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January 18, 2007

Seed Order

I finally sat down and sorted my seeds out today, deciding what I need to order more of, what I'm going to sacrifice to free up some space in the garden, and what kinds of new things I'd like to try this year. I've been perusing my assorted seed catalogues for a few weeks now, but today was the day that I had to sort all of those impulse "Ooh, I wanna grow that!"'s, from the things that will actually work with our climate and my future food preservation plans.

I've got several old and new favorites that I'm sticking with (Broccoli Raab, storage onions, Delicata squash, Juliet tomatoes), and many new ones that I'm dying to try. This is going to be the year of the tomato in our garden. I've been so pleased with the salsa and ketchup that I made last summer, as well as the few jars of canned tomatoes that we got, that I really want to try a some new kinds and dedicate a larger portion of the garden to this luscious fruit. Maybe it's just that it's January and I haven't had a fresh tomato in months, but I went a little crazy and ordered way more than I planned to.


Baxter making sure that I don't forget to order the catnip.

So here's the damage as it stands:
Baker Creek Seeds:
  • Envy soybeans (for edamame)
  • Snow's Fancy pickling cucumbers (we're getting low on pickles)
  • Laxton's Progress peas
  • Aconcagua peppers ( this is the variety Farmgirl recommends)
  • Winter Luxury pie pumpkin
  • Green Zebra green tomatoes (fresh eating)
  • Orange Banana tomatoes (salsa, ketchup, paste)
  • German Red Strawberry tomatoes (fresh eating, sauce, canning)
  • Hughs yellow tomatoes (fresh eating)
  • Amber Globe turnips
  • Blacktail Mountain watermelon

  • Eden's Gem melon
Seed Savers Exchange:

  • Speckled Roman tomatoes (canning, paste, sauce, ketchup)

Territorial Seeds:
  • Gonzales cabbage
  • Mokum carrots
  • Nelson carrots
  • Micro Greens lettuce mix
  • Perfection fennel
  • Cobham Improved Marrow parsnips
  • Miniature Bell peppers (for the kids to eat as snacks)
  • Kabocha Gold Nugget squash (for storing)
  • Beaverlodge Plum tomatoes (fresh eating, canning)
  • Tiffen Mennonite tomatoes (fresh eating)
  • Sun Gold tomatoes
West Coast Seeds:
  • Sorrento broccoli raab
  • Lemon cukes
  • Dusky eggplants
  • Copra onions
  • Galena peas
  • Gold Rush zucchini
  • Yellow Doll watermelon
  • Golden beets
Okay, so I've obviously overdone it a bit, but I want to have a variety of tomatoes in different sizes and colours, so I'll probably do one plant of each for all but the paste and canning tomatoes (I didn't have nearly enough of those last year). I'm hoping this will keep us in toasted tomato sandwiches and tomato bocconcini salads all summer long.
Has anyone tried the red plastic mulch that's out there for tomato growing? I don't like the idea of all that plastic, but it's supposed to increase yields by up to 20%, and with a small garden like mine, that's not nothin'.

What is it with cats, anyway?

23 comments:

Helen said...

ohh it certainly will be the year of the tomato!

Enjoy your seeds when they arrive :)

Katie said...

Enjoy your seeds. I've never done the plastic around tomatoes - but my dad always did with great success, though he lives in a warmer/humider climate. I might have to try it this year...

Chelee said...

I need to do a seed order and fast! Thanks for the list, there are some on yours I want to try too!

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

Love green zebra tomato! I was going to try that speckled roman you purchased but changed my mind to some others---we will have to "compare" at the end of the season (you know--since your weather is so similar to mine hahahahaha)
I noticed no beans other than soy in your garden?? I particularly like Emerite Filet---the only climbing filet bean so it's a space saver. Wonderful flavor.

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

Oh yes, I forgot---no haven't tried the red plastic, but I have tried the wall o waters. LOVE THEM. I join you in your "problem" with the plastic" though. The wall o waters are plastic (bummer) but they are reusable and you can buy repair kits. I have had mine 3 years now and they make a huge difference.

Lu said...

Phew, I need a cold cloth. All those seed packets and all your plans. You are awesome!

Eva said...

How do you store your Kabocha? I've heard it will keep for about 6 months in a cool dry place? How long have you been able to successfully store it? I wish I could see your garden! We will hopefully start our first garden this year, I received my first seed catalog in the mail today. So excited! Happy Gardening!

Carla said...

Great pictures of Baxter...looks like he's pretty keen on getting the garden started. I would have problems with plastic mulch, but hear planting your tomatoes in an old tire works wonders. It supposedly helps hold the heat, which tomatoes just love.

Cheryl said...

Helen - Thanks, I can't wait!

Katie - If you do try it, let me know how it turns out.

Chelee - I'd love to hear what you end up choosing.

