Wednesday, January 27, 2016

That springtime itch!

Cro's mention of taking cuttings and growing soft fruits in his last blog post got me thinking about how much I want to have a garden of my own. His "Haddocks" is a joy to read about. I love the idea of growing most of the fruits and vegetables that the family eats.

Something most people reading here probably don't know about me is that I used to do a fair bit of gardening.  I spent a large chunk of my twenties slightly obsessed with growing heirloom tomatoes and trading seeds with other similarly obsessed people from all over the world. I grew dozens of plants in my small rental backyard and in large containers each year, and also kept fairly good notes on all the varieties that I tried. Most years I'd also grow a few pepper plants with the odd cucumber thrown in along with the tomatoes. The soil was a challenge and I spent years improving it, even going so far as having a small compost bin that I worked on faithfully. Just when the garden  soil was finally getting nice and fertile, we moved. Since then I've been reluctant to put so much effort into doing that again in a rental house. We're finally starting to make plans to find a realtor and to buy a home of our own, and it will have to have a good yard for making a garden!

Even though I'm not in a place right now to do any seed starting, this time of year always reawakens the urge in me to do just that. I find myself browsing the seed catalogs and daydreaming about what I'd pick if I could. Something about the lengthening days at the end of January calls to my soul, and I want to see tiny delicate green sprouts popping up. Normally when germinating vegetable seeds I'd start about 6 weeks before our average last frost date, which around here ends up being early to mid February. It's almost time!

Seed Catalogs from Smithsonian Institution Libraries:
To your table from your garden.  Plant Ferry's Seeds.:

YUMMY yellow tomatoes!! burpee seeds 1944:


  1. There has to be a garden out there for you soon I hope

  2. Here in the north of England we can get frosts right up to the end of May and this has to be taken into account when vegetable gardening. Potatoes and onions can go in earlier but more tender vegetables should wait till the very end of May unless you want to take the risk. I hope that you and Gregg secure your own place before very long. You deserve it.

  3. Tis a shame that you're missing out on the gardening m'dear, tis something that I find soothing and helps me to live in the moment (which helps keep the BD at bay a tad). I hope that you are soon able to get your fingers dirty once more.

  4. Hope you will have a garden soon. Good luck with your search.
    This is the year I will have to stop gardening. I can't really do it anymore but I might sneak in one tomato plant.

    cheers, parsnip

  5. I think Tomato growing is the most satisfying of all. The thought of not eating my own home grown Toms is a nightmare.

  6. The tomatoes (and other vegetables) he grows on his allotment are my Dad's pride and joy! We all know his health would be a lot worse if it wasn't for his diligent gardening. You could say the garden is his lifeline.
    Although we've had a very mild winter so far, with only about a week and a half of proper cold, frosty nights can still occur here until April. Therefore, most gardeners in this area wait before putting their toms out. My Dad starts the seeds at home in the attic and then transfers them to his polytunnel greenhouse on the allotment.

    All the best for your search of a home with garden!