Garden choices for 2010

This weekend I will be working on my new 2010 Garden Lists and deciding what to plant where.  Last year was an experimental year in the garden and it was quite interesting and I learned a lot.  The reason for the experimenting is this – in the near future House #1 (where we spend most of our time now) will be going up for sale and we will be moving to House #2.

House #1 (shown above)  has wonderful soil and there was never a problem growing anything!  Not the case at House #2 – the soil is heavy clay and the weather is much more hot and humid.  So I spent the summer back and forth between the 2 homes (I would never recommend trying to garden this way).  This is a distance of 5 hours so caring for both gardens was difficult.  This year I will be concentrating my efforts mostly at House #2 and we have already begun construction of several raised beds.  We have plenty of property here and I tried planting a garden out in the field where the local farmer plants about 8 acres for us of whatever is in the rotation for the year.  This was a huge mistake – everything fried in the hot summer heat and watering was a BIG chore!  Raised beds closer to the house is the answer.  It’s amazing how you take for granted what you have until you move on and have something different such as the soil situation I have encountered.

 The garlic was planted in October at House #1 and will be harvested in mid July. 

I have received the seeds I ordered from Pinetree Garden Seeds already.  These being Burpee’s Stringless Bean, Jacob’s Cattle Bean, Detroit Beet, Cayenne Long Pepper, Zucchini-black, Arugula, Italiano Classico Basil, Principe Borghese Tomato (good for sun dried tomatoes), Sage and several flower seeds good for drying.  I have several containers of seeds that I have saved and will be planting many of those as well. 

 Cherokee Purple Tomato

 Alma Paprika Peppers

 Moon & Stars

The seeds I select are heirloom varieties – what is a heirloom?  Here is a great explanation along with some additional information on the subject.

I also came across a clear definition of the difference between hybrid seeds and open pollinated seeds in the John Scheepers seed catalog.  F1 denotes hybrid and these are seeds that are deliberately created to produce a new variety.  These seeds will not likely breed true for future crops.  The OP or open pollinated seeds will grow true to variety name from seeds produced by the plants that you grow yourself.  The seeds will produce the same plant in future sowings. has more detailed seed-saving instructions.  I will be showing how to save seeds as the season moves along since I believe this is a very important ingredient in my gardening efforts.  I should have my completed garden lists posted early next week.  If you have your 2010 choices picked and would like to share, I would love to see them!!!


4 Responses

  1. I love your picture of Alma Paprika peppers. I’m growing those this year and I’m happy to see they’re so beautiful. (Cherokee purple is my all-time favorite tomato, too!) All the best for you and your garden at your new place!

  2. Those Cheroke purple tomatoes are gorgeous! Mouth is watering – haven’t had a decent tomato in months.
    Great post – just added you to my blog roll.

  3. By definition, “breeding true” means that you are breeding purebreds and *all* offspring will a) have identical heritable characteristics and therefore b) you can predict what they will be. So, no, none of the F1 crosses will “breed true” although some might resemble one or the other parent or each other.

  4. I’m making my first foray into small time gardening (a few herbs and flowers out front). But with the added challenge of being in Southern California, where I have no idea what grows and when. None of your traditional seasons here on the coast!

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