Monday, January 12, 2009

experimental gardening

Our house came with a decent yard, complete with a gardening area behind the garage. This gardening area has several raised beds that had been dedicated to flowers, but which we will be turning into a vegetable garden come spring (it helps me feel less guilty about uprooting flowers if they're all brown and flower-less when I have to pull them out). So we've been thinking about what we want to plant, since I have minimal experience with plants and Partner hasn't gardened since he moved out of his parents' house.

We recently ordered some seeds from the Seed Savers Exchange:

Brandywine Tomatoes
Red Zebra Tomatoes
An Heirloom Lettuce collection
Purple Viking Potatoes. How cool are those?

We also have some garlic, Roma tomatoes and random herbs that we can plant. I think this will give us a good first season, where we won't be doing more than five beds and will be limiting ourselves a little in case we mess things up. I'm excited to start learning something about growing my own veggies, and potentially even having tomatoes that aren't the round, red, non-organic vine-balls we can get at the local grocery. If we get ten tomatoes out of this effort we'll basically have broken even, and I figure we have to at least manage a few edible items unless we do something really stupid.


Eric Reuter said...

Very cool.

Two questions: where is your garlic from and when were you planning on planting it? Garlic is generally planted in the fall (October/November) and allowed to overwinter as it needs a very long growing season to really establish itself and bulb up before harvest in early/mid summer. If you plant it in the spring, you likely won't get much more than garlic scallions.

Also, many beginning gardeners think they can purchase garlic or potatoes from the grocery store and plant them. The problem is that most grocery store root crops (like garlic, onions, and potatoes) have been treated with various chemical sprout inhibitors to prolong their shelf life, and are thus rather unsuitable for planting. Also something to consider when eating such items...

I ask because the way your post was worded made it sound like the garlic was not from a seed company and that you hadn't planted it yet.

Otherwise, Seed Savers is a very high-quality source and I hope you have wonderful yields from your first garden. You're always welcome to use us as a sounding board for questions.

Liberal Arts Lady said...

The garlic comes from Partner's parents, who grow their own. I hadn't looked into garlic planting yet, but good to know that we should hold off! Thanks for the info.

I'm sure we'll have lot of questions once we get into the research stages of planning the garden - soon, but not yet! I appreciate having a contact - keep an eye out in early Spring, or maybe a bit later when we start to kill things...

MommyProf said...

I highly recommend sugar snap peas. They are easy to grow, do best in early spring so you can put a late summer crop in the same space, taste amazing (even eaten standing in the garden!) and are highly expensive in the grocery.


Liberal Arts Lady said...

mmm...that sounds like a fabulous idea. Thanks for the tip!