When it is so cold and snowy in January, you begin to feel like the spring will never come. After the umpeenth snowstorm, it seems like it has always been like this and stretches into forever. Thankfully, you can find reprieve from the dreariness outside, by snuggling up in a warm blanket and dreaming. This dreaming of course is about your spring garden! There are few things sweeter than imagining a new strawberry variety or trying your hand at sweet potatoes this year.
The seed catalogs begin rolling in late December and I stick them in the end table drawer in my living room and wait until they have all come in. Then you can gather them together and start taking notes on the plant variety, and what magazine they are featured. A few of my favorite companies include
- Baker Creek Seeds www.rareseeds.com
- Seed Saver Exchange www.seedsavers.org
- Burgess Seed and Plant Company www.eburgess.com
Some of my favorite varietes so far have been
This one is causing excitement at farmers’ markets. Carrots have bright purple skin and flesh that comes in shades of yellow and orange. Spicy and sweet-tasting roots are great for marketing.
(Musa velutina) Lovely, small banana plants produce the most stunning, glowing, brilliant pink banana you will ever see. They are edible, but very seedy. Plants have large leaves that grow up to 24″ long and add a wonderful tropical effect to your yard or patio. This species is relatively hardy, taking a few degrees of frost fairly well. Ripe fruit will start to split open when ready to eat. Showy and fun to grow! Can be hard to germinate, but is then easy to grow.
(Cucurbita maxima) An “Australian Blue” squash directly imported into the United States in 1932 from Arthur Yates and Company of Sydney. Dark blue-green ribbed rind with flesh that is meaty, sugary, brilliant orange, and abundant. Striking gray foliage. Late to mature, long shelf life. 110-120 days.
(Solanum lycopersicum) Brought into the U.S. by Yasha Crnkovic, a colleague of SSE member Carolyn Male. Heavy yields of pink beefsteak fruits which weigh up to a pound each. Fruits have near perfect shoulders that almost never crack. Delicious full tomato flavor. Indeterminate, 70-90 days from transplant.
85 days. Flesh is a gorgeous strawberry pink, ripening to within a half-inch of the rind, and usually has very few seeds. Fine grained, distinctively flavored and super sweet, it is classed among the best-tasting by those who have tried it. The oblong, striped fruits reach 15-25 pounds. With moderate disease resistance, this variety deserves to be the star of your summer garden. Originally selected from a Florida heirloom by Walt Childs and introduced in 1989 by our good friends at Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Outstanding!
It’s important to keep track of all the varities you like, so here is a link to a printable from Frugal Living that will help track your garden related expenses.
So there is the first step…. dreaming
Stay tuned for the next part in my plan your garden series!
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