March break is in full swing. This year, we decided to have a staycation…and it’s been exhausting, in a good way :)
|Nature Trail at Guelph Arboretum|
|Cooking down maple syrup the old fashioned way...|
Today my focus is on seed orders for this year. I was actually surprised (or maybe not) that I ended up ordering as much as I did since most of the varieties on my plan are repeats from last year. Such is the nature of ordering seeds…your cart inevitably ends up a lot fuller than you planned.
I have a few “go to” sources that I order from each year - William Dam, Baker Creek, Pinetree & High Mowing. I did a post back in 2015 on why I love these sources so much. In addition to my regulars, I also like to choose one extra source, which changes from year to year. This gives me the opportunity to try varieties that are not widely available. Once I settle on this extra source, I’ll browse their catalogue for other seeds that pique my interest. Since most seeds will remain viable for a few years, I don’t have to worry about fitting all of them into this year’s garden.
* = New to the garden
William Dam Seeds
|William Dam Order|
Carrots – Bolero*
Chinese Greens – Joi Choi
Onion, Bunching – White Welsh*
Leeks - Autumn Giant*, Hannibal*
Radish – China Rose*
There will be a few new carrot varieties this year, including one of Daphne’s favourites, Bolero. I quite liked the Nebuka bunching onions I grew last year, but in the interest of comparing different varieties, decided to give White Welsh a try. The Camelot shallots that I normally grow were on backorder & since I needed to start them ASAP, I decided to substitute Conservor instead. The one radish I'm adding to my lineup this year is a winter radish, China Rose, which was recommended by Michelle (as was the Speedy arugula). We’ll see if I have better luck with this one than the White Icicle I tried to grow unsuccessfully for the past few years.
My daughter, who joined me that day & also wants to get in on the growing, placed a few seed packets into the basket as well: California poppy, Balls Orange calendula, Summer Dance cucumbers & Sweet 100 tomatoes.
Pinetree Garden Seeds
Carrots – Mokum*
Chinese Cabbage – Soloist*
Chinese Greens – Tatsoi
Cucumber – Diva*
Kale – Starbor*
Kohlrabi – Kossak*
Lettuce – Freckles*, Jericho*, Winter Density*
Onion – Copra, Ailsa Craig, Red Wing
Parsnip - Harris Model*
Parsnips will be new to the garden this year - there seem to be very few varieties out there, with Harris Model being the most popular so I thought I would start with that one. Also new to the garden is Napa cabbage – these guys tend to be huge so I’m trying two varieties that are supposed to be on the smaller side, one of which is Soloist. The lettuce additions were a “just because” sort of thing – I love lots of variety in the lettuce bed.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
|Baker Creek Order|
Onion – Jaune Paille des Vertus*
Peas, Snow – Golden Sweet*
Pepper, Sweet – Odessa Market*
Pepper, Hot – Lemon Drop (aka Aji Limon)*
Spinach - Giant Noble*
Summer Squash – Patisson Panache Jaune et Vert*
Winter Squash – Seminole Pumpkin*, Thai Rai Kaw Tok*
Tomato, Paste – Amos Coli*
Sunflower - Lemon Queen (free gift)*
Yes, I’m already growing 4 varieties of globe onion, so why bother adding another. But I really LOVE growing onions, and the Jaune Paille des Vertus called out to me. Then there was the Patisson Panache Jaune et Vert scallop squash. I guess I have a thing for French names :). Golden Sweet & Odessa are two varieties recommended by Michelle, I first saw Lemon Drop (Aji Limon) on Mark’s blog and Thai Rai Kaw Tok is one of Dave’s favourites.
High Mowing Organic Seeds
|High Mowing Order|
Carrot – Yaya*, Starburst Blend (backordered)*
Cucumber – Green Finger*
Salad Greens – Claytonia*
Kale – Red Ursa*
Onion – Rossa di Milano
Pea, Snow –
Spinach – Butterflay*
Kaboko is another Napa that is supposed to be (relatively) small and Claytonia, which I've not tried before, sounds like it would be a wonderful addition to a salad. Blogger inspired purchases from High Mowing include Green Finger (Michelle) and Red Ursa & Yaya (Dave).
I was quite disappointed when it came to the Mammoth Melting snow peas. A couple of weeks after I placed my order, I received a notice that delivery would be delayed until the end of February. A few weeks later, I received another notification that they would be delayed until the end of March. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was advised that they were sold out for the season. Had I known there was a possible supply issue when ordering back in January, I could have purchased them from Baker Creek instead. Oh well. I guess I’ll have to wait until next year to try them. I’m still waiting on the Starburst blend carrots & hoping they don’t have a similar fate.
The Cottage Gardener
|Cottage Gardener Order|
Beans, Romano - Garden of Eden*, Golden of Bacau
Peppers, Sweet – Chervena Chushka*, Feher Ozon*
The Cottage Gardener was my extra company this year. You can see that practically every packet from them is a "new to me" variety. They have a wonderful selection of heirloom bean varieties and I took full advantage. Well, perhaps not FULL advantage, as I could have purchased many more varieties than I did, but I still walked away with more than will fit into the garden this year.
This is the company I purchased my beloved Golden of Bacau beans from several years ago – the unfortunate carrier of bacterial brown spot (or so I suspect). I noticed that Cottage Gardener stopped carrying this variety for a year or two, but now it’s back. I have my fingers crossed that the disappearing/reappearing act relates to the brown spot and means that the current batch of seeds is not infected. I also decided to try another Romano from them, Garden of Eden, which is a green variety.
And that’s about it for my seed purchases this year....up to now anyhow. I’ll be going to the garden centre within the next couple of weeks so I’ll likely be scouring the seed stands and pick up a few more packets.
I'll end this post with a photo from our walk at the Guelph Arboretum. When I saw this guy, I immediately thought of Mark & his love of fungi:
|At about 12" (30cm) across,|
this is probably the biggest mushroom I've ever seen!