This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

seed order placed

My seed order is placed. I ordered:
- about 30 varieties from 3 mail order companies (blue text)
- green plastic mulch for melons and squashes to increase soil temp and reduce weeding
- bean, pea, broad bean and soybean inoculants
- clover cover crop seed

Much of the seed I will plant this year is left over from previous years (green text). Some is also self collected.

Here's my list of varieties.


Anonymous Sarah, New Zealand said...


Love your blog, very interesting seeing your seed list. We're growing Costata Romanesco zucchini for the first time at the moment (in New Zealand, so its summer here) and they are incredible! The plants are absolute giants, with flowers the size of dinner plates, and they are producing far more zucchinis than the hybrid variety that we are growing, which are meant to be heavy cropping. Hope that they grow as well for you as they are for us :).

January 18, 2010 3:08 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Great! The catalogs said to expect lower production than hybrids. Good to hear they still produce many. I was considering growing my old zuc too. I'll just do one plant of it.

January 18, 2010 5:19 PM

Anonymous mark marino said...

that's exciting you already placed your seed orders ! spring is right around the corner - have had great success with the green plastic mulch myself - mark

January 18, 2010 5:54 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kathy,
I just ordered a "bunch" of seeds from various online catalogs (most from Seed Savers) for the first time. This will be my second year gardening and I want more of a variety. Last year I bought your typical seedlings from local nurseries. This year it is all about variety. Now that the seeds are ordered I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with the thought of trying time the planting of everything. I know things will get better as I get more experience. But, when I see your list I think "how in the world do you keep the needs of all your plants straight in your head"??? Do you plant everything at once? Is there a method you use to know when to plant what?

I enjoy your blog.

Happy gardening,

January 18, 2010 6:07 PM

Blogger kathy said...

To know when to plant I use my handy on-line garden calendar! The link is on my side bar, or you can click here. Just enter your average last spring frost date.

I also have Clyde's sliding calendar and look forward to trying this out this year.

Or go by the dates recommended on the back of the packet.

Whatever method you use, I put my seed packets in piles (secured with rubber band) based on their planting time. And then I plant one pile after the other. If you want to succession plant, just move the packet to a later pile as you finish. This works really well.

The big question for me is always how many pots of each? Its hard to dispose of little seedlings, but I never want to risk not having enough. The good news is, seedlings seem really easy to give away.

January 18, 2010 6:40 PM

Blogger dreamer said...


Thanks for posting your method in the comment above. I am using your online planting calendar this year, and I am going to divide my seeds into packets now, too. Sounds SO much easier! I have a question about Sandhill Nursery. How Long did it take for you to receive your seeds from them? I love their catalog, but since they're a hobby company, I wonder if it will be weeks, or even more than a month?

January 19, 2010 5:16 PM

Blogger kathy said...

It is WELL worth ordering from Sand Hill Preservation Center even though it takes a bit longer to get the seeds. I think it has taken about 5-8 days for my orders to arrive. Not weeks or months! I have ordered from them for the past 3 or 4 years. The hardest thing for me is the paper order form and remembering to mail it.

(I'm always amazed how other companies can get the order to me in 2 days! Amazing.)

January 19, 2010 6:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kathy,
Thanks for your response! Organizing your seeds by when they're to be planted makes good sense! That will be a good start for this season. I'm definitely going to try your planting calendar to get a better picture of what I need to do. Or at least to try and figure out what needs to be planted when. I live 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, so, I don't think we have frost dates. So, I'm going to have to enter a date that is the last "coldest date" (i.e. from Thanks again for all your blogging ... it is interesting to learn more about vegetable gardening.

Happy gardening,

January 20, 2010 12:15 PM

Blogger kathy said...

I hear you've got a bit of rain out there in the west. Stay dry!

January 20, 2010 12:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rain is torrential :-) ... fun for a change though. So, I tried your garden planting calendar. It's neat! I need to study it some more. I think the thing I'm struggling with the most is the idea of succession planting. Last year (my first) I planted "everything" at once. Needless to say we ended up with "a lot" at one time. I have limited space (currently 300-400 sq. ft.). Has it been your experience that if a seed packet says, for example, 80 days to harvest that this holds true? With such limited space I wanted to make sure that I planted what I need, but, gauge the planting of new seedlings when the former seedlings have reached harvest. I realize that a lot knowledge is gained with experience, but, like your calendar, I'm trying to plan things a little better :-).

