So Long 2009, Hello 2010!

February 2, 2010

Well.  That was an impressive break.

Last year’s growing season was quite hectic.  I went overboard on my tomato sales (800+ plants), I never got my order of sweet potatoes and ground hogs threatened the satellite garden.  I did, however, manage to plant about 70 cloves of garlic before the ground hardened, a goal I’ve been trying to hit for the past two years.  Yay!

I’ve been elbow-deep in seed catalogues and have already received a big envelope from Johnny’s Seeds.  Carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn salad and lettuce top the bill.  I’m also awaiting a package from Tatiana’s TOMATObase because I really, really need more tomato varieties.  My partner joked that there should be a show for seed hoarders.  In an unrelated moment, he also mentioned that store tomatoes are tasteless and he’s looking forward to the summer, which I take to be tacit approval for my seed hording.

Looking for a way to uncomplicate your seed starting dates?  I’ve got an automatic seed starting chart in Excel for anyone who’s interested.  Just plug in your first spring frost date and first fall frost date and all the start, transplant and harvest dates will be calculated out for you.  There’s even consecutive sowings so that you’ll be up to your ears in lettuce and beans all growing season.  For those technically advanced, you can even add your own vegetables that I didn’t include.  All dates are based on You Grow Girls’ Automatic Seed Starting chart and the charts at the back of the All New Square Foot Gardening book by Mel Bartholomew.  Let me know if you’re interested!

I’ve been trying to source a European corn salad variety that my dad remembers from Germany.  It’s a narrower, darker green leaf with an upright habit, about 4″ tall; taller than a broadleaf.  The only thing he remembers is that they served it in first class on Lufthansa in the 80s.  I know, right? Anyone with a lead on a cultivar will have my eternal thanks.  So far, I’m looking at Verte d’Etampes, Cavallo, Verte de Cambrai, Vit, Rodion, Medallion and Granon and will be passing the pictures by my dad for some, hopefully, positive identification.

Oh, and those precious garlic bulbs I planted?  They’re under seige by my dog Maui who thinks digging, tearing and shredding at the tarp and straw that covers them is super-awesome-fun!

[insert photo here if I could find my camera]

P.S. I’m getting excited about spring!


14 Responses to “So Long 2009, Hello 2010!”

  1. ohh ohh I need some help with dates, and times and planting! I would love to see your spreadsheet if you wanna share it.


  2. Zach Says:

    Sorry, I’m no help with the corn salad cultivar. But I am glad you are back to blogging. I missed you. So how did your potatoes turn out? Good job on the garlic. I too had planted a ton. like 130, I think. I could be over exaggerating. I have 2 varieties. the 1st is Music and the 2nd is a variety that I got from a friends 200yr old property. The people who built the house planted it! I know right. pretty cool. They are smaller. Like the size a quarter to the size of a small golf ball.

  3. Kathy Says:

    Hi Leslie, check your inbox!

    Thanks for the kind words, Zach. I lost my drive for blogging after my tomatoes and corn were attacked by ground hog and deer out at the satellite garden. There was even a gun that was borrowed, it was so bad.

    Potatoes were DELICIOUS. Requests have already been made to plant the same varieties: AC Chaleur, Irish Cobbler and Red Chieftain. I’m putting in an order for sweet potato slips this year and hope to blow them away with the difference between store-bought. They’re a little more fussier as you have to prep the soil with plastic mulch two weeks before planting.

    Pretty sweet scoring some family heirloom garlic! I don’t know what I’m going to do with all mine this year, I really did go overboard compared to what we actually use. I’m going to have to source some recipes!


  4. Jennifer Says:

    Definitely getting excited about spring here, too. Though it doesn’t help that NOW we’re getting all the snow that passed us by last month… sigh.

  5. Eric Lilius Says:

    I would be interested in your grow chart. We are putting together material for new gardeners in a county wide community gardening project.

  6. Eric Lilius Says:

    Corn salad/Mache
    Have you tried Richters or
    William Dam…the Jade variety matches your description

    • Kathy Says:

      Hi Eric, I’ve got my mitts on some Jade seeds and have given them to my dad to do trials this spring. Hopefully he’ll find one that matches his memory.

  7. Aack! You’re back! I’m so happy. I like to think of it more as seed collecting rather than hoarding, and unlike other collections you can replicate it by growing it. It’s the ultimate collectible 🙂

  8. Debbie Says:

    I too would love the excel spread sheet for the planting dates etc. This is my first year starting from seed (only second year growing a veg garden) and I want to try succession planting, companion planting, rotating, square foot gardening, amd OMG my head is just spinning. I would appreciate ANY help you can give me.

    Thanks in advance

  9. anna Says:

    hi, i would love your excel planting guide! that would be super. this is only my 2nd year gardening and i am totally in love with it and totally hopeless and haphazard in terms of planning! thanks alot and love your blog!

  10. Anna H Says:

    Would love a copy of the spreadsheet if you are sharing.


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