Monday, January 4, 2010

A New Start

The beginning of the year signifies an opportunity to start again in so many ways. My husband thinks, "so what? It's just another day", but to me it always feels like turning to a fresh page in a sketch book. You get to start all over again if only in your mind. I always forgive myself of my past failures and remember a motto I learned to live by a long time ago: "You can't make deals with the past, but with the future everything is negotiable."

So at the beginning of this year I'll congratulate myself on my past success, forgive myself of the failures and look forward to trying again and tackling new challenges.

I do believe setting and writing down goals is important to realizing them. I smiled as I looked through an old sketch book of mine. My sisters happened to be close by and I pointed out to them a rough sketch I had done of my "dream garden" and the computer generated drawing I had painstakingly rendered, printed and place between the pages of my sketch book. The date was January 2004. Here six years later I am in the final stages of realizing a completion of this dream. We slowly installed the garden one stage at a time and I am closing in on the final stage.

If there is any complaint I have about myself it is my tendency to start a new project before the last one is finished. This year my motto is going to be: "Start it. Do it. Finish it."

I'm going to find all my projects in the "Do it" stage and I'm going to finish it. I'm going to find all the projects in the "Must Start it" stage and start, do and finish them. Must is the key word here. I only want to start those projects that must be finished.

For example I "must" start my seeds indoors to have a nice crop of tomatoes. All other "Start it" projects "must wait" until the "do its" and "finish its" and "must start it" projects are done. In other words I'm not starting anything unnecessary this year until I wrap up all the loose ends!!! I could have said that to start with right!

My first exciting "Must do it" project is to plant my tomato and eggplant seeds. Mission accomplished! Also I "must" order my new seeds for this year. Done did! And I am so anticipating their arrival any day now!

Some seeds are best started indoors before they are ready to be placed out. I finished planting mine a few days ago. In our zone 9 you can start tomatoes and eggplants indoors in December. I like to start them as early as possible to avoid a lot of the pests that come along with the hot temps. Once they sprout I am going to keep them under grow lights this year. Last year I grew them on my front porch facing southeast and protected them when cold temps threatened. They did well, but I am starting them even earlier this year so I am going to try using grow lights. When I plant them outside I am going to use row covers to protect them if necessary.

I start seeds in peat or plastic pots using seed starting soil. They can be started in large trays and then divided and placed individually in their own pot, but I'm not doing that this year. I placed at least three seeds in each pot. I'll thin them down to the strongest one.

I like to buy my seed from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I really enjoy their catalog and the descriptions of each plant.

Here are the boxes I use to sort and store my seed. I store them alphabetically by type...tomatoes, eggplant, greens, beans, peas, carrots,...etc...

This is a pic of the things I dehydrated, and some of the seeds I saved from last year. I'm doing my best to save seed from year to year. I didn't have to order many types this year because I saved seed.
Here is a list of seeds I ordered:
(The ones in bold are varieties I have already successfully grown)
Asian Winged bean
Blue Lake Bush Bean
Golden Wax Bean
Red Seeded Asparagus Bean (a long bean variety)
Bull's Blood Beet
Crapaudine Beet
Long Island Improved Brussels Sprouts
Bacalan De Rennes Cabbage
Nero Di Toscana or Black Palm Tree Cabbage
Cosmic Purple Carrot
Jaune Obtuse Du Doubs Carrot
Parisienne Carrot
Tendercrisp Celery
Chires Baby Corn
Dakota Black Popcorn
Rainbow Sweet Inca Corn
De Bourbonne Cucumber
Suyo Long Cucumber
Long Purple Eggplant
European Mesclun Salad
Georgia Southern Collards
Tom Thumb Lettuce
Green Machine Melon
Sleeping Beauty Melon
Sakata's Sweet Melon
Vidrines Midget Cowhorn Okra
Red Creole OnionAnaheim Pepper
Coban Red Pimiento Pepper
Emerald Giant Pepper
Quadrato D'Asti Rosso Pepper
Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach
Bennings Green Tint Scallop Squash
Crookneck Early Golden Summer Squash
Black Beauty Zucchini
Green Striped Cushaw
Brandywine Tomato
Cherokee Purple Tomato
Moneymaker Tomato
Pineapple Tomato
Yellow Mortage Lifter Tomato
Boule D'or Turnip
Moon and Stars Watermelon
Crackerjack Mix Marigolds
Giant Primrose Sunflower
Bright Jewels Cactus Flowered Zinnia
Some Seed Varieties I have saved and will plant:
Curley Mustard
Purple Hull Peas
Silverline Melon
Striped Marigolds


Melba said...


I am so proud of you and your garden. Also, I've never known you to say something and start something that you didn't finish, so needless to say I am not surprised that you are almost finished with your garden plan from 2004. I pray that you have a wonderful New Year and that your garden grows bountifully (so you can share with me!!!Har-Har)! Love you bunches.

JeanSkirtGirl said...

WoW u come along way!way to go
I love your garden I hope I get to see it somethime =] love ya carmencita

Wanda Stricklin Robertson said...

Love your blog. I'm a big fan of Baker's Heirloom Seed. I just have a tiny spot for growing, but I try different things, growing some of them in pots.
Love the pics of your plants!

wvugrads said...

I just ordered a catalog from Baker Creek the other day (read a little article in the newspaper about it) and thought of you while doing it. lol I was going to send you the link, but figured you knew about them. Toying with the idea of having a little garden this year. Happy New Year.


Egghead said...

Impressive! you have done well and I agree. I need to do that as well....I mean finish things before starting something new.