Monica - I'm glad to hear you love the Green Zebra tomato - I was a little worried about what the flavor would be like, but they're so beautiful.
I do have beans planned for the garden, I just have plenty of seeds left over from last year (that list is only what I am buying, not everything I'm planting, if you can believe it). I've seen the wall-o-waters before, I'll have to give them some thought.

Lu - You're so sweet. Can you please tell my family that, they all think I'm pathalogical.
:D

Eva - I haven't grown kabocha before, but I've still got some delicatas stored that I bought this fall (my home grown ones were gobbled up pretty fast). We keep our house pretty cool, heating mainly just the living room, so I've been keeping my onions and squash in the back porch/laundry room (which is probably around 55 degrees). So far, so good.
Good luck with your first garden!

Carla - Baxter sure likes to be at the center of things, he lays down in the middle of our board games all the time too.
I've heard that using stone mulch works in much the same way as the tires would, holding in the heat (I tried that around my peppers last year).
The red plastic is supposed to reflect the right wavelength of light back to the plant to increase production. Maybe I'll try to scrounge some red plastic bags to experiment with.

kansas crochet mom said...

what company do you order your seeds from?

Cheryl said...

KCM - Most of my seeds until now have come from West Coast Seeds or other local seed companies, because they carry a lot of things that work in our climate. I'm wanting to try some different heirlooms though, so I'm buying from Baker Creek, Territorial, and Seed Savers this year as well.

Danielle said...

I hear ya on the regional seed thing. I ordered the bulk of my seeds this year from Southern Exposure Seed Savers, the rest from Johnny's (which is a lot further north than I am) and a few from Seed Savers.

I also got sucked into the Green Zebra and the German strawberry tomatoes—they just sounded so good! I'm on a quest to find the perfect large cherry/grape stuffing tomato so I can stuff it with some delicious homemade herbed goat cheese. Mmmmmm. A little slice of heaven!

No clue how they grow out where you are, but the Sun Gold cherry tomatoes are to die for, and they freeze really well. I just popped them in the freezer on trays until rock hard like tons of little tomato gumballs. Then they're delish over pasta in the middle of winter. Wow!

God I love seeds!

Cheryl said...

Danielle - You are a bad influence! :D I had the Sun Gold tomatoes on my list, but took them off because I decided I already had enough tomatoes. Guess they're going back on now!
Have you tried Ailsa Craig tomatoes? They're larger than a cherry, but still quite small (about 2"). They taste great and might be a good choice for stuffing.
I'm still drooling over the prospect of homemade herbed goat cheese!

Carla said...

Ooh, I just read your comment about stuffing tomatos. Last year I stuffed some little ones (they could have been cherry or a little larger) with pesto. Very simple but a great hit. Herbed goat cheese sounds great too though. I'll have to remember to try that this year.

kathy said...

Last year I had a recommendation to use red construction paper torn into pieces and worked into the soil. I was leery of the red dye but absolutely did not want to use plastic. The results were amazing. I've always had good success with tomatoes but nothing like this. Now I'm on the look-out for naturally dyed red paper! I was thinking perhaps if it was dyed in beet juice....

TGentry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Debbie said...

I feel silly asking, but I don't know a lot about gardening. Are seeds from these seed companies better than those you can just buy from the store or local nursery?

Cheryl said...

Carla - Stuffing them with pesto sounds great too!

Kathy - That's good to know. I'm on the lookout for used red plastic bags, but maybe I'll start saving scraps of red paper from the kids' crafts too.

Tgentry - I'm still quite a novice at gardening too, but I'd be happy to help you find the answers to any questions you might have.

Debbie - I do buy seeds at the local garden center, but I like to buy organic and/or heirloom varieties as often as I can, and the companies mentioned in the post carry many things that I can't find nearby. Here's a link that talks about the benefits of heirloom seeds:
http://seedsavers.org/savingheirlooms.asp

Debbie said...

Thanks for link - I'll be checking it out. My husband loves to garden.

I have a question, if you don't mind. :) Our cucumbers last year were really bitter. So were our neighbour's (and she's a wonderful gardener). We tried picking them in the morning, but still...ick. Is there a variety of cucumber that's better?

Cheryl said...

Debbie - I'm going to grow Lemon cucumbers this year for that reason. They're sweeter and less bitter, as well as being faster to mature (and needing less heat to do so).
I also like the fact that they're quite small, so I won't have half of a huge cucucmber going soft in the fridge.
I hope that helps!

Debbie said...

Thanks! Very helpful.

Laurie said...

I see that you got comment-spammed by Park Seed too. tgentry just sent you the same comment and link I got from Elaine S, and Liz of Pocket Farm got from Toni J. I removed the link. The IP addresses are registered to Park Seed.

http://slowlysheturned.net/?p=603

Cheryl said...

Laurie - Thanks for the tip. Something didn't seem quite right about that comment!

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