A personal record of what's going on in my Northern Michigan zone 4 gardens. I use raised beds and grow organically. Nothing fancy--just trying to garden with nature in mind.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2015 Garden Seed Orders and Garden Plans




I started receiving catalogs well before Christmas this year. Seems to get earlier every year. I don't know if that helps or hurts the companies. I'm not "sick of winter" right when it starts!  It used to be they came in February, just about the time you needed to see those colorful catalogs, and I would go crazy ordering because I was so "starved" for color and gardening fun. Anyways--I did place my orders extra early this year, but didn't go overboard. I stuck to my list.

First seed order was to Fedco---which I used last year for the first time and LOVED them!  I had excellent germination from everything.......a far cry from my prior disasters with Burpee seeds.

Fedco Seeds   Placed on  12/21/14    $43.20 (Free Shipping)

238B - Bush Blue Lake Green Bean 274 ( B=8oz ) 1 x $4.20 = $4.20  
582A - Ambrosia Sweet Corn ( A=2oz ) 2 x $2.60 = $5.20           
893A - Sugarsnap Pea ( A=2oz ) 1 x $2.40 = $2.40
2086C - Mokum Carrot ( C=6g ) 1 x $8.00 = $8.00
2224B - Easter Egg Radish ( B=1/2oz ) 1 x $2.10 = $2.10
2510C - Space Spinach ( C=1oz ) 1 x $4.80 = $4.80
2761A - Red Sails Lettuce( A=2g ) 1 x $1.60 = $1.60
2811B - Buttercrunch Lettuce ( B=4g ) 1 x $1.50 = $1.50
2874A - Olga Romaine( A=1g ) 1 x $1.70 = $1.70
3425A - Snowbowl Cauliflower ( A=0.5g ) 1 x $2.40 = $2.40
3464A - White Russian Kale( A=2g ) 1 x $1.60 = $1.60
3634A - Tango Celery ( A=0.1g ) 1 x $2.90 = $2.90
3716A - Revolution Bell Pepper ( A=0.1g ) 1 x $2.50 = $2.50
4233A - Jet Star Tomato ( A=0.2g ) 1 x $2.30 = $2.30


I am not placing any seed orders for flowers this year. I am just picking up flats of annuals. I 
have leftover alyssum, zinnia, cosmos, and sunflower seeds for direct sowing in the garden.

Other Orders :

  • 1/2/15 Nourse Farms--20 Chandler Blueberry Bushes, 5 Lauren Raspberries for delivery May 25
  • 1/3/15 Dixondale Onions-3 bunches Copra onions for delivery May 11
The Garden plan for 2015. All beds just got rotated to keep things healthy. I get less and less fancy
sketching it out every year.  I don't even draw in the aisles anymore--so for those of you
unfamiliar with my garden--those are 24 beds , each one 4x8 feet.  The stuff in the center is 
trellises arched over the center aisle.
You'll also notice that all the vegetables are pretty much standard fare. No fancy for us--just 
good basic foods that store well.  It took me 6 years to learn we don't like fru fru. We do, 
however, eat tons of vegetables. This garden provides all of that.


41 comments:

  1. Sue, sounds like you will have an awesome amount of veggies and berries.. I am looking forward to spring..have a happy day!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Eileen
      So good to hear from you. Thanks for the visit!

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  2. I went a little crazy with my flower seed order this year. It's my second year ordering from swallowtail seeds.

    I wish I had a veg plot that was a large and orderly as yours. Open flat land with full sun is a rare commodity in our neighborhood. I just love how organized your plan looks.

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    1. Hi Thomas
      I love Swallowtail Seeds-they have excellent service and a really great selection. I've always had great luck with them and wish you the same.

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  3. Sue, Oh happy day when winter leaves and spring arrives. Unfortunately, here in Nebraska that happens some time in March or April. Even though we are forecasted to hit the 60 degree mark today, there's still the entire month of February to get through before the winter can even be thought about being over. My garden season will begin next week with the starting of the seed sprouting under the grow lights and on the heat mat. Onions will be the first thing that gets started. I have a plan to try to get a jump on the tomato season this year and also to be able to deal with harsh weather if it comes at the end of May again this year.

