Down with the groundhog I say!
Today is the first day of Spring and up here in the Northeast there is no sign of it… anywhere! Instead, Mother Winter continues to drop snowflake upon snowflake. If I’m not mistaken Punxsutawney Phil did say, “And so ye faithful, there is no shadow to see, an early Spring for you and me.” You were surely mistaken… you… you… you rodent!
Okay, so let’s just pretend Spring is upon us. We can now start planning and planting seeds for the garden!
In the past our homestead has done a combination of starting seeds indoors and directly planting in the ground from plants purchased at our local garden store. This year we’re taking a bigger step and starting all of our seeds indoors using grow lights. It’s probably a good idea we’re doing this since warmer weather is no where in sight.
My favorite part of garden planning is deciding what to grow. We always do the standard… tomatoes, peppers, radishes, beans, peas, beets, lettuce, cucumbers, spinach, carrots. We take a further step and also grow potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, squash, kale, swiss chard, pie pumpkins and edamame (soybeans). In addition, I always like to pick a couple of ‘testers’ crops. Two years ago I tried okra and got three. I consider that a success since the okra was forced to grow up here in Maine. Last year I took a stab at a few artichokes. No luck. However, I hear artichokes are perennials, but also hear they can’t survive winter. We shall see what happens. I also have tried bok choy, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and hot peppers.
This year I’ve decided on three ‘testers’… sweet potatoes, peanuts and banana peppers. It is always fun to try out something new in the garden. Who says you must stick to standard crops you find in the grocery store? Even if you don’t know what kohlrabi is, or have no idea what to do with bok choy, watching them grow is almost as enjoyable as cooking and eating it. You can always give them to your neighbor. Or, better yet, you might find a recipe and a new found love!
If you’re not quite ready to try an unusual crop consider the commonly grown vegetables that come in an array of colors and varieties that you can’t find in the store. How cool is it to pull up purple carrots? Blue potatoes? Zebra tomatoes?
Carpe diem fellow gardeners! Carpe diem!
This post was featured at the Homestead Barn Hop.