Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gardeners - Start Your Green Machines

First crocus to bloom - February 26, 2010

At last.... March 1st is upon us - I have counted down the days. The past weeks have been busy. I have prepared and given one garden lecture and have four more to give. I am speaking at Fox Valley Technical College at the Seeds of Hope Garden Event next weekend and am looking forward to that. This is an annual fund raising event for FVTC and for horticultural students so I am most happy to be a part and to share my expertise with and anyone who attends. I am especially interested in talking about my latest interest - grafted vegetables.
Grafted vegetables, especially tomatoes, are an extremely interesting topic and one that is new to me but not new to the horticultural world. And I do mean world - this process has been a part of the vegetable growing culture of Asia since the 1920's. Just Google the topic and you will be amazed at the info and videos that one finds on the Net about this topic. So grafted vegetables will be part of my discussion at my upcoming speaking events, and will be a part of this season's growing. Stay tuned to see what happens.
I thought I was done with the seed order several weeks ago but a "beautiful" and enticing catalog came in from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and I could not resist just a few more packets so I ordered them today. Check out the complete list as we have some interesting crops planned for this season. I had a hard time with entering this list so excuse the way it show up and I will hope to get better at this listing.
Today's top photos are the blooming species of crocus in the back yard. I saw the first one three days ago. With the intensity of the sun increasing noticeably, daily, it will be time to put up the plastic in the green house and turn on the heat this week. We will do that, and maybe by Friday will have some crops started in the wallpaper trays - arugula, lettuce, and some radishes.
This is the official start of the 2010 season.
Happy Gardening

Seed List 2010 -
The seeds for this growing season were purchased from:
Johnny's Selected Seeds - Winslow, Maine
Territorial Seed Company - Cottage Grove, Oregon
Stoke's Seeds - Buffalo, New York
Pinetree Garden Seeds - New Gloucester, Maine
Sand Hill Preservation Center - Calamus, Iowa
Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company - Mansfield, Missouri
Totally Tomatoes - Randolf, Wisconsin
Ronniger Potato Farm - Austin, Colorado

Beans: Helda (pole)

Brussel Sprouts: Jade Cross, Long Island Improved

Broccoli: Apollo Hybrid

Carrot: Parisian, Parisienne

Celery Root: Brilliant

Cucumber: Manny (greenhouse), Sultan, FanFare, Marketmore, Sweeter Yet

Lettuce: Valmaine, Italianischer, Jerrico, Little Jem, PomPom, Envy, Mighty Joe, All Year Round, Tom Thumb, Australian Yellow Leaf, Winter Density, Waldman's Green Webb's Wonderful

Greens: Discovery Arugula, Surry Arugula, Sevatica Arugula, Roquette Arugula, Pizzo Mustard, HoMi Z Mustard, Emperor Heading Mustard, Italiko Rossan Dandelion, Perfection Fennel, Tenderheart Napa Cabbage

Melons: Ha-Ogen, Minnesota Midget, Collective Farm Woman, Prescott Fond Blanc

Onion: Alisa Craig, plus I have sets from last year's crop that I want to try too. Some onions and shallots. But by now, I am not sure just what is what! So much for good labeling once out of the ground!

Parsnips: Javelin

Parsley: Forest Green, Gigante d'Italian

Peas: Cascadia

Pepper: Healthy, Carmen Hybrid, North Star Hybrid, Thai Yellow Chili, Montana Wonder

Potato: Carola, All Red, Inca Gold, French Fingerling

Radish: Crunchy Royale, Cherriette, Spring Radish Mix, Giant of Sicily, Saxa 2.

Spinach: Galilee, EMU F1, Tyee, Viroflay

Tomato: Momotaro, Country Taste, Sugary Hybrid, Thessaloniki, SunSugar Hybrid, Tomatoberry, Andrew Rahart Jumbo Red, Gail's Sweet Plum Tomato, Eva Purple Ball, Big Rainbow, Casady's Folly, Goldman's Italian American, Green Doctors, Green Grape, Jaune Flammee, Orange Fleshed Purple Smudge

Gobbo Di Nizzia Cardoon/ Rouge D'Alger
Blue Bonnet Upland Rice
Black and Light Sesame Seed
Aroma Basil
Jilo Tingua Vere Claro Eggplant
Golden Cheer and Sole d Oro Sunflower
Golden Seal Special Tobacco


  1. which topping on your seeds worked best -vermiculite or spagnum moss? do you start your onion seeds on heat mat?

  2. Hi Anon,
    I have used both but I think I like the milled sphagnum better. I do use the heat mats for the onions and go back to the spring of "09" and read the discussion on seeded onion planting. I usually have 2 or 3 rows per flat or plastic pot and water rinse the seedlings as I am transplanting them. I have had good success with this planting method for onion seed transplants.
    Happy Gardening

  3. Why do you water rinse the seedlings when you transplant?

  4. Hi Anon,
    Go back to the May 17th entry of the 2009 blog and watch the video of onion transplant. I water rinse the plants to help separate them and still keep the roots moist in transplanting from the flat. I have been doing this for a long time as I seem to have better transplant results this way. More at that entry.
    Happy Gardening

  5. Exciting list! I like to see your crocuses, I'm @ 75 miles north...spring's coming! :)

  6. Hi Lisa,
    These are species crocus and they are early and tough except if the bunnies get them so I usually use Cayenne pepper as a dust to keep them off. This season I had some dried blood left from last season so I tried that - so far so good. Scatter some species 3 to 5 feet from the south side of you home in the lawn and you will enjoy next spring even better.
    Happy Gardening

  7. where do you order your different kinds of arugula?

  8. Hi Anon,
    Johnny's Selected seeds has six kinds in the 2010 catalog; Territorial has two, and most of the other suppliers on the seed list have one or two. I would also suggest that you get some French Sorrel seed. This is a great leafy salad and greens plant that every garden should have. Pinetree, Johnny's and Territorial all have Sorrel seed.
    Happy Gardening