    It does seem that seed catalogs came earlier this year than other years. I usually don't order from the catalogs but do look through them for any new plants worthy of my garden skills. Normally, when I find some, I order them from their Website. It's just easier that way.

    I am hoping to hear great success stories from your gardening adventures this year. Have a great garden planning day.

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    1. David-I'm not even going to razz you about your start date. Try starting a month later than that---horrible on a gardener, I can tell ya!!
      I like the company websites as well. Some sure work better than others.
      Best of luck this spring. I'll be expecting posts filled with seedling pics!!

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  4. I hope this will be a good gardening year for you! So far I haven't even looked at seed catalogs yet. :-( Need to get to it soon though...

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    1. Hi Anke
      As busy as you are, I can imagine the seed catalogs get pushed aside. But don't wait too long--don't want all those other gardeners to get all the good varieties!!
      :)

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  5. Twenty blueberry bushes - wow, nice! I'm jealous! I think I'll have four blueberry bushes total...one each of four different varieties. I have no concept what I'll actually get from that. I know the catalogs give a rough estimate for what you should expect from each variety, but I also know I had almost complete failure of blueberries when planted in our heavy clay soil years ago, and got nowhere near what was expected. It's been a few years since trying blueberries, and now I've sacrificed one of my 4'x12' raised veggie beds to give blueberries another go...

    I've also got a bunch of currant bushes on order. I don't expect jelly-making quantities in the first year, but it sounds like I might get some berries from them at least...

    Like you, I'm learning to slim down what I hope to grow - less of the fru fru, more of the realistic.

    I like how you acknowledge not drawing the aisles between your beds. I saw that and thought what the heck!? Why do I draw those aisles!? *I* know there are aisles, but it's not important to the mapping out of stuff. Doh! Thanks for the epiphany!

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    1. Jeph-the very best thing you can do for blueberries is to "lighten" the soil---LOTS of peat moss and sand. Top it off with some pine needles if you have some---otherwise FIND SOME.
      I'll be wishing you all the luck with them---blueberries are SO wonderful to have .
      The reason for so many more bushes for me---I love to give them to people--their reaction is always pleasant surprise. I already have 15 bushes in. This just gives me way more to give away (sell? who knows......)

      You made me laugh with the comment about the aisles. One day I just got REALLY sick of trying to show aisles (and keep it GERMAN PERFECT-ha ha) and believe me, no aisles in the drawing is MUCH easier. Not as pretty, but so so so much easier!

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  6. Already did the soil lightening this past fall - took out a bit of the soil to use in the other beds, added bags of peat moss and pro-mix (also peat based), 5-yr old composted manure (hopefully seed free, and well broken down), ramial wood chips from young trees, cottonseed meal (supposed to be good for acid lovers), worm castings from my basement critters, and then topped it all with lots of pine needles from a neighbor. Here's hoping I got a good mix for the blueberries.

    And let me tell you - it's surprisingly hard to keep pine needles in place on raised beds! They wanted to keep slipping off the bed...perhaps because I had the pile over 3" tall?

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    1. Jeph- perhaps they'll 'settle in" a bit ??
      I'm sure you'll figure this out. I'll be watching to see the progress on your "patch".
      Good luck!
      :)

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  7. I just put in my seed orders too & was at a local seed house yesterday...I love this time of year! I hadn't thought to order the berry bushes now but seeing as you have ordered yours already, I had better look into it. Not even sure where I'm getting them from - gotta do some research on that asap!

    Have I said that I love your garden? Probably several times :) When I was doing my ideal layout, I came up to 24 beds, plus a couple of extras for strawberries - the kids (and I) love them so much we would need at least 2 or 3 beds just for that. I'm also still trying to figure out how much we need of each veg (I initially thought we would need an entire bed of lettuce, but as it turns out, less than half a bed more than meets our needs). As Thomas pointed out, you are so incredibly lucky to have a nice flat expanse of land to put your beds on - I have to do 3 distinct bed areas since our septic basically sits smack dab in the middle of our backyard, of course taking up the best expansive flat spot we have!

    I'm noting your advice on planting the blueberries. Unlike your absolutely enviable 20 bushes (on top of those you already have - so jealous!), I will be getting only a couple this year. Our soil has a TON of rocks in it. When you dig, you never know if what you are hitting is a 2" rock or a boulder. It took me practically an entire day (no exaggeration here!) to dig down 18" for a bird feeder pole - and I didn't even make it that deep, getting to 16" and declaring the job done.

