Here come the sprouts!
No, not the one that has a list or one to kick; but the one that holds seeds saved from last years tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, melons, squash, zucchini and other great foodstuffs. Also, the one (bucket that is) that will hopefully provide the seedlings to transplant into the garden.
Yes, saving seeds can be a little messy, like anything worthwhile uses up some of your time, and is something you need to make room for and keep track of during the non-growing/planting season. Where is that bucket? Oh, right, I moved it when we were remodeling. I need it because…………
Yeh!!!!!!!!! It’s February and time to get planting. Healthy and sturdy seedlings need time to germinate and grow. Even if you live in a warmer climate, you can still start seeds indoors and have nice starter plants to move outside later. Regardless of what your zone is, starting seeds indoors is a great hobby that helps put you in charge of what you eat and what’s in what you eat. Eating, dehydrating, canning and freezing are down the road a bit, but I’m already thinking about that as I look at the always diminishing supply of last years garden goodies.
OK, I located the bucket of saved seeds. I’ve got over fifty packs of seeds to choose from. Good! I actually wrote the type and dates on most of them. Forgot to mark a couple? No big deal–you get to plant some mystery pots, and see what comes up. That’s enough for today, I even found the growing trays and potting soil I bought on sale late season last year.
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside!”
Had that portion of a song lyric going through my head most of the day today. It’s certainly not the coming of Winter as the song generally signifies, but today’s below zero temperatures and light snow also got me thinking about the garden for this coming year. We work hard to grow non-GMO veggies and herbs, and select organic and heirloom varieties of seeds and starter plants. From our experience, these foodstuffs not only taste better, but they also keep a lot longer than most of what is sold in many grocery stores.
As getting older makes it a bit tougher to get “down and dirty,” I was looking for something different and as often is the case, I saw what I wanted right in the old neighborhood. I hired the builder and had one made that fit our needs. Having 10 inch wide edging around the top and keeping the width to 4 feet, it is reasonably easy to sit on the edge and weed or pick from either side. The results were pretty remarkable, and our raised garden plot was pretty successful.
Potatoes are fun to grow, tasty, and offer numerous preparation possibilities. If space is a problem for your garden there are varied planting techniques. You can also choose to can potatoes, freeze potatoes, utilize local farmer’s markets, and garden stores. With spring approaching (Maybe!), I decided to look over and prepare some of our basement stored spuds and see what’s up. Or what’s cooking!
I had approximately 40 pounds of Idaho’s left, and many were sprouting. I took a quick picture to show some of what happens after four plus months in a cool (not damp) dark spot in the basement. A handful were unusable, but I got 32 quarts of chunked taters which I canned, and I filled nine gallon plastic bags with mashed potatoes which I froze. A few pounds were just starting to sprout so I set those aside to see if I can start some earlies in pots soon. Oh yeah! Of course I had some left over, so I made some potato soup for dinner.
On a related note, welcome to Urban Garden Guy!! Our team is working to develop the site, and we’ll have stories to share about gardening in the city, food preparation, articles and blog posts to share. We going to have pictures, personal experience stories, thoughts and ideas. Also look for sections that highlight our other interests. There will be photography, consulting, personal and vintage recipes, jewelry, and other things that might spark our or your interests.