Here in the Cleveland area we’ve gone from having above average temperatures, in the 70s, in March to below average now that it’s April. We’re dangerously close to frost levels still in the evenings – since the weather forecasts always seem to be +/- 5 degrees or more. Bryan’s off today and has just started heading outside to start the clean-up efforts. Yes, we are slightly behind schedule and yes, I think we are still truly flying by the seat of our pants. Some days it makes me nervous, some days it makes me crazy but we do this so often that I’m still confident we can pull it off.
It’s going to be so much work.
The good news is, it should keep us busy so that we aren’t out spending money. Plus, with a shitload of produce straight from our backyard? More money saved. We’re somewhat addicted to saving money now – when you don’t have any choice but to cut corners it can be depressing. Once things start to let up a little, though, saving more money becomes fun. Anyway….
As Bryan starts the heavy lifting outside and I nurse a knee injury from a STUPID fall yesterday, I thought it would be a good time to dig into what we’re planning to plant this year. Starting with the fruits & veggies:
Obviously, we’re going to have tomatoes and peppers. Plenty of jalapenos, some bell peppers and then potentially 10-12 varieties of tomatoes. We are not purists when it comes to gardening. We get distracted by cool things and do not strictly adhere to growing only heirloom varieties. We found a really cool cherry tomato variety which is a hybrid but will hopefully produce, as promised, 100 tomato vines once it’s mature. We did get a couple of heirloom packs, too.
A “best in show” and more traditional heirloom mix. Our bell peppers were also chosen for color – we picked the carnival mix and are hoping for traditional yellow or orange but also white and purple if they grow.
Other traditional vegetable varieties that will go in the mix include:
- sugar snap peas
- sweet corn
- indian corn
- butternut squash
- carrots (although we do have 4 different varieties, including purple!)
What are we most looking forward to growing? For me, it’s the artichokes. I’m not all that excited about cooking or eating them – I’m just looking forward to letting some bloom.
These’ll be sure to attract attention and I’m hoping the birds will like them, too. We wanted beans to complete the “three sisters” patch along the back of the garage (native american tradition of corn, squash and beans). We couldn’t settle for just green beans, though. We found these awesome Dragon’s tongue beans instead!
We’ve got a handful of melons and gourds that we’re planning as well. We have the ornamental gourds that will be fun to have around Halloween and Thanksgiving but we also picked up Loafah seeds just out of curiosity. Plus we got the big birdhouse gourds, too, that we’d like to make things out of.
We added some sugar baby watermelon this year, along with a tendersweet variety (I think). I can’t remember because I’m most focused on the moon and stars seeds that we picked up. I’m anxious to see these and whether our variety will have pink or yellow flesh (I’ve seen both in pictures). In the big patches we also can’t forget the pumpkins. We have seeds from regular and white pumpkins that we saved in years past but we also got what Bryan has been waiting for – the Big Max pumpkins. We’re hoping for pumpkins that are larger than small children. What we will do with all of them? I have no idea. It should be fun though.
Next up: Herbs and Greens.