I spent some time this afternoon sorting through and cataloging my seed collection. This year I even took the time to record the age and, if not many, how many seeds I have of a particular variety. This last bit is important. How else would I have known that I only have 3 Anaheim pepper seeds in that envelope?!
I made a list of what I/we want to plant in the garden this year and my list of wants/needs and dug through the catalogues.
I've discovered that Baker Creek has everything I want -plus a few extras that weren't on my list ;-) so I only have to order from one place. Yeah!!
I've decided that this year, I'm going to grow less variety but try to do it better. So, instead of the 12 varieties of tomato I planted last year, this year, it will only be 6: Amish Paste, Polish Linguisa, Amana Orange, Black Sea Man, Crimson Cushion (wasn't thrilled with it last year but it was a bad tomato year- I'll give it another chance) and a hybrid beefsteak. I'm growing a hybrid this year because with the garden rotation I'm back in the spot where I had terrible trouble with late blight last time I planted there (the very first gardening year here). I'm going to try to mulch the heck out of the plants this year as soon as they're planted to avoid any soil splash. But, this is the low end of the garden and always seems wet. This won't be a problem if it is a dry year but if we have another wet, wet spring like we've had the past few years I could be in trouble. I do want to eventually put in raised beds but that's not on the short list at the moment.
For peppers this year, I'll only be planting 4 hot peppers: Anaheim, Jalapeno, Bulgarian Carrot and Hot Hungarian Wax. And 3 sweet peppers: Tolli's Sweet Italian, Purple Beauty (bell) and Ozark Beauty (a red bell).
As always, there will be a couple of eggplants, cucumbers, squash and all that jazz. New for me this year in the plan are Loofa gourds, fennel and Long Island Cheese squash. I picked up a Long Island Cheese at the farmer's market last fall and V actually liked it (he's not a big squash fan) so it's definitely one to try to grow.
Some new planting areas for the spring: the west wall of the barn where I plan to grow the loofas, the west wall of the chicken coop where I want to plant climbing nasturtiums to provide some shade as that wall gets really hot in the summer, and just to the west of the chicken run. That run gets an incredible amount of hot afternoon sun since it's on the west side of the shop and I'm going to try to plant some sunflowers out of reach of hungry chicken beaks to provide some shade there as well.
So, I've got my plan started. Now I just need to map out the garden, place my order and WAIT! With the springlike weather we've been having, that last one is the hardest!!
This year, I hope to finally construct the little greenhouse that V got me for my birthday last year. It had been on the plan for last spring but the chicken coop took precedence. Little greenhouse... raised beds... then maybe a hoop house and I'll be really going.