Last year I discovered some inner truths about growing vegetables.
- My tomatoes grow better in the sites of former compost piles than they do in containers, and that has everything to do with my watering habits rather than soil.
- I grow cucumbers much better than I eat pickles.
- Nine raspberry plants — Best. Investment. Ever.
- Green beans are great off the plant, but not that good frozen.
With these truths in mind, I made my seed order recently. I will be growing several varieties of tomatoes because, if I put them in the ground and water them well, they are a joy to eat fresh and to preserve. At a Garden Writers Association event in September, the nice folks at Botanical Interests gave the attendees lots of seeds, so from that stash I will be growing Principe Borghese, a good tomato for drying. I also have seeds from Renee’s Garden for Mandarin Cross, a orange colored Japanese slicing tomato and Isis Candy, an heirloom cherry tomato. I also ordered Brandywine tomato seeds from Seed Savers Exchange in Iowa to round out the selections. These are the ones I’ll be growing from seeds. Depending on space and enthusiasm, I may pick up a few starts in a reliable variety, such as Early Girl or Celebrity.
On advice from Eric Johnson, a Northern Gardener writer and fellow blogger, I’m going to try growing potatoes in 2012. Eric asserts (in the March/April issue of the magazine) that homegrown potatoes are 10 times more wonderful than homegrown tomatoes — so, I ordered Red Norland and Yellow Finn potatoes Irish Eyes Seeds (love the name!) in Idaho. I’m looking forward to learning some potato-growing tricks this year and enjoying potato deliciousness in the summer and fall.
As in the past, I’ll be growing sugar snap peas (Amish Snap), pole beans (Climbing French and Ideal Market), winter squash (Walthum Butternut) and Minnesota Midget melons, all from Seed Savers.
I will not be growing cucumbers. Nada. Zip. None.
Fitting all this in may require some expansion into new garden territory or some containers. Either way, it’s hard not to be a little excited about this summer’s vegetable garden — even if it is still months away.