Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Is Your Green Thumb Itching to Garden?

It is that time of year again! The seed catalog arrived and I tore my way through it as if it was a book I just couldn't put down. And why would I? I am drawn in by the new varieties, pretty pictures and hopes for my garden this year. One of my things about moving here has been the opportunity to have a real garden. No longer am I confined to a small army of pots on a shady back porch, now I have real dirt beneath my feet and room to put in roots. I know, farmers don't have gardens. That is what I was told. Well, this girl was raised on afternoons by her Mom's garden. It is a tradition I hope to pass on to my children.

Last year was not a great one for gardening. At least for me. Our growing season was late and my little seedlings were lanky and sad. I underestimated the determination of the lawn grass which kept me battling and tired of pulling out runners. I also lost a good deal of plants to pests. That was bad for me, but a good perk for my chickens. This year I am aiming to garden smarter, not harder. I still have so much to learn!

Last year I fell in love with Chard. I planted the Bright Lights variety and had no idea that it would keep growing back all summer and through the fall. This year I plan to add a Perpetual Swiss Chard variety to the line-up since it should produce for multiple years. My biggest disappointment in the garden last year was with the insect problems surrounding my Brussel Sprouts. I am not going to give up just yet, though, and have decided to try them again. To help with both of these plants I will be adding a mulch layer. I am going to try silver mulch for its ability to keep away pests. It should also cut down on my time spent weeding. Thank goodness!

Okay, so here is the line-up. This is what I will be ordering from Territorial Seed Company (a fabulous Oregon seed company, by the way)
  •  Fava Beans
  • Perpetual Swiss Chard
  • Asian Greens - Kyoto Mizuna
  • Dwarf Siberian Kale
  • Dairyu Eggplant
  • Rubine Brussel Sprouts
  • A Japanese style Cucumber
I also will be getting some plant starts from town and have some seeds left over. I will be posting more garden updates throughout the year. Our next project will be getting a garden fence up to keep out the dog, chickens and deer.

I would love to know, are you planning a garden this summer? Have you already been thumbing through any seed catalogs?
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