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
snap: contender (bush)
*I've never tried this before
red cored chantenay
slicers: marketmore 76
*this was planted in October. I'll save some as seed for this year's planting.
early white vienna
*I've never tried the purple ones before
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
hales best jumbo
[from Mom & Dad]
sweet spanish yellow utah jumbo
aromatico a costa rossa
edible pod: sugar bon
shelling types: little marvel (dwarf)
snow peas: melting sugar
*I've never tried the edible pod or snow peas before
bell: buy starter plants
jalapeno: buy starter plants
multi-colored: french breakfast
red: cherry belle
*I've never tried french breakfast before
*I've never tried this before
early prolific straightneck
black beauty (zucchini)
early acorn hybrid
small wonder hybrid
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.
bell: California wonder
white: icicle, short top
bloomsdale long standing
grape/cherry type: sweetie
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