Friday, May 6, 2011

Seed Planting for the 2011 Summer Garden

The long awaited day to start planting my summer garden seeds finally arrived on Thursday April 28th when the weather predictions were for at least 65° for the day. The potting soil, cell packs, 4” pots and flats were all ready to go. All the seeds start in cells or pots and then are transported to the gardens once well rooted. I just can’t keep up with the slugs and snails when I try to plant directly in the beds. And the container planting tends to produce very healthy, well-rooted plants that transplant well.

What I thought would only be a day or two of planting spread over the whole weekend as I dug through some of my older seeds to add to the mix of new Territorial Seeds and Baker Creek Heirloom seeds. I generally toss any seeds over 5 years old, but some of the larger seeds like zucchini, melons and pumpkins will stay viable a little longer if kept under good storage conditions.

The biggest change for me this year was to only plant a limited number of cells or 4” pots of each seed. In years past, I’ve dutifully planted all the seeds that came in the packets, ending up with dozens of flats filled. But when it came time to plant the rooted seedlings in the gardens, I would come up critically short of space—even with additional space in my sister’s garden in Davis--and would end up trying to give the rest of them away or finally sending soil and seedlings to the compost pile. No more planting every tomato and zucchini variety I can get my hands on! This year there are only four tomatoes and two zucchini varieties, which makes more room for cucumbers, melons, okra, some basil, a good sampling of peppers and a few odds and ends.

I also had to plan for the ‘Jumbo Pink Banana’ Squash that will be taking up a great deal of garden ground very quickly. The 2 baby pumpkins won’t be quite so bad since their vines will be in manageable lengths.

And then there’s the ‘Honey & Cream’ Corn. The well composted spot I thought I would plant in has just too much shade for almost half a day. I’m going to have to use the raised bed I had planned to let go fallow this year and beef up the nutrients a little sooner than planned.

Here’s the list of seeds in alphabetical order with the Seed Company and year listed in brackets. Descriptions for the Territorial and Baker Creek seeds are in my recent blogs. There are some seeds listed from a company called Rogueland that were purchased in 2009 in bulk discounted sampler bags. They’ve grown very well for the last couple of years. As the seeds develop I’ll enter pictures and information in this blog and hope for a good year of winners.

Basil ‘Geonovese’ (Rogueland 2009)

Basil ‘Large Leaf’ (Rogueland 2009)

Bush Bean ‘Nugget’ (Territorial 2006)

Corn ‘Honey & Cream’ (Territorial 2011)

Cucumber ‘Green Slam’ (Territorial 2011)

Cucumber ‘Marketmore 76’ (Baker Creek 2011)

Eggplant ‘Black Beauty’ (Rogueland 2009)

Eggplant ‘Japanese White Egg’ (Baker Creek 2011)

Grain ‘Brown Maskal Teff’ (Rogueland 2009)

Herb ‘Stevia’ (Baker Creek 2011)

Leeks ‘American Flag’ (Rogueland 2009)

Melon ‘Hales Best’ (Rogueland 2009)

Melon ‘Jenny Lind’ (Pinetree Garden Seeds 2006)

Melon ‘Orange Delight’ (my save from ~ 2008)

Okra ‘Eagle Pass’ (Baker Creek 2011)

Okra ‘Star of David’ (Territorial 2011)

Onion ‘Red Burgermaster’ (Botanical Interest 2008)

Pepper ‘Hungarian Yellow’ (Rogueland 2009)

Pepper ‘Large Red Cayenne’ (Rogueland 2009)

Pepper ‘Sweet Banana’ (Rogueland 2009)

Pumpkin ‘Baby Bear’ (Pinetree Garden Seed 2006)

Pumpkin ‘Jack Be Little’ (Territorial 2011)

Squash ‘Jumbo Pink Banana’ (Baker Creek 2011)

Squash ‘Slender Gem’ (Burpee 2005)

Tomato ‘Cherokee Purple’ (Baker Creek 2011)

Tomato ‘Early Girl’ (Territorial 2011)

Tomato ‘Green Grape’ (Baker Creek 2011)

Tomato ‘Stupice’ (Territorial 2011)

Tomato ‘Stupice’ (Totally Tomato 2006)

Wonderberry (Baker Creek 2011)

Zucchini ‘Revenue’ (Territorial 2005)

Zucchini ‘Round Bush’ (Bountiful Gardens)

I think that’s quite enough!

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