Saturday 4 March 2017

2017 Garden Plans: Part I

Each year I make various resolutions related to my vegetable gardening. This year I will mulch more.  Or fertilize more.  This year I will clean and wash out my pots properly before reusing.  This year I will stop growing too much of one thing or too little of another.  This year everything will be perfect.

And the best is ... this year I will not buy any more vegetable seeds!  So today was Seedy Saturday in Ottawa, coordinated by Greta of Greta's Organic Gardens.  The only reason I went, since I had promised NOT to buy any more seeds, was to find some of the seed potatoes I bought from vendors there last year (either the Linzer or the Pink Fir Apple fingerlings).  But, well, when you are surrounded by other gardeners and vendors selling so many things ... I think you can imagine. 

Anyway, I popped by Greta's table and noticed a packet of seeds for luffa.  You know, luffa sponges?  Seriously, I'm not sure I even knew they were vegetable (aren't sponges aquatic creatures or something?).  Anyway, I said to the man assisting with purchases that I wasn't supposed to buy anything but these were too interesting to pass up.  And he said, "Did you really believe you weren't going to buy anything"?  

One resolution I've had the past few seasons was to generally stop growing tomatoes. They are a lot of work, and I find so many that I can get at a low price ('seconds') at various farmer's markets at the end of the season for my canning needs.  But then I had seeds I needed to use up first, so I kept growing what I had on hand.  And after last season, finally, there were no seeds left.  So no more growing tomatoes.  Right?

Well, then I received the 2017 catalogue from Harvest Heritage Seeds (where I bought most of my beans last year).  And started flipping through it.  And wow, they have sooo many interesting varieties.  So I convinced myself that maybe I could still grow tomatoes ... but restricted only to determinates!!  Most of the work that I don't like is the constant staking, caging or management of the lengthy vines. So maybe this is a compromise - only grow tomatoes that have a limited growth span?  LOL, whatever, I'm growing tomatoes again!

And LOTS of peppers again.

I've got the seeds started for all of the tomatoes and peppers today.  So here is what I've got planned for this year:

I hope I get as good a yield of Feher Ozon as I did last year. The ground paprika from the dried peppers was delicious and went far too quickly!  And the only new pepper I have this year is Corno Di Toro (I think this is like a Jimmy Nardello which I've had in the past - an "Italian frying pepper").

As for tomatoes, they are ALL new.  The Gregori's Altai is the only indeterminate - a free gift from Heritage Harvest where the rest of the tomatoes were ordered from.  Descriptions below are paraphrased from their catalogue.

Some were ordered based on their origin (assuming they are intended for a similar climate):

Forme De Couer: Red heart-shaped fruit, meaty with great taste.  Originates from Quebec (so near me).

Mountain Princess: Red, 6-8 ounce fruit from Monongahela National Forest region of West Virginia.  A must for northern areas!

Sophie's Choice: Originally from Edmonton Alberta. Medium-sized orange-red oblate fruit that is great for short growing seasons.

And the others purely for their size:

Andrina: Heirloom cherry tomato, originating in Russia, plants are extremely dwarf, reaching to 6" high.

Hahms Gelbe: Yellow cherry tomato from Germany, about the same size as Andrina.

As for the seed potatoes that I tried to get today, unfortunately neither vendor was re-selling the same seed potatoes as last year.  I will see how I fare at another Seedy "Sunday" tomorrow in Perth.  And hopefully will manage my impulse purchases. 

Do you have any resolutions for the coming season?


  1. HAH - I gave up on resolutions for gardening. Ever fall I used to say "I'm cutting back next year" and my wife would just laugh because she knows better! It would be dangerous for me to go to something like Seedy Saturday. I grew Corno Di Toro last year and it made big long sweet peppers for me. I'm growing a smaller version of it this year called Cornito Rosso. And Jimmy Nardello, and maybe 50 other peppers!

  2. Oh my gosh, I know, you grow SO many peppers and I'm looking forward to seeing them. I hope I have as good results with the Corno Di Toro!

  3. Hehe, good luck with them all.
    There was a seed swap in Norwich last weekend but I couldn't make it (possibly a good thing!)

  4. Ah yes, those New Years gardening resolutions. I don't have any resolutions, per say, except perhaps to do a better job of harvesting regularly. Otherwise, I'll be doing a LOT of tweaking on everything including what I grow and how.

    Yes, I think I would be hard put to stop growing tomatoes altogether, even though they can be a bit of a pain to grow. It will be interesting to see how those varieties pan out - I've not heard of any of them!

  5. You make me laugh. Resolutions? I'm to old for them, gardening or otherwise. How about goals? I set goals.

    Corno di Toro is meatier than Jimmy Nardellos, great for roasting. A 6" high tomato plant? That will be interesting to see. Hope they're a winner for you.