It’s garden planning time again! I’m feeling excited and ready to get back out in the garden. This year we’re going to only plant heirloom varieties so that I can practice seed saving, and hopefully plant a garden from my own seeds next year. If you save seeds from the best producing plants in your garden, over a few growing seasons you’ll end up with seeds whose characteristics are best suited for your microclimate. So cool!
One of my favorite tomato varieties is a hybrid, but unfortunately you can’t save seeds from a hybrid. No worries, though I’ve got some new tomato seeds to try – a variety called ‘Bonny Best’ and one from Italy called ‘Grappoli d’inverno’. The Italian variety sounds very interesting – at the end of the growing season, you’re supposed to be able to pull up the entire plant and hang it upside-down in your house and the tomatoes remaining on the vine will keep for quite a while.
If you’re wondering why I can’t save the seeds from my favorite plant, it’s because hybrid varieties are similar to mules. Mules are made when you breed a donkey and a horse, but you can’t breed a mule and get a mule (Mules are sterile). My favorite hybrid tomato plant was created by fertilizing one type of tomato plant with the pollen of another type. The resulting tomato has seeds in it that will grow a tomato plant that is unique (the hybrid variety) but the tomatoes that grow on that hybrid plant won’t make seeds that can replicate the parent plant. The seeds will germinate, but the resulting plant won’t be the same as the hybrid was. Hybrid varieties are awesome, but not for seed saving.
It’s important to know that hybrids are NOT the same as GMO, which have been genetically modified by scientists.
I’ve created a timeline (see below) for what I’m planting and when, including the approximate time frame that I can expect to harvest. I learned that I’ve been planting my peas too late in the year and it’s been too warm for them. I’ll be planting my peas in the ground the first week of March and should be able to harvest all the peas before I plant the rest of the garden at the end of May.Garden-Plans-2019
I’m hoping for better garden success this year, as it will be our fourth year in the garden and we’ve learned a few things by now 😊 We still need to get some compost to amend the garden beds and a lot of leaf raking to do so that I can mulch the beds and keep weeds down. I only mulched one bed last year as an experiment, and boy did it keep the weeds away! I don’t think I had to weed that bed at all.
It’s pouring rain outside with four inches of snow predicted by Tuesday, but I’m dreamin’ of spring…