Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Garden Dreaming

This is one of my favorite times of the year for gardening--the dreaming stage.  In my mind's eye I see lush, green plants overflowing with their fruits of my hard labor (dreaming doesn't cause blisters and sore muscles!!); carefully mulched ground with not a weed in sight; dark, rich soil nurturing the plants; and no lack of water to be found.  Not to mention all of the happy faced, willing workers that are just wishing for more work to do to help their momma out with.  I can dream can't I?  :-)

Last year I got my tomato plants in late--way too late.  It was the middle of June.  Yikes!!  I was figuring that a few tomatoes was better than NO tomatoes.  And right I was--but still.  They would have done much better if there had been more sun. 

When I was planting my tomato plants my father-in-law came out to watch and commented several times that where I was planting didn't have enough sun.  He stated each time about how much sun his front yard got--until finally I got a little naughty and challenged him.  "So you're saying that you want me to plant my tomatoes in your front yard?"  His mouth kind of fell open and he stuttered, "No.  No that's not what I meant!!  No, I think this is a good place to plant them."  And then he decided that there was something somewhere that needed his attention!!  Ha Ha!!  I had a good laugh.  Shame on me, I know.  But it was a little comical.

Aside from my in-laws front yard, there is an area next to our neighbor's fence line that gets abundant sunshine (one of the benefits of all of our surrounding mature trees is LOTS of shade.  But shade isn't a garden's friend, let me tell you!).  It is about 10 by 60 feet or so.  That's where I plan to plant our tomatoes next year.  My cage supports are large (18-24 inches in diameter and 6 feet tall) so I plan to grow vining plants (pickling cucumbers, small pumpkins, gourds, etc...) along the south side of the outside of the cages to try to utilize as much space as possible.  I will plant our green beans in the area that we planted our tomatoes last year.  DH has said that we can trim a few branches to get a little more sunlight onto the plants.  I have this crazy desire to grow and process/store ALL of our veggies for a year.  Probably won't happen but it's nice to dream.

I prefer to use non-hybrid, open pollinated, heirloom seeds (those that produce seeds that you can save and replant next year) to help protect the diversity of the many plants provided by our wonderfully created earth.  No hybrid tomato can hold a candle to it's far superior heirloom cousin!!  The amazing colors and tastes!! Who cares if they're a little less uniform and ripen at different times?  Why go for ordinary when you can have the unique and unusual?  And that's just tomatoes!  So many amazing plants to discover!!  I'm obsessed!!

Some of my favorite mail order seed suppliers...

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Seed Savers Exchange

Seeds of Change

Territorial Seed Company

Pinetree Garden Seeds (no catalog picture available yet)

Totally Tomatoes

Le Jardin du Gourmet Artistic Gardens (herb seed in small inexpensive packets)
Occasionally, just for fun, when I have a few minutes to call my own I like to search eBay for "heirloom" plants and seeds.  Amazing.

I'm SOOOOO... looking forward to spring!! I was having "spring fever" long before winter even officially started! :-)


Chatty Crone said...

Well girl - are you thinking spring or what??? And I love it how people always comment on what you are supposed to do - but never offer to help! HA

Fruitful Harvest said...

How fun! The thought of a beautiful garden sounds wonderful.

Your seed catalogs look awesome.

I'm not sure I will do a big garden this year. With the baby due in June and all the rain we get in spring.....when I would need to be out getting the ground tilled and ready. It does not sound to fun.

I can't wait to see you garden picks later this summer!


GrammyK said...

It's been around or above 60 degrees for the past few days which certainly hasn't helped me be content with the winter season!! But the colder weather is on the horizon and I should be feeling back to "normal" soon. :-)