The Vegetable Garden Begins

I got my seeds delivered this week! I am excited! The garden doesn’t look like much right now…..

Snow covered garden beds

but I have hope.

Every year is different in the garden. I don’t think we plan on putting in any new beds this year, but you never know. The last few years have started well and then attention and watering dwindled and I don’t even know what we harvested.

The plan this year is to stick to stuff we actually know will grow AND that we will eat. The kids are mostly feral during the summer and eat all the radishes, carrots, kholrabi, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, raspberries, strawberries, black and blue-berries and grapes before it gets in the house (basically everything except the kale).  We’ve tried sweet corn and had the world’s smallest harvest:

World's smallest sweet corn harvest: one tiny ear
It was really good, though!

I also bought them all my seeds online this year. I can find seed brands and varieties I like at a local store…but buying them there would probably mean bringing one or two children with me and then we end up with fourteen packets of radish seeds, eight varieties of sunflowers, and twenty packets of things that don’t even grow in Wisconsin without a greenhouse. I prefer to buy my seeds from Botanical Interests or Renee’s Garden. Because they have the prettiest packages. Oh, and because I know they aren’t owned or somehow connected to Monsanto in any way. (I have so much rage toward this evil empire, I won’t get into it here. All I will say is that if you, too, would like to make sure they are in no way making a profit or continuing to steamroll the vitality of the earth on your little piece of it, check here for a few ways to garden without them.)

The list of vegetable seeds for summer, 2015  is:  Carrots, Cabbage, Cucumber, purple hull Beans (so we can find them in the jungle come harvest), Fennel, Kale, Kholrabi (Q’s favorite) , Lettuce, Radishes (the Bean’s favorite),Sugar Snap Peas, Summer Squash and Zucchini, and Pumpkins and Jack-Be-Littles for decorations.

Botanical Interests seed packets Botanical Interests seed tapes Botanical Interests Sugar Snap Peas

I won’t be starting any seeds indoors this year.  We’ve had some success with artichokes and tomatoes and peppers, but I’m not up for giving up the bay window to moldy seed pots and inevitable over-watering by the young helpers this year.  I’ll get robust little seedlings from the farmer’s market instead, come May for tomatoes, peppers, broccoli and cauliflower and probably seed potatoes because it is such an easy and fun one for the kids to plant and harvest.

My herbs will be Basil, Cilantro, Parsley, Dill and I can never resist thyme, rosemary and oregano plants.  I have some seed tapes for scallions and a few lettuce varieties this year so I hopefully don’t have to thin them.  Those ones always get away from me and then are thin and ratty and inedible.  The tapes make it really easy for the kids to help with the itty-bitty seeds too instead of using the little seed-dropper or fingers.

No winter squashes or gourds, no chard, no parsnips or turnips or spinach or arugula or garlic or edamame or quinoa .  Less is more.  At least this year it is. For flowers in the vegetable garden, the calendula always comes back from it’s own dropped seeds and usually some rogue sunflowers and nasturtiums do too.  Every year, I think about making a sunflower house or tunnel, and it never quite turns out. Sunflowers have a mind of their own, you know.  I haven’t decided to make a go at it again this year or not.  The last thing is the zinnias.  I like to plant them from seed, even though it takes a bit to get going, but then there are nice shocks of color all through the second half of the summer.

Jack-Be-Little pumpkins and a stealthy cat
Stuart is ready for the cat-days of summer.
Nasturtiums, edible lovlies, although we never eat them
Sunzilla will return! I believe this one was named “Wyatt” by a visiting gardener




Happy Garden planning to you, too!



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