Likewise, I hear you're getting a lot of snow out there ... stay warm!

Happy gardening,

p.s. Do you know if tomatos are planted early, that they'll produce all season (up to Fall). Or should tomatos be planted in succession? Sorry for all the questions :-)

January 20, 2010 3:51 PM

Blogger kathy said...

The farmer who used to run the CSA down the road from me liked to succession plant her tomato crop. Especially here in NE with erratic weather, if the early crop was damaged by pathogens, cool weather, too much rain etc, then the next crop often did better. She recommended 3 plantings.

But I think this is really only for a big commercial operation. My tomatoes generally do fine from a single planting and produce heavily right up to fall frost.

Last year I did try two tomato plantings, one very early (10 weeks before last frost) and the other at regular time (5-6 weeks). The reason for this was to try to get earlier tomatoes. The early ones did well, but they didn't produce tomatoes much sooner than the others. And they got really big by the time I planted them out. Fortunately I didn't have all my tomatoes in giant pots like these. Of course the blight around here last year wiped out all my tomatoes by July. Same with all the succession planted commercial crops.

Instead of succession planting the tomatoes this year I am trying an "ultra early" variety. Something new I saw in the Burpee catalog. I wonder if they'll taste good...

I find the seed packet dates hold true. But for some crops (like tomatoes, eggplants, squash, cucumbers, green beans, etc), that's when they start producing and they'll produce all season. For others (like carrots, onions, beets, lettuce, cabbage, soybeans) that's when you harvest and there is no more.

Crops for succession planting are the ones that mature in less than a whole season and that don't keep on producing more: especially lettuce, beets, carrots, radish, green beans, soy beans, arugula, dill,

Crops for single planting are squash, melons, cucumbers, eggplants, potatoes, tomatoes, parsnips, onions, big cabbage, fava beans, basil, sweet potatoes, corn, peppers, garlic,

Crops for spring and fall planting (generally cool weather crops): broccoli, kale, baby bok choy, small cabbage, lettuce, chard, collards, and peas.

I don't know how many of these things hold for a warmer climate.

January 20, 2010 5:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kathy,
I finally get it! :-) I've read about succession planting, but, the only examples I had seen were for lettuce. Your explanation clears everything up! Wow! I finally get it. I know I want to be growing stuff all year round. But there are veggies, like Tomatos, that'll grow and produce the whole season. Others grow in less time than the whole season, like lettuce, and when harvested need to be replanted. Honestly, that is the best explanation I've ever heard. I was imagining that there was some complex formula ... but, it is really that simple.

I am happy to say that I got some of my seeds for this season in the mail and there are more on the way. I have three trays of seeds planted and I am trying to keep them warm. I ordered heat mats and those are on the way too.

So, now I see why there is an incentive to plant early when you can because it will extend your season.

Your last point, about warmer climates brings up even more questions. Because I live in a coastal environment my tomatos, egg plants, and bell peppers didn't die. Well, not yet anyways. In fact the bell peppers have gone on producing (at a somewhat slower pace). So, I don't know, should I let them go on to next season or replant? Do you see what I mean? If you think about it, vegetable plants are really transplants from some other part of the world. Whereever eggplants or tomatos came from there was no frost to kill them there and they probably grew for years. I am only guessing, but, it seems possible. So, I wonder if they will they produce again sooner because the over wintered? All good questions! :-)

Thanks again for your wonderful informative blog.

Happy gardening,

p.s. I had heard about the blight in the East and I was very sad to hear how horrible it was. It is always sad when farmers lose their crops.

Also, good luck on the early tomato variety. It is always fun to experiment. I'm trying a lot of different varieties myself. Part of it was inspired by your seed list that you blogged about earlier comparing last year to this year. I too am going to start and keep track of what grows best and what doesn't.

January 21, 2010 5:21 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Great - perennial peppers! You should experiment with letting them go and see how long they produce! In fact I found this nice comment at the bottom of this web page:
Redwood City Seed Company

"REMEMBER--All peppers are perennials, and make nice house-plants if grown in potting soil in 2-3 gallon plastic pots, and taken indoors when the nights drop into the 40s. Move plants outdoors when nights go back into the 50s. Plants will live for several years that way, most will stop growing in the winter and lose most of their leaves, but will leaf back out in spring."

January 21, 2010 5:44 PM


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