New Year, New Seeds

Over the past couple years, we’ve done pretty good with seed saving. And at the end of each season, we tell ourselves that “we’re not going to buy as many seed next year.” And then, January arrives and so do the seed catalogs. Despite whatever we think of our willpower in November, those catalogs with their pretty pictures and feelings of new hope completely sap it. That said, we didn’t buy as many new seeds this year as we have in the past. So, maybe our willpower is getting a little stronger. Or maybe we’re just running out of space to store so many seeds. Whatever that case may be, here’s a run down of just a few new things we hope to grow this year.

1. Flowers
We mentioned last week that part of our critters-fighting initiate this year involves planting more flowers, and more varieties of flowers. Particularly flowers that rabbits don’t care for. We knew that marigolds fell into this category, and discovered that many others did as well, such as alyssum because of how they smell, strawflowers because of their papery texture, and snapdragons because…um, well…can’t quite remember why, but it seemed like fun to try to grow them.

2. Beurre de Rocqencourt wax beans
Fancy name aside, we’ve had pretty good luck with string beans in the past. Our past efforts focused primarily on purple varieties, though up until last year we had been planting yellow wax beans as well. We ran out of seeds last year, and opted to plant other things. This year, we return to tasty and tender wax beans with this particular French variety.

3. Fort Portal Jade pole beans
Sometime, you just gotta try something that looks pretty. 🙂 That’s not entirely the reason why we decided to purchase these lovely teal-colored pole beans — they looks rather sickly in the picture, but they are a nice shade of green-blue in real life — but it’s certainly part of the reason. Plus, they add to our bean stash, so that’s okay, too.

4. 42-day tomatoes
In having trouble with our tomatoes last year, one of the possible “remedies” we read about was to try planting tomatoes with shorter ripening periods. So when we came across this “42-Day” cherry tomato variety, we decided to give it a go. According to the description, this little red tomato is supposed to ripen only about 42 days after transplanting. It seems a little farfetched, but it’s worth a shot!

 5. Baby carrots
Ever since starting our garden, carrots have eluded us. In fact, our soil is just so clay-ey and dense that we’ve pretty much avoided most underground plants — potatoes, onions, and carrots. We did manage to grow a decent crop of stubby carrots a couple years ago, and they were actually very tasty. And since we can grow radishes without issue, maybe our solution lies in radish-shaped carrots? When we found this packet of round, baby carrots seeds, they seems to fit the bill. Also, they look too cute to eat. (Though if we actually get any, we’re sure that won;t be the case!)

Honorable mention: Romanesco
It’s worth saying that, although we can seem to grow broccoli or head lettuces to save our lives, we’re going to give romanesco another shot. It’s such a unique, and, as we understand it, tasty vegetable that we simply have to try again with it. We first tried planting it two years ago, but nothing came of that attempt. Maybe we’ll have better luck this year?

This year’s garden is surely going to be a mix of old favorites and new experiments, so the results should be interesting. Next weekend it’ll  be time for seed starting, and we’ll be back then with an update!

P. S. With the crazy up -and-down weather we’ve been having lately (70s one day, 40s the next), our daffodils don’t know if they’re coming or going. They look a little wilty at present, but with warmer temps showing up later this week, maybe they’ll be a little happier then.




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