Garden planning begins…

It’s snowing like mad today but I’m inside thinking about seeds.  I’ve spent the last hour pouring over my Baker Creek catalog and paring down the list for this year’s plantings.  It’s always so difficult to not go overboard.  They have such wonderful heirloom varieties to choose from.

After looking over the results of last year’s efforts, we’re making a few changes.  For the most part, everything grew well.  Our biggest mistakes were of our own making.  The plants were wonderful!  For instance, the cucumbers – oh my word.  They grew so abundantly we couldn’t keep up.  The Pink German Tree tomatoes – well, there’s a reason they’re called trees.  The plants grew so large we couldn’t get to the fruit.  I had planted them at a pretty normal distance from each other, but that’s not far enough for a tree. 

Our other big challenge was the rabbit and groundhog community.  Apparently, they assumed I planted the broccoli and calendula for their personal feast.  Um, no, Mr. Groundhog.  I didn’t. 

The black giant tomatoes were definitely dark but not quite giant.  They also cracked at the tops badly.  I may do one plant this year but that’s it.  Garden space is too precious. 

amish paste

We’re adding a couple new varieties of tomatoes – Amish Paste and Bonny Best.  I’m thinking the Amish Paste will be good for making ketchup.  The Bonny Best are supposed to be a top notch canning tomato.  I really hope so.  We use a ton of canned tomatoes throughout the year.  We ran out well before Christmas!  Between these two varieties there should be plenty for canning.

 

Celery will be a new crop for us.  I’ve never grown celery so this will be a whole new experience.  Watermelons and Pumpkins are on the list – mainly for fun, for the kids.  We don’t have a really great place for them to be planted but I’ve got one spot in mind that might work.  There’s a small mound of dirt piled up next to the shed.  It’s leftovers from digging out the raised beds.  I think this little hill is our best bet for getting the melons to grow. 

Just for kicks, I ordered some gourds.  With the new farmer’s market across the street, the gourds could be a source of pocket money for the kids.  They will be able to make dippers from the dipping gourds and little tops with the Tennessee Dancing gourds. 

Speaking of the market, we hope to make a decent showing this year with some of our homemade goods.  Gardener’s salve, liniment, lip balms.  Of course, we’ll offer produce we grow in the garden.  I’m thinking this could be a great homeschool experience for the children.  My plan is for each of them to find something they can make and market.  We’ll see how that turns out though.  Plans are often as fragile as a pie crust around here! 

Either way it all turns out, I’m ready to start planting. 

-knittingprose

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