Thursday, January 7, 2010

Garden plans and seed orders

The seed catalogs have been flowing in, it seems. We’ve gotten several so far. One of the first ones was from Pinetree Garden Seeds. I’ve ordered from Pinetree for the last eight years or so. It’s not the only seed company I’ve ordered from, but I like their offerings and prices. Because Danny wanted to order his seeds early (before December 20 was his goal), we’ve already received seeds from Pinetree (we ordered with Danny to split sSandhill Preservation Centerhipping costs which saved us each a couple of dollars). 

Another place to order seeds that I found when searching online two years ago is Sandhill Preservation Center. I love what they are doing! Their primary purpose is the preservation of open-pollinated and heirloom seed varieties. Selling seeds is only a sideline business associated with their preservation goals. There are so many wonderful varieties in their catalog. It makes me want to order a bunch of different things.

We are trying to save more of our own seeds for subsequent years. We plant only open-pollinated or heirloom varieties in our garden. Every now and then a hybrid sneaks in, though, but generally not because we ordered hybrid seeds. It’s happened when we’ve been given some seeds or plants to transplant into the garden by someone else.

This year I want to focus our garden efforts a bit more than the last couple of years. It’s so easy to get carried away in the spring and plant a little bit of everything or to set out all the plants that we started, even if there are five times as many as needed. Or, to plant more than is needed of a particular seed. Then, it’s really hard to let something go to waste in the garden. So, there’s extra work in harvesting and preservation.

There are certain staple crops that we grow each year. Among these are potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and beans. We also grow lettuce, spinach, squash (summer and winter), beets, corn, okra, and melons. We may buy some seed potatoes this spring, either that or we’ll plant some from what’s left of what we grew last summer. We’ll start our own sweet potato slips from some of last year’s sweet potatoes as this is very easy to do. These two crops provide so much for our diet.

I’m going to focus our tomato growing on about three different varieties. Last year I think we had over 30 different varieties with more than 200 plants all together. Too many, really. We also didn’t get them staked up and taken care of properly. I’ll make sure they are up this year as they’re supposed to be.

Last year we also had too many green beans. We love fresh out of the garden green beans, but we don’t really care for them canned. They aren’t bad frozen, but since we’ll be on solar power and not running a freezer, that won’t be an option. I would like to try drying some. Other than that, I want to only grow enough for eating fresh.

Our onions last year did not do well. I’ll keep trying. I think the soil where we planted them was not good for them. In one place, it was too wet. In the other place it was lacking fertility.

I’ve been adding to the fertility of the garden soil. We had three dump truck loads of manure from the local stock yards put on it last fall which I spread with the tractor and grader blade. As Jessica mucks out her horse’s stall, she puts the soiled bedding in a small trailer. Every week or two I empty that onto the garden, spreading it out. All of this should add.

It’ll be nice to get back in the garden. We ought to be able to put some of the early things in in a little more than three months from now.


small farm girl

I can hardly wait! My tomatoes didn't do well last year. To much rain.


It won't be long. I enjoy gardening most of the time. When I'm picking two bushels of green beans because we planted too many and don't need that many but I can't waste them and my back hurts, I don't enjoy that part too much, but overall I do.

Tipi Homesteaders

I'm drooling over the newly arrived seed catalogs too! Can't wait to get my hands in some dirt. Thanks for the links to Pinetree Garden Seeds and Sandhill Preservation Center - I'm always looking for new sources for heirloom seeds.


You're welcome for the links! I just received a catalog from Sandhill Preservation Center in the mail today! I'm looking forward to going through it and finding so many things that I just have to try. I'll order some seeds from them in order to help support what they're doing.

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