Sowing the Seeds of Anticipation
Its mid-January in the Mitten and we just survived another 4 inches of snow, then a bit of pouring rain, followed by an ice out. I run to the mailbox again with anticipation and to my delight it has arrived and with it comes that feeling, like a child at Christmas poring through the oversized, full-colored JC Penney catalog that came out every holiday season filled with nothing but toys.
Yes it is indeed “The Whole Seed Catalog”. A wonderful 356 page fully colored seed catalog filled with heirloom options, fun and funky ideas, as well as...
...helpful tips and tricks for those little gems in the garden. The volume contains introductions to the farm and the family behind it and hey, they even offer tours.
Some of us have the ability to get super nerdy about things other than Smartphone’s, video game systems and social media.
Most people would not be at the edge of their seats eager to start planning for spring in January unless they are the little green thumbed dirt churners who we commonly call “gardeners”. The seed catalogs start to roll in and the options are endless. Heirloom or Hybrid, Non-GMO, types and colors of tomatoes, and when it comes to beans: will they be climbers or bush?
Before I dive deep into the ocean of little beauties and their endless options I try to plan for my garden. It is important to rotate your crops and replenish your soil from the year before. I am a true believer that the secret is in the soil and most of us have our own secret recipe.
Usually I use graph paper to get the most accurate measurements for my garden. This is particularly important if you are doing square foot gardening because realistically you can only fit so many plants in so much space. I enjoy companion gardening and like to help my plants benefit from one another. A great book to help guide you with this is “Carrots love Tomatoes” By Louise Riotte. It describes not only the plants that are mutually beneficial but also those who might be harmful when in close proximity.
Armed with this valuable information you can start your plan for the future cornucopia of healthy, beautiful goodness arising from your garden plot. Once the plan is made and you have decided what is going where it becomes easier to decide if you want a climbing variety or something that may stay more dwarfish or bush-like.
For me the choice between an Heirloom and Hybrid comes down to whether or not I plan to save the seeds. Heirloom seeds are open-pollinated, meaning they need the wind, birds or insects to pollinate. They are the best choice for seed savers. Hybrids are derived from a cross of two different plants usually cross pollinated by humans but they have the advantage of being more pest and disease resistant and more productive. The down side is with the seed you will never get an exact replica of the mother plant.
As to the color of veggies and fruit?
“It is the eye of ignorance that assigns a fixed and unchangeable color to every object; beware of this stumbling block” – Paul Gauguin
“Biz’ (Lesly DeLaat) is the owner of Little Mitten Landscaping in Newaygo and an aficionado of creative gardening with a strong partiality toward heirloom seeds, micro-greens, and a large Labrador Retriever named Jake.