Making Garden Decisions

Spring just feels so late coming this year. I'm not totally sure if that's the truth but that's how it feels to me. I needed the weather to be just a little bit warmer and it finally feels like it is turning. Thankfully I had the last few months to plan for the garden.

Burpee did a huge buy 1, get 1 seed sale in January so that really accelerated my planning decisions. I would have spent at least another month making decisions - easy. I still have some decisions to make this year - but feeling good so far. We've got about another month before plants really get in the ground.

While there were some great winners from last year, I'm make a lot of changes and also not too many all at once. The layout will largely be the same and so will the overall selection - but I'm picking some different varieties. Variety is the spice of life. One of the great things about Garden Year 2 is that you've really already made a lot of these investments. Year 1? $$$. Year 2? $. I did "splurge" on a new pea trellis because (1) that's my kind of splurge and (2) wild suburban life decisions.

Changes from last year?

  • Less hot peppers // I barely ate any of them... and I couldn't give them away to people. Regular peppers? Loved them and I was able to eat them into the winter from my freezer.
  • Less kale // I can't handle 5 plants worth of kale and couldn't get people to come and eat it. People won't turn down tomatoes or bell peppers, they will turn down kale.
  • Beets // Nope. Didn't do well at all.
  • Onions // TBD. I loved growing them but didn't really use the produce that I stored for the winter. I do think they were great for garden bug harmony and they are really low effort.
  • Radishes // I never ate them. So while I love how fast and easy they are to grow, it doesn't necessarily feel like a good use of growing space. Maybe I'll put in one batch and see how well I do with those. Either way, low priority.
  • Cucumbers // the only thing that was nice about the Boothby Blonde was the name otherwise it was a flavorless dud. If I said nice things about it last year, I rescind them now. It's not terrible but there are better things to grow. I'm planning to do a variety that is a little more versatile and can be used for pickles too.

New editions?

  • Tomatoes // nearly all new tomato varieties but with a similar strategy as last year. Went with all indeterminate varieties across the size spectrum. 
  • Cucumbers // Going to try for two varieties: something standard and something special. The "pick a bushel" hybrid is seemingly good for everything from snacking to pickling. I tried to grow the "Mexican gherkin" last year with no success but since I'm not a quitter... I'm trying it again.
  • Carrots // These could not have been easier to do ... and I could have been much better about harvesting them. I pulled a few out of the ground this week as I was prepping the cutting garden side. This is ambitious but I'm going to try for 2-3 varieties: Purplesnax (cause it's purple) and Touchon (cause it's rather traditional).

I didn't do nearly as good of a job prepping the garden. It started out real strong... and then since it never really got warm... my seedlings have been a little bit sad. My dad's tomato plants are quite literally 5x the size... So I'm hoping all the tender love that I've been giving them in the last two weeks will make them big and strong. We'll see.

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