Planning 2012

Late winter is a great time of year. Not only do I get to cozy up and enjoy the occasional snow day (having one of those today, actually), but I can use that time to dream and make plans for the garden to come. The days are getting noticeably longer, the trees have buds on them, and things are starting to grow again. The fall-planted garlic is about 4 inches tall, and we’re still harvesting arugula, kale, leeks, and carrots (between snow storms, of course). As I sit watching the snow fall, I’m itching to get digging.

I love sorting through my seed box, taking inventory to see what I have and what I need to buy. It’s a little different this year though, because Baxter, who made it his job to sit in the middle of anything that anyone was working on (board games, Playmobil and/or Lego set-ups, and especially seed orders), is no longer around to keep me company while I do my planning. He died of cancer last year when I was being whisked away (kidnapped) to Las Vegas.

I’m making it my priority this year to whittle the garden down to the things that we actually eat; no more trying a little bit of everything just because I’ve got lots of space and a strong compulsion to impulse buy when it comes to seeds. This year I’m going with things that I know do well in my garden. It was fun trying lots of different types of potatoes, but I’m going to stick with the ones that set and store well, and taste good. Kohlrabi would have been on the chopping block, because it was somewhat foreign to us, but we’ve discovered that we absolutely love it roasted, and it holds in the garden extremely well. Broad beans are getting the boot because they’re space hogs, prone to aphids, and don’t produce much (and I’m usually left scratching my head trying to figure out what to do with the ones I do get).
So, the plan is to focus on varieties that have a short growing season, or crank out the produce in an efficient manner (i.e, less space). That means no tomatoes that need longer than 70-75 days from transplanting, as well as short season peppers, corn, cabbage, eggplant, brussels sprouts, squash (short season and/or bush varieties), and melons. I’m hoping this will give me more bang for my gardening buck.

Before I was able to start feeling too sorry for myself for having to figure this all out on my own, Shadow stepped in and had a seat in the middle of my stack of seed packets.

Looks like I’ve got myself a new planning buddy.

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