24 February 2009

And other things

So it won't be all dahlias. I've already got daisies, monarda (burgundy and hot pink), echinacea, peonies, and countless other perennials to fill the beds by the house. I like blooms that have confidence, so aside from the daisies, my choices tend toward hot pink, orange and yellow.

For annuals, I always plant lots of nasturtium seeds in bare spots, along with portulaca, allysum, cosmos and marigolds. I'll be starting some of these seeds soon in my makeshift plant nursery in our bedroom. We put in floor to ceiling windows on the east wall during our renovation -- gives us a lovely view of the yard, the gardens (and our neighbors), plus it's perfect for seed starting. I did about 150 plants last year -- I'm going for 200 this year.

As for vegetables, I usually do tomatoes, zucchini, parsley, lettuce, kale, peppers, and beans/peas. The parsley and kale are for the guinea pigs, as were the peppers, which never blossomed. (I plant in raised beds -- will move the peppers to a sunnier spot this year. Wish me luck.)

This year, I'm cutting the tomato plants to one -- a grape tomato. A universal favorite that overflowed our harvesting bowls until late September. I might put in Red Brandywine, an heirloom, if I'm ambitious about making spaghetti sauce in the fall.

I'm also trying out cucumbers (burpless, hallelujah) and asparagus and potatos this year. Already got the ok from Pete (remember my obsessive spending last year?) to put up more raised beds, so I'm expanding a bit. I'd love to try wheat...

Rounding out the beds will be parsley again, peppers, kale, head lettuce, string beans, peas, and any seed packet I buy by May.

I usually buy seeds online -- being a somewhat obsessive person who likes to "garden" in the dead of winter. Favorite sites -- Whiteflower Farm, Park Seed, Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply, Territorial Seed Company, and John Scheeper's Kitchen Garden Seeds.

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