Signs of Spring
There’s another winter weather advisory on for tonight until Wednesday but I’m not worried about that because spring is right around the corner. I know this because our mailbox has been filling with seed catalogs since December.
Most of those get thrown straight away. No matter how seductive the pictures of fruits and vegetables, herbs and flowers I know the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of a multinational corporation that leads straight back by as crooked a path as possible to the dreaded M word.
I look for seed companies that are family owned if possible and definitely growing and selling organic, open pollinated seeds. Open pollinated is important because it means I can save seed from the plants I grow to plant next year. I’m not dependant on the choices a seed company makes of which seeds to offer this year, if any or what price they charge for them.
Over the years I’ve accumulated some favorites, an indian corn that the chickens love and makes pretty decent popcorn. A pumpkin that grows an endless variety of shapes, sizes and even colors. Flowers, morning glories, nasturtiums, marigolds. One whole drawer of the refrigerator is dedicated to my seed stash.
I always order carrot seeds, we go through 4 to 6 packets of carrots which are bi-annuals, they don’t set seed until the second year so I haven’t saved any seed from them yet and won’t this year, we ate all the carrots before winter even got here.
I’ll put in a couple of summer squash and zucchini, a few winter squashes, an acorn and maybe a butternut. Always potatoes, there’s a bin full of Pontiac Reds in the basement ready to plant.
I try parsnips every so often but have had zero luck with them. I’ve read they’re difficult to grow and that’s been my experience.
Spinach and a few lettuces will go in a bed, I cut them with scissors instead of pulling the plant up, they’ll grow back and I don’t cover them with dirt yanking them out.
Tomatoes I grow from sets we get from the Amish greenhouse up the road along with anything else that looks good. I try for a grape tomato and some Romas for canning and maybe a beefsteak. I’ll fill out the flat with broccoli, cauliflower, marigolds, violas and any herbs I don’t already have.
I haven’t decided between sweet corn and indian corn yet but I could do both if I plant one over by the shop so they don’t cross pollinate. And I’ll put in a bag of onion sets, they won’t last us through the winter but I’ll use them up before they sprout.
I’m always going to try garlic and always forget when fall gets here and it’s garlic planting time.
Peas and green beans round out the green things that will be planted. And there’s the Chestnuts, spruces, oaks and flowering fruit trees in the garden growing a bit bigger before I plant them out in the fields to make room for more trees to nurture.
What’s in your garden? Candy