Monday, February 21, 2011


Oh February, are you still here? What a week. I have a little boy who still has an ear infection that just won't go away (I know, it never ends! Poor guy). So I've been doing lots of snuggling, caretaking, and being quiet at home with my guys. In between elderberry lemonade, warm packs and mountains of library books, my seeds have arrived. I love posting my big list of what we are growing each year to the blog so I can go back (10, 09)and compare years and have a record of it, and also so I can hear what works for you, what new things you are trying, and get that whole garden energy spring is coming juju rolling!

**seeds 2011**

Some of these seeds are left in my 'stock' from previous years, some are new to the garden this year. The list is what we are growing for 2011, with all new seeds/varieties for '11 marked as **.

Before you think I sound crazy with this big list as I write often about how small our yard is, I don't plant a ton of anything. Most of these plants we plant only a FEW, spread out throughout the shaped beds. We also plant in quick growing things near the slow growers, so that we get multiple harvests from the same space. I also use a lot of containers on deck & porch and grow almost all culinary herbs in pots. I also grow UP as much as possible! This is all very do-able in a small space. Some items are specifically to repel pests, and some are to attract beneficials as companion plants. Some things are literally strewn as I go, wherever I find an empty spot or have just picked an opening - like greens and radishes. It all works together in the end, and it looks nice too!

bush beans: bush blue lake
pole beans: purple podded pole, blue lake
drying beans: good mother stallard
**Dragon Tongue
**Envy Edamame

beets: (for garden planting as well as microgreens)
detroit dark red
jewel toned (red, gold, candy stripe)
**albino beet

ruby perfection

**Chantenay Red Core
**Tonda di Parigi

crystal apple
**Parisian Pickling

fruit (from seed):
ground cherry

azur star

minnesota midget
Pride of Wisconsin
**Sweet Siberian Melon

onions (to eat & as repellent):
evergreen long white bunching
yellow of parma (late)
yellow borettana chipollini (early)
**red baron bunching
**Red Welsh

peas: (for garden planting as well as microgreens)
oregon sugar pod II
de grace snow & snap
tom thumb dwarf
**Blue Podded Blauwschokkers

beaver dam (hot)
healthy pepper (sweet)
**albino bullnose pepper

potatoes: to come (grow bags)

long scarlet
purple plum
red meat
Cincinnati market

greens: (for garden planting as well as microgreens)
giant japanese red mustard
bloomsdale long standing spinach
swiss chard - lucullus
swiss chard - bright lights
swiss chard - flamingo pink
lacinato italian kale
wrinkled crinkled cress
garden cress
siamese dragon stir fry mix
pepper cress
**Ornamental Fringed Mix Kale
**belle isle cress

lettuce: (for garden planting as well as microgreens)
red wing lettuce mix
rocky top lettuce mix
heritage lettuce mix
green oak leaf
farmers market lettuce blend

summer squash:
lemon squash
summer scallop trio (patty pan)

lime green salad
window box roma
tommy toe
**Red House Freestanding
**Isis Candy Cherry

winter squash:
early butternut
fordhook acorn
(winter squash didn't do so hot last 2 years in our tiny space, planting only a few this year)

general veg:
white egg turnip
purple of sicily cauliflower
early purple sprouting broccoli
**tendercrisp celery

culinary & 'other' herbs:
common thyme
florence fennel
giant italian parsley
sweet marjoram
lettuce leaf basil
red reuben basil
genovese basil
**lime basil
kerala red amaranth
tooth ache plant
greek mullein
**Anise Hyssop
**German Chamomile
**Dill Bouquet

**frosted salmon poppies
mammoth sunflower
**italian white sunflower
**butterfly weed
**resina calendula

in ground::
golden raspberries
red raspberries
white currants
lemon balm
mix prairie flowers for rain garden
chocolate mint

Also New This Year::
fruit/veg (on list this year to plant, bare root or young tree )
**2 columnar apple (golden sentinel, northpole)
**1 dwarf cherry tree (blackgold)
**1 dwarf peach tree (reliance)
**1 cultivated elderberry
**pink thornless gooseberry
**sweet purple asparagus (might do this next year)
and, thinking of grapes or hardy kiwi for arbor

So my big change is more medicinal herbs and fruit bushes/trees...things that stay year to year and don't require as much day to day care. All of the trees will be dwarf or columnar so they will fit in our small space and not cast too much shade. I'll be doing more things in pots again - to get more sun and heat on my peppers, tomatoes, culinary herbs, etc. And we will be designing a few more ways to grow things UP so I don't have to bend over, and so they don't take as much room. More on all that later, as we plot and plan. We hopefully will have some big changes in the shape and bed spaces, the deck, and other infrastructure details too. Can't wait!

What are you trying this year that is new (for you)? What are you most excited about planting?



Candace said...

I vowed last year to take this year off from gardening, but in February the pull of the seed catalogs is strong.

I'm wondering where you get your fruit trees and which of them you might recommend in this climate? We have an area along the side of the house where we had to clear some evergreens and I'd love to have fruit trees there.

cfgyexy6464 said...

We love, love ground cherries and they are one of our must grow garden favorites every year. I'm always glad to hear of other people who like them and they are so easy. My mother's great aunt used to make ground cherry pie. I haven't attempted that yet as we usually just eat them all :)

denise said...

