Sunday, December 30, 2012

Planting Calendars

Last year, I was consistently late in planting seeds and seedlings. This year, I'm making a calendar to keep track of what I'm sowing when.

Kathy at Skippy's Vegetable Garden created a great program that will generate a planting calendar automatically, based on your average first frost date.

Kathy has two beautiful garden sites with lots of space and sun. I have a shady backyard and am growing in containers. Because our lists look so different, I created my own planting calendar, complete with some tips that I otherwise might forget (like thinning the spinach). Check it out.

I'm especially excited about the Mexico Midget tomatoes from Seed Savers Exchange. I am ordering these heirloom tomatoes as seedlings, so they will arrive ready to plant. Not only do I get to skip the labor-intensive process of starting them from seed, but also the hardening off. To accustom delicate seedlings to the outdoors, gardeners put them out for progressively longer periods each day, hardening them off over the course of a week. I find this near impossible to do correctly with a full-time job, so it's nice to have that burden relieved.

I'm also looking forward to growing as many alpine strawberries as possible this year. They caught my interest because they require less sun than their mainstream cousins. But since then, I've been reading about their delicious, intense flavor. I can't wait to snack on them while gardening.

What plants have you been drooling over in the seed catalogs?