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I've received the  Johnny's, High Mowing Organic and Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Catalogs and just beginning to dive into planning my urban garden (aka "the back forty"). I'll have a CSA share, too, so will want to supplement what I expect to receive in that. Some definites:

Herbs - Dill, Basil, Thyme, Chives...

 

Flowers: Chamomile, Echinacea / Coneflower, Bee Balm, Bergamot, Lavender (plus bulbs already planted)

Tomatoes

Delicata squash

Kale

Cucumbers

Watermelon

Arugula

Lettuce

Any recommendations?

Tags: catalog, garden, planning, seed

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It all depends on how much you eat of what and also what grows best in your climate. Over time I've been able to narrow down what varieties grow the best where I'm at and what we shouldn't bother growing because we just don't end up eating it (like leeks - love 'em but never eat 'em). We are adding a few new things this year like celery, dino kale,  salsify and radishes. I've grown radishes before, but my husband doesn't like them so it's been quite awhile. I've never had salsify though and I'm curious to see if we like it. I got the seeds in England when we were there on our honeymoon. I think Baker Creek sells salsify seeds too.

 

I also like to go for dual purpose plants. Peas are good because we can eat the seeds/pods and give the plant waste to our livestock. They are also an important nitrogen fixer here. Pumpkins also get turned into livestock feed after carving for Halloween. Same with corn. We grow a corn called Bloody Butcher which can be eaten when young like corn on the cob, or left to mature (really useful when you miss picking them in time) and then be used as fall decorations and then for grinding. It makes wonderful purple corn tortillas! Then the stalks are used for fall decoration and then given to the animals. The cobs are given to our rabbits to play with.

Will continue with the herbs (thyme, lemon thyme, basil, mint, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, sage) as they all seem to do fine. Going to try tomatoes again (Romas and sungolds and maybe cherokee purple) and going to do jalapenos and try bell peppers again. Trying lettuce again - didn't do so good last year...so will try arugula and loose leaf varieties. Will also definitely do carrots again...they took forever, but we got some delicious ones. I'm also going to try garlic and onions for the first time this year - maybe in pots that I can move to the sunlight when it changes direction. I'm hoping year 2 is better than the first year!

My balcony is east facing and only gets about 4-6 hours, so for me greens and some herbs work best. Have about 10 self-watering containers now. Wanna build a few more. They are mostly filled with lettuces, collards and kale. 

 

Rachel have you ever made potato and leek soup?

I've only gotten one catalog so far, and it's mostly trees/shrubs/ and berries. I'm just itching to start planning this year's garden. I'm a novice (ok, beginner) gardener and I've only tried pumpkins and gourds before. This year I'm going to be brave and actually have a vegetable garden - starting with the "salad" basics.

I too need suggestions on what varieties/what is a "must" for your garden. Throw 'em at me!

I have better luck with the looseleaf lettuce than the head variety.  They both take a lot of water and love a rich soil.  I always grow a lot of Roma tomatoes which I eat raw as well as in sauce.  Also like the yellow pear tomatoes.  Never done great with peppers in Texas, but I'm hoping the soil here in MO will do better.

 

what a great list!  i have no idea.  so far i've made a little pile of seeds packets i have left over from last year (thai basil, mitsuba - which is a sort of japanese parsley, i bought more cinderella pumpkin seeds + i was thinking of attempting dyer's knotweed which you can harvest to make indigo dye with.  i also just got this book:  "mini farming:  self-suffiency on 1/4 acre" and was going to plow through it for ideas.  i have very little space (ie:  two garden boxes out front and several containers in the back), so i'm trying to make the most of it!  maybe i'll attempt watermelon too....?

 

:)

 

tifanie

Hi! I am new in gardening , I planning to start this year....and would like to know where can I get seed catalogues, do u purchase them online? I always wanted to plant and grow my own veguies, so finally I have my own place and will try

We're having to go small this year because we are right smack in the middle of moving farms. Our transition from Georgia with our acres of cultivated gardens and fields is being replaced....no, not replaced.....um, being allowed to breathe for a bit while we move on to North Carolina and try our hand there for a while.

 

We are going to grow herbs in a vertical "gutter garden" this year rather than big cold frames. It will be slightly less harvest but we still have plenty of dried herbs (seasonings and teas) from this past bumper year.

 

We will again go with a "salad bowl" approaching relying heavily on lettuce(s), onion, green pepper, tomato, cucumber. We have plenty a little heavier on the cucumber and onions in order to meet both our Italian cooking needs and our love for dill pickles. 

 

One of the things we are going to have to do is a bit of gonzo gardening allowing seeds to cultivate and grow where there is a little room. This year may not bring us the prettiest harvest but it will bring us food a plenty!

Trying LOTS of new stuff this year! I got The Resilient Gardener for krismus this year, so we're trying Costata Romanesco Squash and Burgess Buttercup Squash. (BTW, great book!) Also trying Bleu de Solaise leeks, Early White Vienna kohlrabi, Mars celeriac, Red Fig tomatoes, and Cippolini onions.
Oh yes, I've made it and I enjoy it, but it's never made it into being one of our go-to meals.

Mike Lieberman said:

My balcony is east facing and only gets about 4-6 hours, so for me greens and some herbs work best. Have about 10 self-watering containers now. Wanna build a few more. They are mostly filled with lettuces, collards and kale. 

 

Rachel have you ever made potato and leek soup?

Cornelia,

What kind of Kale do you look for? I'd like to try some this year.

Shellie

Andrew,

Can you explain your "vertical gutter garden"?

Andrew Odom said:

We're having to go small this year because we are right smack in the middle of moving farms. Our transition from Georgia with our acres of cultivated gardens and fields is being replaced....no, not replaced.....um, being allowed to breathe for a bit while we move on to North Carolina and try our hand there for a while.

 

We are going to grow herbs in a vertical "gutter garden" this year rather than big cold frames. It will be slightly less harvest but we still have plenty of dried herbs (seasonings and teas) from this past bumper year.

 

We will again go with a "salad bowl" approaching relying heavily on lettuce(s), onion, green pepper, tomato, cucumber. We have plenty a little heavier on the cucumber and onions in order to meet both our Italian cooking needs and our love for dill pickles. 

 

One of the things we are going to have to do is a bit of gonzo gardening allowing seeds to cultivate and grow where there is a little room. This year may not bring us the prettiest harvest but it will bring us food a plenty!

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