I've just been dreaming of spring and seed starting and gardening and all that goodness this week. But I'm still a few weeks off from even starting my earliest seeds. I've planned all that I could plan, or so I thought...
With more time to think about my garden, I am getting more and more ideas. Most of them, I'll be honest - I probably won't attempt. But I'm still going to dream on them, and maybe one slower weekend it might just happen - arches seem to be a recurring thought...
There are a few new seeds I am trying this year (I always try to plant something new and interesting - that's the whole point of growing your own food, isn't it? Experimenting with it?).
I will be growing brussels sprouts from seed - last year I bought seedlings, and the earwigs decimated them. This year, I'm going to try and grow from seed, get them a little further along before planting them out, and then netting them until they are quite large and can start fending for themselves. I have two varieties that I am trying, an early and a later one. Varieties: Jade Cross and Gustis
I will be attempting melons this year - shhhh don't tell James hehe, he thinks that the vines will take over everything. Which, little does he know, is my hope. I will be attempting a variety of cantaloupe, and two varieties of watermelon. Varieties: Halona, Fairy and an unknown watermelon seed.
I will also be growing a small handful of Butternut Squash. I know that these can be quite productive if the pests leave them alone. But I don't eat squash, and only James does - so I will be only plugging in two plants, and then pulling the weakest to allow one to sprawl around.
What I think I am most excited for this year - I'm going to attempt growing potatoes in containers; and will even attempt a sweet potatoes in a container! This will keep these space hogging plants out of prime garden space, I can put them behind the barn all in a nice little row and they will look nice out there. Potatoes have always been pretty easy for me too - it's pretty hard for them to fail - so I look at it as a fail-safe project. The sweet potatoes on the other hand, I have my doubts. But, it will only cost me a couple dollars to try, with potential for greatness - so why wouldn't I?
I will be trying to grow even more flowers in my garden boxes this year. They brought in so many pollinators. Two years ago, with no extra flowers in my garden, I only recall ever seeing one - yes one, bee in my garden. And, I was in that garden all the time. This year, with all the colourful blossoms to 'lure' them in, I saw so many more.
I'm planting sunflowers again along the back edges - they were so beautiful last year when they bloomed, and so many neighbors complimented me on them and said how happy they looked (we have a 'back alleyway path' along our one side of yard, where a lot of people walk past). I will also try to get more Zinnia's to grow, and I'm looking into a couple other bee-loving flowers.
I will be putting vegetables in all the flowers bed around the house again - it was such a great idea and we got so much more food, and didn't waste all this money filling them with costly annuals - and it still looked great! I will try putting a lot of flowers and herbs inbetween, but they will be 'started-from-seed' flowers. I have a couple packages of poppies to put in one corner and make a 'poppy corner', and some other self-seeding flowers to sprinkle around.
I always grow the usual staples: lettuce, beans, peas, tomatoes and cucumbers and more - and I will be growing all those again, some of them new varieties of seed, but keeping with the varieties that worked really well for me. These all grow the same, just will give different looking produce hehe.
My perennial herbs are doing well - how do I know? The ones by the house keep peaking out every time the weather turns mild and some snow melts. My oregano and mint will be wonderful next year. They are already to go!
Well until I can start my seeds, and stare at them to start growing, I just have to keep reading up on what others are doing in their gardens!
Some of my favourite garden reads: