Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Big list of seeds.

Each year I expand the growing space in our small yard. Having a long narrow landing strip side yard means I plant against the houses with limited sun each day. With buried utilities, HOA rules, and not much space, we don't have the optimal gardening space. But we make it work, and each year we grow even more. Our garden is always green and lush and we get a good bit out of a small space. It is nice when it fills in so thickly in the summer too - almost like we have our own secret hidden garden in the midst of a close neighborhood.

This year we will expand our yard garden once again and are also expanding into community plots. We plan to have one family plot at this community garden where we can grow food that likes more space and sun than we can provide in our yard here.

I am also hoping to be granted a second plot for a child garden, to be planted and cared for by several families of kids. For this, I have sketched out a bean teepee, in addition to a sampling of many types of veggies that will produce in longer spurts so that there can be weeks of harvest - such as radishes, italian stuffing peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and more. It will be fun to also grow different things such as miniature red popcorn, peanuts, ghost pumpkins, and beautiful sunflowers in addition to things that can be used to make natural dyes. Variety and color is good. It will be great to have a spot where we can go throughout the season and let the kids roam, water, weed, pick, sit, and check on things. Get their hands dirty, and see what works in their own little organic plot!

My eyes are always bigger than my space, but this year it is nice to think of having three growing areas to get seeds for! Ahhh. Here is a rough list of what we plan to grow within those three spaces:

bush beans: royalty purple pod
pole beans: purple podded pole
runner beans: painted lady
long beans: chinese red noodle bean
yellow cylindrical, cylindra
early jersey wakefield
st. valery, yellowstone
strawberry popcorn
chinese yellow, wautoma pickling
ground cherry, huckleberry , strawberries
various greens...loose leaf & head lettuce, mesclun, mache, mix
azur star
minnesota midget
he shi ko-bunching, tokyo long white bunching
blauschokker shelling pea
peanuts: peppers:
sweet chocolate, patio red marconi, tequila sunrise
long scarlet, purple plum, sora
red malabar spinach (asian vine 'spinach')
summer squash:
lemon squash
swiss chard:
five color silverbeet
purple tomatillo
orange fleshed purple smudge, brandywine pink, green zebra, black cherry
winter squash:
white acorn, waltham butternut, baby blue hubbard, thelma sanders sweet potato
shisho, cilantro, several types of basil, anise hyssop, chamomile, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, thyme, savory, mustard
dye plants:
bulls blood beet, hopi red amaranth,
in ground:
raspberries, borage, red currants, parsley, dill, chives, shallots, garlic, lemon balm, mixed herbs & flowers

It looks like a lot, but we won't plant a whole packet of seeds for each item and some will be succession planted and not all in the first round. We like to grow a bit to not only supplement our CSA each week with things that are not as common, but also to provide more veggies that can be preserved to get us through the next winter.

Splitting seeds with someone is a great way to get many more varieties to try without the extra cost - I am splitting many of the seed packets this year with a friend, and we are excited to expand our list that way.

Now I must get all of my seed starting equipment in the basement setup, checked, and ready to go!


Anonymous said...

that sounds absolutely amazing, Denise! i cna't wait to see photos of all three green spaces.

and by the way, fabulous photos.

Tara said...

The children's garden is a nice idea. Your plans look ambitious to the novice gardener like me, but I know it will all come together beautifully and bountifully!!

Tara said...

The children's garden is a nice idea. Your plans look ambitious to the novice gardener like me, but I know it will all come together beautifully and bountifully!!

Willo said...

That looks like a great list! Do you find all of those kind organic?

Lynch Family said...

Wow! What kind of beds do you have against the house? I want to use more of our yard for food this year!

denise said...

Jen - I just literally turn the grass over, add some compost, plant and then mulch. We cannot change slope or block drainage from house, so there are not any raised edges or anything. Just slopes down with the yard. Works great though! You'll have to come visit when everything starts growing again. It is nice to have it all just as landscaping.

Tara - I have only been gardening in this yard for 4 years now (lived in apartments with no yard before), and the first year here I had a toddler & a baby, so mostly grew pots. But I just keep adding more every year to 'try' it out! This year with the community gardens I don't know if I have enough seed, or nowhere near enough. We'll see! :)

Willo - I find some organic, some biodynamic, and some from trusted untreated seed providers. All open-pollinated, heirloom varieties. :)

Heather said...

Oh, your list of seeds sounds so interesting and fun. I might have to try some of those too. Isn't it amazing what you can fit into (and get from) even a small gardening space? Do you know about the Dervaes family Path to Freedom garden? They grow so much on such a little spot.

