January 29, 2013

Adventures in Gardening~ Planning

I decided that this year I would document my adventures in gardening! Last year was our first year of cultivating our own garden and I shared some pictures of the process...but not from start to finish. So this year, I thought it would be fun to start from the get-go noting what we do.
garden planning

As you would imagine, in January nothing is growing in my garden except weeds! But just because it's January doesn't mean you don't do ANYTHING...for it will be time to start seedlings indoors in just a few weeks! Especially for the early crops! So I've been chomping at the bit and pouring over my most favorite catalog marking and planning out what our garden will grow this year.

 Here is my BEAUTIFUL seed catalog! It's the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds catalog---they only sell pure seeds. Nothing altered. Nothing GMO. Absolutely nothing touched by Monsanto. They travel around the world to find new heirloom seeds to share. We ordered from them last year and were more than satisfied with our produce so we went with them again. Even if you don't order anything, their catalog is a 211 pages of visual delight! Gorgeous color photos of all kinds of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers!
 As you can see, my list was rather long...in fact, I filled up half the other side too! LOL! I basically choose 1-4 varieties of each fruit/vegetable that my family likes. I love trying new varieties--like the "Sweet Chocolate Pepper" that you can see on my list above. I call this list my "Wish List"! From here I then go to all my left over seed packs from the previous year.
I had a lot of random things left over from last year--either I didn't get to plant them, or we had already planted some and saved the extra. Most of these seed packs are flowers and herbs. But I go through and cross of anything I have on my list so I don't buy more than I need.

Then I just go to the website and start filling up my shopping cart. This year we are spending much more than last year, but that is because we want to double the size of our garden, as well as replace more of the "store bought" plants from last year with good heirloom seeds this year. This fall, we are going to really try to do as much seed saving as possible, to start our OWN heirloom collection. I have all kinds of little baby food jars ready to go for that! I saved a few from last year (peas, watermelon, beans, lettuce) and I'm eager to see if they will come up this year.

I also placed an order through Mountain Rose Herbs for some organic herb seeds that I plan on harvesting and saving for medicinal use. That company specializes in carrying organic or wild harvested plants. They are a great source for supplies if you make your own soaps, lotions, etc. I went ahead and added a bunch of dried herbs/flowers to my order for some teas I've been wanting to make or at least have on hand. Especially the dried elderberries for my Cough Syrup recipe I found.

But back to the garden...so I went ahead and plugged in my finalized lists and sent them off into cyberspace! I can't wait to get my seed packages!! It helps the winter days go by faster as I get everything ready for the spring planting!

The next step is figuring out when to start each plant: whether to go with seedlings, or just in the ground---I will go into my process for that next time. 

Do you have any vegetables or fruits that are favorites in your family garden?? Anything new you want to try this year?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great idea! I'm in my second year, as well, and I'm sharing my garden online, too. And Baker Creek's catalog is also my favorite! Gorgeous photos, interesting information, and great seeds. I ordered in early December because I currently have root crops, brassicas & lettuces growing outside with hundreds of seedlings for spring under grow lamps inside. (So glad Baker Creek sells year round!) Best wishes on your garden!