Friday, January 22, 2010

Seeds, Seeds, and More Seeds

Empress Bean

Ahhh, I can't get enough! The seed catalogs have been arriving, tempting me with their glossy photographs of plump, luscious fruits and vegetables. My friend Rebecca referred to these catalogs as "gardening porn," and the moniker is apt: we fantasize about what we could have, about who we could be...

OK, maybe I need to get out more.

But this week I've been sitting down with all those catalogs and making the tough choices. Seriously, people, I have a suburban garden here, not a farm! I can't grow everything! Usually this time of year, I go a little nuts. I order more seeds than I have room for. (This is how we ended up with vegetables growing by the front door, by the way.) But this year, I have mapped it out -- I have actually sat down and calculated how far apart the rows need to be for each variety, and how much of each thing I'll be left with after thinning, and how much space that's all going to take up. I have used math. No gardening-by-the-seat-of-my-pants this year, folks!

You know this is all going to go to pot by about mid-May, don't you? But for now we'll pretend that I am very scientific and all that.

Front Yard Bed
This is the bed alongside the walk up to our front door. I planted tomatoes there last year. And melons! Bad, bad ideas. People like to be able to approach a front door without being assaulted by vegetables. This year: peppers. Bell peppers and jalapeños. Hopefully they will be well-behaved and not scare the visitors. Also: less tempting to the bunnies, which reside in the front yard under the hydrangea -- and who are, let's face it, not going anywhere.

Back Deck Containers
As in previous years, the many pots and containers on the sunny back deck will be growing mostly herbs. Basil, cilantro, oregano, rosemary, tarragon, and chives have all had good success in the past. I might add a few new ones this year, but want to focus on the things I really use for cooking the most. Hmm, maybe mint for mojitos....

Future fairy bower

Original Veggie Garden
This is where it all started, the little 5' x 10' bed (once a sandbox) where I planted our first veggies four summers ago. This is where the fairy bower is being built this year. More on this later, but basically it's a teepee of willow branches, with cucumber and green bean vines planted all around it to make a living, green hideaway house. (One section will be left open for the little ones to climb in and out.) This is an experiment and may not work out exactly as planned (ya think??), but I am looking forward to it nonetheless.

Where the raised beds will be

The Raised Beds
This is the new addition this year, the theoretical raised beds that I am theoretically hard at work on. This very moment! Building them! Yes! There will be three of them (yes!), 6' x 12', 6' x 12', and 6' x 16'. An astonishing amount of square footage to work with. So here's the plan for these babies:

Oh yes, I have it all mapped out. I am ordering the seeds, today! Except... um... I just realized that maybe it's not the best idea to have garden beds that are six feet wide.

Did I mention that I'm 5'2"? Hmm. Maybe it's a good thing I haven't bought the lumber for the beds yet.

But I'm still ordering the seeds! Nothing can stop me! Except I keep getting distracted by these dang catalogs and their whispered promises of lush, juicy tomatoes......

Moonglow Tomato


  1. The only thing I will mention is be careful putting your zucchini in the middle of the garden...our plants went crazy this past summer and were about 5'x 5'. But your peas & lettuce may be gone by the time the zucchini would get huge.

  2. Oh, yes another thing have you tried any of the German variety tomatos? We had one last year that was really good but my favorite is German Johnsonn