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Start Your Vegetable Garden on New Year Day

January 01, 2010

It’s New Year’s day, which means there’s a lot of football on the tv and not a lot happening in our household. I like my first day of the year to start slow.

Closed Hoop House Keeps Brassicas Growing in Cool Weather

Closed Hoop House Keeps Brassicas Growing in Cool Weather

On a lazy, indoor day like this, when rain is flying in 25+mph winds and our hoop houses threaten to fly away, I can get lost for hours reading through seed catalogs, reviewing past year’s plans, successes and failures, and fine-tuning my future edible garden programs. And, that’s exactly what I did today. And I’m glad I did. Monday, I’ll call in my seed orders, and by the time I return from an early January visit with family on the East coast, my 2010 seed should be here just in time for my first indoor seed date of January 25, 2010. Yep — that’s when the brassica (and other seeds) first get sown indoors under lights with a bit of supplemental bottom heat. I have to wonder – are you ready?

If you’re curious, here’s a rundown of the plants we intend to grow with seed to be ordered from Irish-Eyes and Baker Creek Seed catalogs.

Cabbage Harvested in July was Seeded in January

Cabbage Harvested in July was Seeded in January

(Note: as of this writing, I have not received seed from either company as gifts or for review. All items have been or are intended to be purchased.)

  • Peas: Sugar snap, Oregon Sugar Pod II & Cascadia
  • Cliantro: Leisure slow bolt
  • Cabbage: Red Express (shown at right: a house favorite in salads!)
  • Chard: Bright Lights (something we always have in the garden; a great, generous crop to grow for your food bank donations)
  • Beet: Early Wonder Top
  • Tomato: Saucy Paste (for drying), Long Keeper (for storing into winter), Sweetie Cherry, Oregon Springs, Peron & Gold Nugget
  • Beans, Bush: Gold Rush, Roma II, Beurre de Rocquencort, Provider
  • Beans, Climbers: Asian Winged, Purple Podded Pole, Chinese Red Noodle
  • Edamame: Envy
  • Basil: Sacred, Fine Verde, Lettuce Leaf
  • Squash, Winter: Gold Nugget, Spaghetti, Bitterroot Buttercup
  • Squash, Summer: Zapalitto de Tronco (can also store for winter), Cocozelle
  • Carrot: Little Finger, Dragon
  • Broccoli: Green Goliath
  • Cucumber: Marketmore 76, Armenian
  • Corn: Yukon Chief, Earlievee
  • Spinach: New Zealand, Whale F-1
  • Cauliflower: Purple of Sicily
  • Lettuce: Buttercrunch, Yugoslavian Red, Speckles, Deer Tongue, Little Gem & Paris Island
Tubs of Maturing Garlic in June 2009

Tubs of Maturing Garlic in June 2009

With careful planning, care and crop rotation we’ll be able to grow all of these fantastic crops within our largely ornamental garden. And, we’ll enjoy perennial strawberries, raspberries, huckleberries and blueberries as they start showing their stuff come late spring and summer. Plus, the garlic I planted last fall will start providing scapes by late spring. And, I’ll be picking up spring onion starts at the farmer’s market a bit later in the growing season.

One perennial favorite in our house that doesn’t yet have a designated location is kale. We adore red winter kale and lacinato kale, both of which are plants that are still feeding us today the first of January. Yet, they didn’t make the cut for our crop rotation for early 2010. Still, odds are I’ll find a spot among the perennials where they’ll produce and continue to generously provide for us and for the food bank. It will be good to again be able to harvest pound after pound of food each week to share with the hungry!

Ready to get started with your 2010 edible garden plans but need some help? Get in touch with Garden Mentors now to schedule your garden consultation, coaching program or design project. Planning now means you’ll be ready to enjoy the fruits of the growing season come spring!


  1. john wood says:

    Hey Robin –
    What a great site! Congrats. i love the informal and informative article and the links you provide. A nice easy style in your communicating and a good attitude comes through.

    Please give my love to the folks in Virginia.
    Hug, Johntom

  2. Katy says:

    I am not ready! You’re so far ahead of me …

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