“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” ~ Swami Sivananda
Starting seeds can seem like a small act, but the rewards are so big and so many. And I still marvel at how one small pea seed can give me a huge vine with flowers and pods of joy blooming profusely for months. As it is April, my thoughts turn to my veg garden, almost half of it already growing in my basement under lights in the ‘Grow Station.’
I usually start the plans for how I am going to structure my veg garden at the end of the veg garden season in October. I assess how certain veggies, grew, how different varieties performed and how I might change where and how I grow certain crops.
Each of these thoughts leads to small acts….little hugs that help me tend to my veg garden lovingly in the years to come.
I decided to use a local grower to source the seed of veggies that are hard to grow here due to our conditions and short grow season. Hudson Valley Seed has a great reputation, and so I am giving them a try for pumpkins, celery, red bell peppers and some tomatoes.
So what am I growing this year? Many veggies besides the list below…but here are the new varieties I am trying:
- Peas-Magnolia Blossom Tendril (Baker Creek)
- Tomatoes-Beefsteak (Seeds of Change), Amish Paste (Hudson Valley), Stone Ridge (Hudson Valley), Atomic Grape (Baker Creek), Black Cherry (Baker Creek), Tasmanian Chocolate Container Tomato (Renee’s)
- Celery-Utah Tall (Hudson Valley)
- Pumpkins-Long Island Cheese (Hudson Valley), Connecticut Field (Burpee), Mini Harvest Blend (Burpee)
- Cucumber-County Fair (Seeds ‘n Such), Gherkin Mexican Sour (Seeds ‘n Such)
- Tomatillo-Purple (Baker Creek), Amarylla (Baker Creek)
- Peppers-King of the North Red Sweet Pepper (Hudson Valley), Anaheim Hot (Hudson Valley)
- Green Chiles-Big Jim (Sandia Seed), Hatch Green Medium (Sandia Seed)
- Greens-Dino Kale (Hudson Valley), Italienischer Lettuce (Hudson Valley), Arugula (Hudson Valley), Ultimate Salad Bowl (Hudson Valley)
The plans for my veg garden seem to stay the same, in many regards, although I do rotate crops and make a few tweaks once I start planting. I use 3 large (4×8) raised beds, 2 smaller (4×4) raised beds and one small portable raised bed that is on my patio. I also use 4 large grow bags, 4 medium-sized grow bags, 3 small grow bags, 2 large containers, and one medium-sized round raised bed all on the patio.
This year I am spacing out the tomatoes differently so to cut down on foliage fungal diseases that seem to plague my tomatoes every year. And in the same bed, I am spacing the sweet peppers between the tomatoes but far enough away to give them all ample space to grow.
I am moving the eggplant to the squash bed to grow against the trellis I use for the zucchini.
Herbs and sweet peas will be grown in the circular bed so I have more room for pickling cucumbers and the new Mexican sour gherkins in the portable raised bed.
And I am trying some radishes in rows between the slow-growing garlic to grow even more radishes a bit later than the ones I grow in the small bed with peas.
With the cold weather predicted for the first 2 weeks in April, I am delaying my pre-sprouting of the peas and sweet peas. I did this last year and it gave my peas and sweet peas a great head start.
Pumpkins will still be grown up trellises in the garlic bed, and lettuce, beets and carrots under the squash bed trellises. Onions, hot peppers, tomatillos and some herbs will be grown in grow bags and containers on the patio.
How is your garden shaping up? Have you started your veg garden? What new veggies or flowers are you planting this year?
An Easter Vase
OK these flowers are not from my garden. Let’s face it, with a cold, gray start to April nothing much is growing that I want to pick yet. So I bought these flowers at the store. What a godsend.
The daffs looked like tulips all closed up.
I cut a few of the Muscari, and put them in a vase with the Easter decorations that help me think of spring, even when spring is slow to emerge fully here.
I will be seeing my Muscari soon I hope if we can warm up finally, and dry out a bit.
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