Monday, February 21, 2011

Garden Season 2011!!

I know. It's February. There is snow on the trees. But, I don't care. It's time to grow! This is probably the earliest start I've ever had and I think this is for the best. My plan this year is to stick with some tried and true staples, while branching out into fields uncharted!

I started these stupice tomato seedlings around February 15th and sowed them today. Although I've never grown these from seedlings, I did receive one plant from a very kind gardener back in 2007 and it was the most prolific and easy to grow cherryish tomato I've had. This will be my only tomato variety this year:
Another basic staple is some sweet basil, sown a couple weeks ago, and struggling a little, perhaps from fungus in the soil, but I'm hopeful these will be ok. Besides, I'm in no rush for basil. I just harvested a plant that has been growing for almost a year and made a nice batch of pesto I'll save for later:
Now, the new items I am trying this year!!
- King of the North red bell peppers (seeds started on 2/15)
- Blue potatoes (ordered from Seed Savers Exchange and arriving when it's time to plant)
- Asparagus (ordered from Gurney's and will take 2 years before first harvest)
- Anne Raspberry, a yellow variety (ordered from Gurney's) to replace the Summit Raspberry that died in its first season.
- Scallions (seeds started 2/15, but not sure if they'll sprout. Seeds are old and the chives and gao choi below already sprouted.)

Also, things I haven't tried to grow from seed before (seeds started 2/15):
- Chives (I just love those purple flowers and aphids ate mine to the ground last year)
- Chinese Chives (Gao Choi) (These are a must with shrimp and eggs. Sounds weird but tastes amazing)

In fall, I also want to try growing Crocus Sativus, whose stamens are the source of saffron, the world's most expensive spice. I want my own supply of saffron!!

I'm sure there will be other new things to try this year, as well. I'll be replanting my strawberries, as those that are planted have been growing a bit wild. I've read that you have to replant strawberries every few years, as the runners and plants start to return to the wild strawberry state. These are tiny and strange, and I've noticed this is happening to mine. I'm going with 100% Honeoye june-bearing strawberries. I believe these are the kind that my family enjoys best. Hope I'm right!!

I'll be starting lettuce, spinach and peas shortly. These ought to be the first to go outside. Look for more posts as the season goes on!