, 2011


I realize that most people are excited to get seed catalogs and shop for seeds.  It's not one of my favorite things.  The real problem is that I have to drag out all the seeds, spread them out, figure out what we have and don't have, and then what we need more of, where we want to buy it from and then get it ordered.  Always looming is that I will have forgotten something basic, like jalapenos.  Trying to figure out what new we might to grow and reading all the descriptions then becomes less fun.  Let me tell you that I can't really tell which is better:
"Dundoo is extra early with dark green fruits.  The open plants are easy to harvest."
"Plato has spineless plants with an excellent disease resistant package.  Fruits are shiny dark green.  Plants are open and easy to harvest and have intermediate resistance to zucchini..."
Seems like one just has more information than the other.  But, they had me with the word "spineless" since the backs of my hands get really scratched up from harvesting zucchini.  Long sleeves are a must, even in the heat of summer.

Seed sorting.
There will be a return of the Lemon Drop peppers this year, and new tomatoes will include Malakhitovaya Shkatulka, replacing Aunt Ruby's German Green (thanks to my Aunt Mary for a great round of birthday seeds).  These are early, medium-sized green tomatoes that are "very flavorful and tasty.  Plants are productive even in the North, as this variety...has been tested in Siberia."  Also Illini Star (these are a nice, sweet, early red tomato--thanks Jason and Christian) and a new red cherry.  Isis was good in flavor, but too big to pop in my mouth.  I almost got Favorita from Johnny's until I realized they wanted $6.95 for 10 seeds!!!!  So instead we went with Sun Cherry.  We're trying a new variety of poblano peppers, which are supposed to have stronger stalks.  I wanted to try a tiny, green, short season eggplant, but Shawn pointed out no one would buy it.  We're hoping to have lots more carrots and red radishes this year.

I made a master list of what we grow (see additional post), so maybe shopping will get easier next year.  In the past I've made a giant spreadsheet of all the seeds we have and the growing season, how early you need to plant, etc.  It was very long and ended up not being useful.  We'll see how this does.

In other news, the Thai Fire garlic is way up!  None of the others are peeking above the mulch yet.  The first weeds (burr buttercup) have emerged, but no one is doing anything about it.  Last weekend we had a nice day and Shawn and I completed the pepper/eggplant census and pulled all the labels and supporting stakes for those two types of plants.  The plants themselves remain.  We discovered that we had done a reasonable job of cleaning up the winter squash and gourds--we thought maybe we'd only gotten the ripe things cleaned up.  This week it's back to being a muddy mess.
Aren't bulbs great!
Burr buttercup--sometimes has gone to seed before you can even really get out in the garden!
Nicely organized winter squash taking refuge in Gladys' house last fall, after the frost.
Overview of most of the garlic--taken a few weeks ago.
I planted some lettuce last weekend.  It's up, but Little (our aged, infirm cat who came with the house, before she was aged and infirm) keeps walking on them because they are on a heat mat.  At least she hasn't slept on them yet (I think the light hangs too low for her to get comfortable).  I'm considering setting her up on a heating pad of her own, but haven't gotten around to tracking down the heat mat.
We did a little spring cleaning associated with the Rural Action scrap metal drive.  Nice!

The tractor was helpful in moving scrap metal.

Load 2 of 3.

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