Monday, February 15, 2010

2010 Garden Plan

This year I ordered seeds from two small Missouri businesses which specialize in heirloom seeds.  Here is my order and then fleshed out garden plans.

The Container Crew 
The following were listed as good container possibilities or I'm taking a chance in hopes.


Black Valentine Bean
This heirloom snap bean has been grown for over 150 years. It does well both in early and main season plantings, and is quite productive. If left to dry, it also makes a great dried bean.

Photo credit: Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company
Description: A Few Good Plants

Melrose Pepper
Sweet pepper.  The plant of this variety is rather short (24 to 30 inches), but its productivity is enormous. Melrose has a wonderful sweet taste, and the shape of an Italian or Anaheim pepper. Good for fresh eating, freezing, and drying. Does well in a container

Photo credit: unknown sorry
Description: A Few Good Plants

Heirloom Cherry Tomato - variety unknown - seeds saved from last year.  This variety was amazing.  The vine was very vigorous and produced fruit all the way into September when it was finally put to bed.  Amazing quantity of beautiful round red goodness.  Here is a typical yield from a day or two picking in the garden.

Photo credit: Me
Description: Me

Lettuce & Greens Trial:

Plato II
 This tasty variety of Romaine lettuce, Plato II,  is very heat tolerant and can grow through the summer months if well watered. Replant every few weeks to keep lettuce at the best tasting size. Does well in a container.
Photo credit: unknown
Description: A Few Good Plants

A beautiful tender and sweet leaf lettuce with bright green leaves that are tipped in purple. This pre-1885 variety was referred to by Vilmorin as "Red Celtuce" as it is sometimes used for the bolting stem which is tender and light pink.

Photo credit: Baker Creek Heirloom Seed
Description: Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company

Verde da Traglio 
 Verde da Taglio has much smaller leaves than other chards, and has a sweet spinach-like taste.  Unlike spinach, though, Verde da Taglio is fairly heat tolerant and can be grown into summer if well-watered. It is also good as a late-summer fall crop. Does well in a container.

Photo credit: unknonwn
Description: A Few Good Plants


A word about herbs:

I am only planning to grow one herb this year - tada basil.  I cannot be my mother's daughter and NOT have basil.  This herb I think was coded somewhere in my DNA.  I plan to use my basil far more this year than last.  This year I'm thinking.....pesto.  Mmmm.  Trying a new variety this year.  Last year I grew Genovese basil, cilantro (which bolted in seconds of planting), sage, rosemary, oregano, thyme, chamomile, and lavender.  I have chosen to limit herbs due to space and practicality.  Last year I did not use my herbs and that is plain wasteful.  I have large qualities of tried herbs that I purchase inexpensively from the farmer's market.

Now that I think about it though I have lavender that I transplanted to the garden bed so there it will remain.  I've already ordered seeds, but now I'm growing wistful for rosemary.  Hmm, I'll pick up a plant at the garden center.  Oh, who am I kidding - I'll probably get a few varieties of herbs and maybe of basils too.

Sweet Basil. This variety is similar to the Genovese Basil that we've offered in the past, but it's sweeter with less of an edge to its flavor. Everyone in our family of pesto lovers said that the Sweet Basil made a better pesto, and this variety also is superior if you wish to dry its leaves.

Photo credit: unknown
Description: A Few Good Plants

In the Ground

Already in the ground:
Strawberries planted last year

Garlic - cloves planted last year from farmer's market
In the Ground or in Container?
Still researching and deciding.  My garden is very very very small.  I need to be conscious of rotating crops and not over taxing things.  I'll figure something out.

Little Marvel Garden Pea
Vigorous bush plants, heavy yields and fine-flavored peas. A great home garden variety. An heirloom from 1908.

Photo credit: unknown
Description: Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company

Brandywine Tomato
Seeds saved last year.  This plant produced beautiful nice slicing tomatoes last year.  We roasted them for pizza, sauces, and sliced for sandwiches.

Photo credit: Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company
Description: Me
 Black Cherry Tomato
Beautiful black cherries, look like large, dusky purple grapes; they have that rich flavor that makes black tomatoes famous. Market growers report that this variety is an incredible seller, large vines yield very well. Very unique and delicious.

Photo credit: Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company

Description: Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company
I could not resist the picture and the description.  I already have a cherry to plant, but look at that color!  Tomato Porn!

Cherokee Purple
An old Cherokee Indian heirloom, pre-1890 variety; beautiful deep dusky purple-pink color, superb sweet flavor, and very large sized fruit. Try this one for real old-time tomato flavor. My favorite dark tomato!

Photo credit: Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company

Description: Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company
Again, I already have a tomato, but I've been lusting after them since Barbara Kingsolver wrote about them in her book, Animal Vegetable Miracle.

Sweet Chocolate Pepper
I love the flavor of this rich, chocolate-brown pepper. The flesh is cola-red color; very sweet and delicious. The medium-sized, semi-bell shaped fruit ripen very early, making this variety perfect for the north (or anyone who likes peppers). Great in salads.

Photo credit: Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company

Description: Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company 
Again this one chosen for its alluring pornographic lusty beauty.  I'm so excited about food!

Listada de Gandia Eggplant
One of the most popular heirloom types, this variety has 7" long fruit that are white with lovely bright-purple stripes. Very beautiful & with fabulous flavor in the sweet, tender flesh. This great variety hails from Italy, a country that is renown for fine food.

Photo credit: Seed Savers

Description: Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company
Look how beautiful they are!!!!

A word about eggplants:
Last year I grew a Japanese eggplant in a container.  I had exactly two from it.  Now it wasn't disease or growing condition problems.  It was pest problems.  A very large, four legged, brown pest of a dog who has a taste for veggies.  She and her sidekick a small furry little bitch ate gleefully from the garden despite my attempts to keep them out.  The brown dog also ate the peas and bean plants to extinction.  They began to get a taste for tomatoes but we had lots to spare.

Still Thinking About Researching

  • Potatoes - specifically fingerling potatoes.Do I try them in a container or just buy them at the farmer's market?
  • Onions - space is such a pain
  • Garlic - I have three cloves planted, I know I'll end up buying my supply at the market.
  • Pumpkin - I saved seeds from a pumpkin from the market.   I know they take a lot of space, but do I dare try it?
Wishing I had Space for:

Brussels Sprouts


Yes, I'm dreaming of backyard/garden hens.  I already have a list of birds for potential egg laying goodness.  There are a few hatcheries that sell to people not ordering 25 chicks.  I've also heard some murmurers from the Slow Food folks that want to join up with local people raising birds to provide small numbers to us urban farmers.  Which chicken is right for you? Chicken Selector

Barred Plymouth Rock


Photo credit: My Pet Chicken

Buff Orpington

Photo credit: My Pet Chicken





This one is a silver laced, but they come in other colors.  I'm not picky.  I just want a good healthy laying bird.

Photo credit: My Pet Chicken

Chickens are still a dream as our condo complex doesn't allow poultry.  We don't have the space out back either for a proper coop which would allow for garden ranging and safety.  When we have a house and backyard though - look out!  Mister and I have also talked about raising meat birds at some point.  I won't go into chicken death here right now, but wouldn't you rather eat something that was healthy and had a good life?

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