Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Seed Catalogs

I am in planning heaven right now.

I have received at least 5 seed catalogs.. including one for Raintree nursery and Burpee.. These catalogs are just incredible reading for me...

Yes.. I am turning into a geek.. and I have come to terms with it.

This year, we really want to plant some things to improve our property.  One of the big draws in a lot of the places we looked at over the last year, was acerage that included gardens and fruit trees.  There was a particular place.. one that we were just too late to get, that had the most beautiful grounds.  I want to emulate part of that property by creating some of the beauty at our place.

They had a small orchard, and an incredible garden.  She had veggies, Dahlias, and Berries in the garden.. and in her orchard, she had peaches, plums, apples and cherries.. all favorites of ours.

I orginally wanted to go all out on the Garden this year and the orchard, but I have realistically decided to scale back a touch.

I am aiming for 4 raised beds of Veggies and Berries, and 4 fruit trees.  Two Apple and Two Cherry.  Next year we will add the Peaches and the plums.  I would like to eventually have three apple, two peach, two plum, and 2 cherry trees.  I also would like to have raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries. 

This year, I am planting two blueberry bushes and four raspberries to see how we do.

I have not decided on the veggies entirely, but most likely will have Tomatoes, Peppers, Asparagus, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Carrots, Radish, onions, Potatoes, squash, Beans, pickling cukes and Sweet Peas.  I may try some pumpkins and corn, but it will really depend on how much space I end up with that is ready to go.

Living in Washington State, we tend to have heavy soil with a large amount of wet in places..and at our house it is pretty much clay with some dirt mixed in. I have decided that for the next couple of years, as I get my "feet wet" in gardening for some food, I am going to do raised beds.

This is what  I am envisioning for the front yard.

Has anyone out there done these from Scratch?  It is supposed to be fairly easy to build these? (and since I have my own MacGyver, I am not too worried about the building of them)

I have access to a large amount of manure and compost in my neighborhood (in fact, right across the street)
and I will have a few truckloads of good topsoil to work with.

When looking at the catalogs, there are a variety of things I would love to grow and try, but I am really reeling myself in right now.  Looking at what we really like to eat, what I can keep up with, and what is fairly easy to grow.

I want to can tomatoes and beans.  I plan on freezing the peas, and the zucchini squash for bread and other things.  Lettuce and cauliflower we will eat all the time.. and the same is true for the Brussel Sprouts and Asparagus, but I have big plans for the asparagus once it is mature and can be harvested regularly. Making Pickled Asparagus...hnmmmmm

I also plan on making pickles if I can grow the cukes.. that will be a total experiment.  I have made pickles with my aunt before, but never from pickles I have grown.  My boys love pickles.. and my youngest especially likes bread and butter pickles.. so this is something I know he will help with.

Growing up, my mom had a pretty fantastic garden, but I have not really grown too much on my own, other than tomatoes and herbs for quite some time.

Anyone else drooling over seed catalogs and planning for spring and gardening?  What are you planning on growing this year?  Anything?  Everything? 

How difficult is a small veggie and herb garden?  Anyone have a home orchard?


Lori E said...

Make no bed wider than 4 feet, a little less is better. You need to be able to reach the center easily without stepping into the bed.

I strongly recommend the book Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. You don't have to follow it exactly but it is a great reference book with really good advice in it.

Gail said...

Tis the time of year to drool and plan.

Be sure and plant your fruit on the north slope if you have one. That way they won't bloom too early and get frozen. That's what Dad always said and it's worked for me.

Gail said...

Tis the time of year to drool and plan.

Be sure and plant your fruit on the north slope if you have one. That way they won't bloom too early and get frozen. That's what Dad always said and it's worked for me.

The Lucy and Dick Show said...

Raised beds are the way to go for several reasons I'm sure you're aware of. I like them 'cause I don't have to bend over as far!

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