Candace - We are ordering from Jung in Randolph, WI. They have many varieties that work in our zone. We are borderline zone 5 here, but I usually stick to trees hardy to zone 4, since that goes to about -25 degrees. :) I like the dwarf stock because they don't require as much pruning and you can easily reach/pick yourself throughout the years. Nice even if you have some room. They also have a smaller spread, so you can fit more into your space. If you are only getting one of each kind, be sure to get self-fertile trees. Otherwise you need multiples for pollination. A lot of trees these days a (particularly dwarf) are multiple types grafted on a dwarf rootstock, so you can easily get just one of each and be fine! I can email you which ones I have been researching and that look good, if you like. I like to balance what is good fresh and what is good for pies/jams.

Nikoke - You get to grow the biggest garden ever next year, don't you? :) I love ground cherries too - I often eat them as I pick them, but they are great in pies. So nice and mellow.

denise said...

I typed nikoke. Bwah! Nikole. ;)

Candace said...

Thanks, I'm really excited now to go research fruit trees!

Astrid in Bristling Acres said...

WOW! Your list is quite impressive! I'm going to have to use it as a reference for future plantings. This year I'm planning on doing very simple plantings. As a matter of fact, I might not even start any seeds this year (first in ten years).

Good luck with the Jung's trees. I wish I could say that I've only had good luck with them but sadly that is NOT the case. Make sure you baby and nurse those trees the first year you have them. Once they get established they're fine. Just keep your receipts (I think they will replace them if they die but be sure to ask!).

denise said...

Astrid - We have tried fruit trees/bushes from so many different seems that it is always a 50/50 risk when buying a small tree. The garden centers do usually sell the bigger trees which are a bit more established, but they are so $$$ and there isn't as much variety it seems, with the fruit. But you are right. When getting the younger/smaller starts it is really important to start them in the right soil, depth, fertilization, water, location etc. so they have a better chance! :)

Andria said...

Hello.....I am amazed at your list and garden pictures. Your garden looks amazing. I would love, love to see some kind of a "garden tour" -- where you fit it all in -- we are newish gardeners and had about 1/10 of your list last year...some successful, some not...but we have so much to learn! I would love to see how you do it!!

Sally said...

Whoo whee, Denise, have you been frolicking in those seed catalogs!
This list is amazing!
(still got your guy and family in my prayers!)

Jessica said...

Wow....what an amazing garden.Will you post pictures of it when its in full swing?

Tara said...

That's an exhaustive list of plants!

To finally just get two small raised beds assembled and planted is our goal this year. My boy is very enthusiastic and was reading his gardening book yesterday telling me what should be planted next to his corn and what damage slugs can do :)

My husband is keen on planting potatoes in some kind of deep planter that you continually add soil to ?? Says you get more yield that way and the plants take up less room. Ever heard of this kooky plan??

Stephanie said...

I'm not thinking seeds! yet, but am instead thiking sun!. :)
I'm gonna have to look and see what we have, and find out what Julie has for me, too. (She went to a seed swap a little while back.)

Francesca said...

Oh, wow, what an amazing list! It makes me wonder whether I should go for more variety too.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm a long time reader of your blog - which I love! I know you're in Madison, WI :) I'm surprised you haven't yet mentioned or had any pictures of your blog about the rallies going on downtown. Have you thought about taking your boys to the rallies as a teaching moment? :)I have wondered if other homeschoolers in WI have done so, or what they think about it in general.

denise said...

Anonymous - Yes, being in Madison we are in the middle of it. I have had a really sick boy so we haven't been able to go downtown, but about everyone we know has been down with their families, joining in the peaceful protests. It is indeed a great teaching moment, and amazing for kids to experience. And I know many homeschool families who have been at the Capitol several times in the past week. I have actually been pretty chatty about it all on my Facebook page, but only have a button graphic on my blog. :)

Anonymous said...

Hope your little one feels better soon! It is so hard watching a little one when they aren't feeling well. Sending healthy thoughts your way! :)

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOSH! That is incredible. What a list.
Let me know if you have any seeds that you don't need. Or where you get your seeds so that I can buy some of my own. Any advice you can offer for this first timer would be great! We have the space just not the expertise. But we are very excited to give it all a try.

denise said...

Abbie - I DM'd you via twitter a link to my google doc with the seeds I have to share this year so you can look at what I have and see what works for you. Sent it yesterday or the day before? Let me know if you didn't get that ... I can post to you on FB if the other didn't get through!

Michelle said...

Holy moley Denise. You have room and time for all that? Good for you. I am jealous.

denise said...

Michelle - Not much room, not much time, but I do it anyway. ;) I only do one or two of the big plants each (like only 1 of each tomato/pepper/cucumber variety), so it isn't that much in the big picture.

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Unknown said...

oh i'm completely envious of how much you'll be growing!! especially those herbs.

Ceska777 said...

How big is your garden? I have a few feet of soil and cant say I grow so many vegetables as you plan to. We only had peas, onions, garlic, zuchini, tomatoes.A few...

ali said...

What an amazing yard! I look forward to your garden posts this summer. I am a little further south than you in Iowa...we are homeschoolers too.