Sunday, January 31, 2010

Seeds! Seeds! Seeds!

I ordered seeds a few weeks ago and I've already received nearly all of what I ordered! It's always a fun time of year to look ahead at things you'd like to plant again and choose some new and fun things to grow.

This year I did order from Gurneys again since they always give a great coupon whenever you order. Nothing like getting $25 off a purchase of $50 or more, eh?

From Gurneys I ordered:
Spinach, Vital Green
Butter Crunch Head Lettuce (excited about this one I've never grown it)
Leaf Lettuce, blend (grew amazing last year)
Mesclun, Mild Mix
Cabbage, Hybrid Stonehead
Broccoli, Hybrid Coronado Crown
Sweet Potato- Beauregard

Seeds saved from last year from Gurneys:
Cucumber, Hybrid Classy
Watermelon, Sugar Baby
Summer Squash, Hybrid Gurney's Pride
Pumpkin, Connecticut Field
Summer Squash, Hybrid Multipik
Carrot, Rainbow Mix
Winter Squash, Waltham Butternut
Winter Squash, Vegetable Spaghetti
Pole Bean, Kentucky Wonder

I'm most excited about all of the heirloom seeds I ordered this year!
The Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds was fast with the delivery of my seeds and they give a lot of information about the origin of the varieties they sell. They only offer open-pollinated seeds that are pure, natural and non-GMO.  

I ordered from
Lima Bean Christmas Pole
Corn Rainbow Inca Sweet
Tomato Moneymaker- An Old English Heirloom
Roma Tomato
Yellow Mortgage Lifter Tomato
Henderson's Pink Tomato
Oregon Sugar Pod II Snow Peas
Dragon's Egg Cucumber
Beit Alpha Cucumber- pickling variety
Jelly Melon Kiwano- African Horned Cucumber
Squash Jarrahdale- Blue pumpkin
Melon Collective Farm Woman- heirloom melon from the Ukraine 

Seeds purchased at local stores: 

Sweet Basil
Pepper Sonoma Sunset Hybrid
Pepper California Wonder
Tomato Supersteak Hybrid-Recommended by a gardener friend
Bean Edible Soybean (Edamame)

I know. You're thinking how is she going to grow all of this? Will she have enough room? The answer is yes. (I hope so)
I will be expanding where I can and where it's appropriate and doing some interplanting to maximize my garden space. I may also buy a plot in our community garden for some of my squash or melons. This year I also plan to grow my potatoes in upright containers for easier harvest. It will give me more space as well.

 If I can only keep from buying more seeds when I see them on sale. I don't think I will be able to fit much more. I'm getting so excited for the spring!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Today was a gorgeous day! While walking around thinking of ideas for the garden, I discovered that our garlic had already sprouted. We have about five or six shoots showing already! We planted about sixty cloves back in November. We ran out of garlic before the fall last year. We'd like to be able to grow a whole year's supply  so we increased how much we planted this time to see how long it would last.

Garlic is very easy to grow. We actually buy garlic from the grocery store and plant it. It worked very well for us last year and tasted amazing. All you need to do is divide your garlic bulb into individual cloves and plant them pointy side up in the ground. You should space the rows about six inches apart and each garlic bulb six inches apart. If you plant them closer then the bulbs will be smaller since they don't have much space to grow.

This year I was given some garlic seeds and garlic bulbs to plant from a friend who saves her seeds each year. She says the garlic is a Purple Italian variety that was given to her by one of her friends. Hopefully it comes up and does well. It will be my first experience with growing my own bulbs from seeds for the next year as well. 

Most websites I've been to while reading about growing garlic say that garlic is temperamental and hard to grow. I've found the complete opposite was true in my yard anyway. All I do is plant it, cover it with about six inches of leaves and by spring they're shooting out all over the place.  It's usually ready for harvest by July. Garlic also seems to last a fairly long time as well if you braid it and keep it dry. We'll see how long it will keep this year once we harvest.

How did my garden grow?

I was inspired to begin gardening when my husband and I finally purchased a home of our own three years ago. We bought an old victorian home on a 1/4 acre of property in the City of Cincinnati. When we first moved in we revamped the flower beds and spent a lot of time caring for our lawn.

We started growing some vegetables our first year with the standard tomato plants that everyone likes to have around. The second year we ramped up and tried a few more veggies. We planted squash, bell peppers, jalapenos and even tried a small bit of corn. That year we did enjoy a lot of squash and a lot of hot peppers but I wanted bigger. I knew that we could potentially replace our store bought produce with our own.. at least during the summer. We have the space to do it. I got obsessed and at the end of that growing season I began planning for the next year. I wanted the whole side yard. A section that was roughly 50x40 feet.

I borrowed two rototillers from my father and then when spring came I took out the yard. It was so much fun. My neighbors probably thought I was losing my mind. It was a lot of work but it was well worth it. All last summer we ate tomatoes, brussels sprouts, broccoli, eggplants (lots of eggplants), squash, zucchini, spaghetti squash, lettuce and cabbage among other things.

I have to hand it to my husband for helping me harvest everything we grew last year. I had time to plant but if it weren't for him harvesting each day while I was working at the day job then I'm not sure how long the garden would have lasted. He has also been very handy and helpful in general when it came to helping out when I needed it.

This coming year we hope to be more efficient in our gardening choices. We'll try to plan more with succession planting so that we can have a continuous harvest. We will try to grow more things that we can store away for the winter. We will plan more for our home preserving and plan to work together more often.

This blog will serve as an online journal for us and hopefully help to inspire others to grow some food! It's been difficult to find other local Cincinnati vegetable and herb gardening blogs so I figured I should start one and keep searching. Perhaps I'll end up helping someone or perhaps some readers will be able to answer some questions that I may have.

Next post.... some pictures of last year's garden!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Last Year's Garden Photos

Cabbage and Broccoli
Cabbage and Broccoli Later
Strawberries at planting in March
Strawberries in late May
Garlic Bed

Garden view from the back yard
Garden View from the second floor
Garden View from the second floor