I finally made time to sit down with my garden catalogs, seed collection, and a cup of coffee to finalize my growing plans for the year! Kind of a nice activity for a dreary and cold January afternoon! (And made even better with a piece or two of freshly baked banana bread!)
I started by jotting down what I wanted to grow most in the garden this year. Then, I mapped it out on paper. Next, I went through all my seeds sorting and organizing them. What I found is that I already had a fair number of the seeds I need for my garden this year!
While the initial cost of our garden was high, each year, it’s been progressively less. Today I placed my order at Territorial Seed for what I’ll need this year and it came to a whopping total of $36 (of which $7.50 is tax, and about $5 in seeds I ordered for a friend). I’ll still buy a few plants come spring – I’m specifically looking at buying about three tomato plants, a rosemary plant or two, a lavender bush, and a blueberry bush. I am hoping to spend no more than $25 for all of that.
Here’s what my sketched garden map looks like:
Want to see some of the fun varieties I’ve decided to grow this year?
Popcorn! Yes, I’m going to be trying my hand at this Early Pink variety. I have successfully grown corn before, but this will be my first ever attempt at popcorn. Has anyone tried this? I personally adore food you grow that’s easy to preserve and store. Once popcorn has been cured for a few weeks, you can remove the kernels and store in airtight containers. No fancy equipment or processing needed.
Edamame. I’ve considered growing my own edamame for awhile now, and decided to bite the bullet and give it a go for 2013. I’ve successfully grown several kinds of beans and peas before, so I’m feeling capable of tackling this variety. I decided on this Midori Organic variety because it’s extra early-maturing – something of importance when gardening in a shorter growing season! My plan, if all goes well, is to freeze the pods. (Well that is, the ones we don’t manage to eat fresh!)
Black Beans. Last year, I grew dry-shelling beans for the first time. They were so easy to grow, it’s a wonder more gardeners don’t give them a try! Once they’re mature, you just pop them into a jar and boom, you’re done. They are a smart choice for the frugal gardener. I decided this year to expand a bit by growing these beautiful looking Black Coco organic beans.
Sunflowers. Would you believe I’ve never grown sunflowers before? I’m really hoping that I’ll be able to manage these and that they won’t simply end up as bird food. I selected this Sunseed variety because they do not grow exceptionally tall (a consideration for my container garden), and because Territorial Seed insists the seeds are tasty.
Nasturium. This year I’ve decided to hone my organic gardening skills by incorporating more flowers into my edible garden scape. I purchased this beautiful jewel mix and plan on incorporating
fox glove and sweet peas as well. My goal is two-fold: attract bees for pollination, and confuse pests. (OK maybe a third reason: to make it look pretty). In case you were not aware, nasturium is also edible! If you’ve never had them – they are quite spicy and peppery. The petals look beautiful in a summer salad (just use sparingly as they pack a lot of punch!).
Edited to add: thanks to Kim below, I will NOT be planting fox glove in my garden. Turns out it’s quite poisonous and not anything I’d want in my edible garden. Yikes! And – thanks Kim!
My thinking has really evolved when it comes to gardening. I used to try to grow anything and everything. Over time, I’ve learned the importance of growing what we like to eat, what I like to process/preserve, and what is best suited to my garden space. This year I’m also going to be playing with visual aesthetics of my garden and experimenting more with vertical growing to maximize the space.
If you are just starting out and interested in gardening this year, I recommend reading my post on How to Decide What to Grow. Remember: a good garden starts with a good plan!
What are your plans for 2013? Are you hoping to try something new & unusual? Or maybe you’re hoping to just get started in the first place? I’d love to hear what you’re up to!