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February 14, 2010

In fits and starts throughout January and early February, I’ve been planning out the garden, listing what to attempt and where to plant and sorting through old seeds.  About a week ago, I trekked out to the Hadley Garden Center and dropped about $40 on seed packets, a pound of rye cover crop seeds, and cactus soil (my succulents need re-potting).

The garden center has a decent selection of seeds from High Mowing Seeds, Botanical Interests, Seeds of Change, Renee’s GardenOlds Garden Seeds, and some larger, corporate seed companies I prefer not to purchase from.  Judging from the brand-spanking-new spreadsheet of seeds (including when they were packed, purchased, and planted), I lean toward Botanical Interests, but that might be due more to the display at the garden center than anything else.

I still plan on ordering a few special items, though.  Strawberries from Nourse Farms (the current plants are three years old and since they produced the first year, they are due to be replaced), blue jade corn from Seed Savers Exchange, gai lan (Chinese broccoli) from somewhere or other, and potato, shallot, and garlic from the Hadley Garden Center when they’re ready.

The potatoes will be a gamble this year, since potato blight was so bad last year.  The tomatoes are going to be in containers also due to bad blight last year.  I’m hoping to grow green zebra (I love the flavor but haven’t had the best luck with this heirloom), yellow pear (which have done wonderfully–even last year during the blight) and San Marzano for drying and maybe canning.

I’m going to focus on more brassicas (like Chinese broccoli, chard, brussel sprouts, and bok choi) and aliums (shallots, leeks, and garlic) and herbs (dill, basil, thyme, and shiso).  And of course there will be an abundance of peas and beans, since those rarely disappoint.  Maybe the edamame I plant will even grow and I’ll finally have fresh (not frozen!) edamame.  Mm . . . how am I going to make it to spring?

My guess-and-hope gardening calendar says I should start the ten weeks from last frost veggies on March 6, assuming a last hard frost of May 15.  3 weeks until seedlings.

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