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Friday, January 28, 2011

Do I Really Have Room To Plant All Of This?


I shared a vegetable planting calendar from our local extension office in my last post.  Now, I have the list of vegetables I want to plant.

I've done better the last few years keeping the seed packets and making notes on them about how the plants fared and whether we liked the variety or not.  This year, I put everything into a list on the computer.  Now, I can check off seeds I still have from last year, take the list to a local store to buy seeds and fill out those catalog orders without missing something we want.  My plan is to also put the varieties we do not want to grow again on another list so we don't mistakenly "retry" them a few years later.

With regards to using seed that is a year or two old, I've been reading that most seeds will last a few years unless they're exposed to extreme temperatures and/or humidity. I keep my extra seeds in a dark cabinet in a cool, dry place.  Everything on my list should be fine for a year or two except I recently read at A Way To Garden that onion seeds and parsley seeds may not be good after one year.  I plan to plant all I have and buy new ones next year.  Otherwise, I don't keep seeds past two years anyway.  I usually plant all of them except for the squash family.  There is a limit to how many zucchini plants one can use.
Have you heard the joke that it is completely safe to leave your car unlocked in a small town except during zucchini season?  That is so true.  You could end up with a backseat full of zucchini.  Even locking the car won't save you.  A neighbor of ours in one small town we lived in left his extra zucchini on our back porch steps.  Extra produce is never a problem at Garden on Sherlock Street.  If we don't freeze it to use through the winter, I have grateful family and friends who enjoy it.  I have yet to resort to distributing zucchini under the cover of darkness.

Now, will all of this fit into the vegetable garden?  Vining crops take up so much space.  I bought more cages at the end of last year's growing season and am going to try putting them around all the squash plants this year.  Vertical space I have.  It's worked well with the cucumbers.  Hopefully, it will work well with the squash.  Otherwise, I plant most of my smaller plants in little pockets of space.  I don't worry too much about rows.  The only thing I have figured out regarding placement so far is the tomatoes will move to the other raised vegetable bed.  Gotta rotate those crops! 

2011 vegetable/herb list

basil
sweet

bean
snap: contender (bush)

broccoli raab
*I've never tried this before

carrot
red cored chantenay
scarlet nantes

cilantro/coriander

cucumber
slicers: marketmore 76

garlic
*this was planted in October.  I'll save some as seed for this year's planting.

kohlrabi
early white vienna
purple vienna
*I've never tried the purple ones before

lettuce
leaf: grand rapids tipburn resistant [? Saved from 2010 ?]
leaf: salad bowl [? Saved from 2010 ?]
leaf: black seeded simpson
leaf: red salad bowl
romaine: parris island cos

melon, muskmelon
hales best jumbo

melon, watermelon
[from Mom & Dad]

onion
evergreen bunching
red burgundy
sweet spanish yellow utah jumbo

parsley
aromatico a costa rossa

pea
edible pod: sugar bon
shelling types: little marvel (dwarf)
snow peas: melting sugar
*I've never tried the edible pod or snow peas before

pepper
bell: buy starter plants
jalapeno: buy starter plants

pumpkin
large: jack-o-lantern

radish
multi-colored: french breakfast
red: cherry belle
*I've never tried french breakfast before

rosemary
*I've never tried this before

squash, summer
early prolific straightneck
black beauty (zucchini)

squash, winter
early acorn hybrid
small wonder hybrid

tomato
plum/roma type: buy starter plants
grape/cherry type: buy starter plants (saved tag from 2010)

*****

The following are seeds I have from last year. I'm not planning on buying more of these but will probably plant what is left.

I'm going to experiment with winter sowing the pepper and tomato seeds. No stress if they don't make it because I already have plans to buy those as starts if needed.

mesclun

pepper
bell: California wonder

radish
white: icicle, short top

spinach
bloomsdale long standing

tomato
grape/cherry type: sweetie

8 comments:

  1. You have room!! Someday you might try Swiss Chard. .the bright lights variety. .if you like spinach. it grew very well. .and in fact. .I noted one plant to still have green leaves in the middle TODAY. .I planted it last spring! Good luck with all of that. .seems we have more winter coming on the heels of a BEAUTIFUL spring day!

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  2. That is quite the list and a lot to keep track of....but I understand the need for it all. I am planning a vegetable garden in a special space for next year's spring project...I can't wait to see how it will all turn out:)

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  3. Oh... I love all of your selections. I will tend to put too much in my garden -- this I know, but what I've been doing more of is container gardening.. Recently, I was at a conference with my Nursery (yes, I work in a Garden Center) and found out that today, 50% of all vegetable gardens are actually planted in containers! I was so surprised, but thinking about it - it does make sense. I'm going to add more containers this year to my garden as well. Last year I planted all my herbs and climbing beans in those big black horse troughs that I bought at a local feed and grain store. It took my husband a while to drill holes in them, but VERY well worth it!

    I'm looking forward to reading more about your garden!

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  4. It sounds wonderful and very industrious. I say, go for it!

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  5. It's so funny what everyone says about zucchini! We find we don't get enough of it. So this year we want to double the amount of zucchini plants we grew. The more the better in my book.

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  6. Looks like a good plan and I admire you for picking your exact cultivars. I'm glad you are buying new pea seeds because I had problems trying to germinate old seeds in my garden. I'll never do that again. I think you'll make it all fit. If the cages don't work for you try an A-frame for the vining crops. They work great in my garden. Instructions are on my blog. My veggie garden is so small I had to go up. Won't be long now and we'll be planting!

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  7. ~Melanie
    I'll 'find' room. :-)
    You've certainly had success with your swiss chard. I'm not sure I've really ever eaten any. I will have to try it and see if we like it enough to grow it. Today was beautiful. We worked in the garden!

    ~rohrerbot
    I'm finding that keeping track of the varieties really makes a difference. I know people who just pick up any variety at the store and then don't understand why one year they had a good crop they liked and the next year, it wasn't the same.

    ~Leslie
    Working at a garden center has to be fun and awesome to have a little "inside" advantage. I'm hearing good things about vegetables in containers. I had a tomato and bell pepper in containers one year when we were in a little apartment. I'm thinking I want my herbs in containers this year so I can bring them into the house easier next winter. Those black horse troughs are great. Very durable. I have one as a water garden. I'm also using gavanized buckets and tubs mostly for ornamentals but they are durable too.

    ~Sheila
    Thanks. We'll see if it works.

    ~meemsnyc
    So nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by. Zucchini is good. We love it grilled with a little garlic salt or Italian dressing. It is just so easy that it can get away from some people. I hope you have a great big crop!

    ~tina
    We love peas so I plant everyone I have each year. No hold overs here. I've seen your A frames and they really seem to help your small vegetable garden. My husband and I are discussing something like that for the gourds I want to grow. Vertical gardening is the way to go.

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  8. WOW....that list is an undertaking. I don't think I'm up for growing that much though I do luv a few things. Happy growing.

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