We've just watched the DVD The Future of Food and even though we already grow loads of our own stuff watching that has me wanting to grow even more. Look forward to hearing more about your gardening adventures. Will you be starting some of your seedlings soon?

denise said...

Heather - I love the Path to Freedom. And I have recently been sucked into the great podcasts of the Garden Girl (http://www.gardengirltv.com/). I definitely dream of more land, but then think, wow, wouldn't it be cool if...with this home. :) I've been wanting to see that DVD...

RunninL8 said...

My Huz and i fell in love in our old community garden plot in Montana!!! I miss gardening there!
I just can't even imagine spring or planting here right now-it seems so far away!
Enjoy your plots and beware of people who steal all of your basil!!

Julie said...

Wow! Quite the diverse list of seeds:) My husband and son planted our first flat of spring veggies last night. I'm still ordering summer stuff.

This year is the first year we are sharing seeds with others. I got a few varieties that I wouldn't have purchased otherwise. My husband and I have the space to start whatever we want, so I plan on just starting what we have and then giving away the extra plants to someone who could use them.

Anonymous said...

Where do you get seeds? Would you mind linking to a good source? Thanks

denise said...

Justyna - I did indeed post seed catalog links last week, here: http://mominmadison.blogspot.com/2009/02/oh-those-seeds.html


mamaraby said...

I always love perusing other gardeners' lists. Thanks for sharing!

mandaroo63 said...

What a lovely variety. The tomatoes look mouth watering!!! Yum!

Yarrow said...

What beautiful photos! I too add and expand a little each year in my urban garden. We have a fairly large yard, and I look forward to the time when it is almost entirely planted in edibles! Great seed list. Garden blessings.

tiff said...

You are so energetic and creative...that is quite a long list of seeds...what a fun next couple of months...those photo's make me want more green!

Anet said...

You're such an inspiration! I have a tiny yard also, but hearing your plans makes me want to expand our garden!
One of our local parks built a green house for our neighborhood to use. For free! It's open from 3 to 6 Mon-Sat. You can get a planting bed, seeds and they give classes!
They have plans to make the east side (our neighborhood) into a gardening community. Very exciting!

Dawn said...

Wow! That is an awesome list!

Looking forward to seeing the results :)

Lizz said...

Whoa doggie, Denise!

I wanted to suggest to you raised beds, no worries about digging down that way. And a big YEA on community gardens. I never do them cause I need to be 'close' to my growing things, at all hours.

Thanks for the 'green' lust!

Unknown said...

Have you ever heard of a pizza garden? http://childrens.wcroc.cfans.umn.edu/pages/gardens/ind_gardens/pizza_garden.php

I think that we are going to try that this year. I love all the things that you are going to grow. I cannot wait to see the pictures.

dongdong said...

Many wows. I have the same problem as you small land, utility lines, not a lot of sun. Last year we tried to plant but have some kinda of problem and only had few tomatoes, red and green and few other things. You have really inspired. I hope this year it will turn out better.

Sam said...

Wow! As a timid, beginner gardener, that list is both scary and inspiring.
We managed to grow tomatoes from seed last year, so we're getting carried away this year. (In a very disorganised way!)

I can't wait to see photos of your plots in action.

Anonymous said...

I love your children's garden ideas. For the bean tee-pee are you using wood posts or giant sunflowers? I've always wanted to do it with the sunflowers, pulling their shiny heads together at the top.

Can't wait to see photos!!

denise said...

TheOrganicSister--We are going to use bamboo for the bean tee pee so that it is a solid structure. I have grown a sunflower house before with sunflowers/morning glories in our yard but we get pretty wicked windy summer storms and both years we did it they bent over a lot (even in a sheltered spot). So the bamboo will be more solid for the whole summer. I do plan to grow a main circle of the three sisters + sunflowers. corn/sunflowers around the outside, with beans growing up, and squash growing around. I think it will be a nice haven in the peak of the summer! :)

denise said...

Oh, and it will be the short corn and sunflowers ... only 4-5 feet, so it won't bend too much, hopefully!

broken lightswitch said...

Hi, I was wondering where you got the red spinach seeds from. I'm looking for either the red or the green variety of the malabar spinach anywhere in the Madison area. It might be too late to plant it now, but I'd like to give it a try. I'd really appreciate it if you could give me some suggestions asto where I can look. Thanks!

denise said...

stranded on earth:: I ordered all of my seeds online. But, I do know that Paradigm Garden Store (east side off of Stoughton Rd.) does carry the Baker Creek Heirloom seeds as well as Seed Savers seeds, so they may have them. They have SO MUCH good stuff in that store!

I know that Seed Savers seeds are also sold at Bruce Company and Willy St. Coop...they may have the Strawberry Spinach (but I don't believe they carry the Malabar). Good luck!