Over the past few weeks I have worked old garden beds, erected domes for sugar snap peas and relocated hoards of rudbekia volunteers to other areas of the yard. I took a trip out to Home Depot and picked up several bags of organic garden soil that were on clearance, a big block of peat moss and a jug of fish emulsion for the garlic and onions. With the soil now rich and fluffy, limed and smoothed over, it is ready for cool season crops.
Yesterday, I planted two domes with peas (5 and 13/14) , sprinkled out a pinch of pepperbox poppies (5), and sowed an area of baby leaf kale (under dome in 5). The teal raised bed (12) was sown with broccoli seeds. Another large bed (16) is already loaded with carrots, spinach and dill, so I won't touch it other than to try and pull out weeds. The center bed has overwintered Brussels sprouts one side (13) and onions and garlic on the other (14). There is one section fully dedicated to composing cardboard and leaves (3), and the bed under the deck (1) is a mix of unidentified greens and coffee grounds. There is one last garden bed (15) that I dread working as it is half covered with cardboard, matted with weeds and has a drip hose winding all through it. I may just lay out more cardboard and let it continue to rest until it's needed for the summer. The teepees (7 and 8) will be reserved for pole beans to be planted later. The strawberries (9) have cardboard between the rows and need a good mulching. Gladiator alliums have sprouted behind the potted mint (2).
Last night I thumbed through my seed binder and clicked around on Amazon and eBay looking for seeds. With tomato sprouts now popping up in the seed trays, it's time to prepare for other crops. While there is a huge variety in the binder, it is mainly assortments of herbs, beans and tomatoes. What I need are a few varieties of lettuce. It seems that when I do get lettuce, it always is so bitter that I can't enjoy it. The two varieties that we have been able to enjoy are a baby butterhead and romaine, and I don't know if that was due to the timing of growing them or the varieties. Bitter lettuce is usually blamed on heat.
It's really hard not to buy all the seeds. Plenty of sellers on eBay have affordable prices with either free shipping or special deals where you buy two get one free. I'm naturally a collector, so I love variety and trying to grow many different things. What I ended up purchasing yesterday (40 Heirloom Vegetable Strains) was something I probably don't need, but with the variety for the price of less than $15, it was a no-brainer of a purchase. There were enough items on the list that I wanted, that if I were to purchase them individually, it would have totaled higher than what I paid. I've bolded the ones I "needed" on the list below. This is not to say I won't use the others or at least find another home for them, but I either already have something similar or don't eat them. Eleven packets of seed easily would have cost me just as much.
|Includes the following:|
|1. Arugula, Slow Bolt ˜ 500 Seeds||21. Lettuce, Red Romaine ˜ 1,600 Seeds|
|2. Asparagus, Mary Washington ˜ 12 Seeds||22. Okra, Spineless ˜ 25 Seeds|
|3. Bean, Blue Lake Bush ˜ 12 Seeds||23. Onion, Yellow Spanish ˜ 50 Seeds|
|4. Beet, Detroit Dark Red ˜ 105 Seeds||24. Pea, Green Arrow ˜ 24 Seeds|
|5. Broccoli, Calabrese ˜ 445 Seeds||25. Pumpkin, Big Max ˜ 4 Seeds|
|6. Brussels Sprouts, Long Island ˜ 315 Seeds||26. Radish, Cherry Belle ˜ 100 Seeds|
|7. Cabbage, Red Acre ˜ 315 Seeds||27. Rutabaga, American Purple Top ˜ 450 Seeds|
|8. Cantaloupe, Hale's Best Jumbo ˜ 40 Seeds||28. Spinach, Giant Nobel ˜ 100 Seeds|
|9. Carrot, Scarlet Nantes ˜ 2,200 Seeds||29. Sunflower, Peredovik ˜ 12 Seeds|
|10. Cauliflower, Snowball Y ˜ 450 Seeds||30. Squash, Black Beauty ˜ 8 Seeds|
|11. Celery, Utah ˜ 3500 Seeds||31. Swiss Chard, Large White Rib ˜ 40 Seeds|
|12. Collards, Georgia Southern ˜ 315 Seeds||32. Tomato, Beefsteak ˜ 60 Seeds|
|13. Corn, Bilicious ˜ 10 Seeds||33. Tomato, Red Cherry ˜ 175 Seeds|
|14. Cucumber, Boston Pickling ˜ 40 Seeds||34. Turnip, Purple Top ˜ 400 Seeds|
|15. Eggplant, Black Beauty ˜ 165 Seeds||35. Pepper, Sweet Yolo ˜ 70 Seeds|
|16. Honeydew, Green Flesh ˜ 40 Seeds||36. Pepper, Cayenne ˜ 45 Seeds|
|17. Kale, Blue Scotch Curled ˜ 315 Seeds||37. Pepper, Jalapeno ˜ 90 Seeds|
|18. Lettuce, Buttercrunch ˜ 1,600 Seeds||38. Pepper, Sweet Banana ˜ 65 Seeds|
|19. Lettuce, Iceberg ˜ 1,600 Seeds||39. Victoria Rhubarb ˜ 25 Seeds|
|20. Lettuce, Parris Island ˜ 1,600 Seeds||40. Watermelon, Crimson Sweet ˜ 12 Seeds|
There are still other things I'm eyeing, like foxglove. I planted three last year but only one managed to survive. Seeds were spilled from the flowers before they died, so there may be others that sprout on their own.
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