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    1. Hi Margaret
      I've always used Nourse Farms for my berries--their bushes are so much larger and healthier than any I've seen. They also have a GREAT guarantee--they replace, no questions asked.
      Wonderful company to deal with.
      And we have rocks galore here as well--(note my ROCK house!!). I never dig down....I PILE UP---putting everything on top of the ground. It's the only way to do it here.....and
      a whole lot easier (could be I'm getting a bit to old to dig dig dig anymore-LOL!)

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  8. Easter Egg Raddish sounds interesting. Plc please when you harvest them :)

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  9. Replies
    1. Hi Dani
      Chesnock is a variety of garlic ---a new one for me this year.
      Sorry. My notes do stink.
      And the Easter Egg radish are beautiful--a variety of colors. I'll take that pic! Thanks for the visit
      :)

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  10. Ooooh, I love seeing your garden plan. You'll have to let me know how you like the Red Sails. We've had good luck with them here in Florida this winter. I can't wait to see everything growing! You are an amazing gardener.

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    1. Hi Daisy
      I used to grow Red Sails, and somehow....forgot . How does that happen?? Anyway, it's back and I'm looking forward to those sweet leaves in a salad. You're so fortunate to be able to grow at this time of year. I sure do miss those lettuce (and spinach, and kale, and the list goes on and on. Sigh!)

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  11. I'm always impressed by your planning. Wish I could be do organized but then I suppose that is the nature of my garden. Like you I will reduce some seeding this year. I'll buy tomatoes, peppers so that I get the jump on spring. I shall have to check out Fedco.

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    1. Rock rose-thank you! If being "unorganized" gets one a garden like yours, I'd be thrilled to be that way. Thanks for the visit.

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  12. looks like a great list for a successful 2015 garden. I am yet to buy my seeds or even really think about the garden. I blame the snow..lol

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    1. Mrs Pickles--that snow won't last forever---and if you don't buy your seeds soon, they might
      be sold out of the ones you want. Think spring!!!
      :D

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  13. I, too, learned (finally) not to go for hyped stuff and am sticking to the usual suspects now. I'm I pressed with your berry order ... What with your deer... Hope you can protect them from those tall vermin. Your veg list looks good. Stuff I would order. Looking forward to your efforts this season. Don't overdo!

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    1. Hi Kris
      The QUEEN of over-doing it is telling me to not over do it. Snort. You are a silly one.
      Now let's hope Ma Nature is a bit kinder this year.....no snow in June, no frost in August.
      And the new berry bushes are going into a DE-luxe fenced area my truly wonderful hubby is going to build. This spring. THIS spring. LOL!!!

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  14. Hi Sue, Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Yes, we do have several kinds of birds, some of which eat the seeds off of the plants. My husband also feeds them.

    It looks like you are heading toward the garden season in good shape. Hey, I scrolled down and read the post you wrote about the year being bad. I'm sorry to hear that. Are you on the mend pretty well?

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    1. Hi Sue--hubby is well known at the feed store as well. Leaving seed heads just adds another nice variety for them--and it's fun to watch them balancing on the stalks.

      I got the "thumbs up" just yesterday from the doctor--I'm hoping that's a sign of a fresh start.
      Happy Spring!

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  15. Looking good. I'm finding that I have a standard rotation now too and my list of "need to get" seeds. I have some saved annual seeds for flowers but mostly I'm going to buy bedding plants. I skipped that last year with the water restrictions but plan to get some color this year!!!

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    1. Hi GoSS-I'll be looking forward to seeing those blooms in your beautiful back yard.
      Have a wonderful week.............and happy planning!

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  16. I have to say I am jealous of your highly organized garden plans! I have quite a few gardening catalogs and (SHOCK and HORROR) I haven't even opened them yet. What is even more awful, I didn't finish cleaning out my garden beds from last year (hanging head in shame).

    To be honest I am only doing a small garden this year --using maybe 4 of the 9 raised beds, then letting the other 5 and the plot lie fallow. I hope to get a load of horse manure brought in rebuild te organic content. So I will live vicariously though everyone else's gardening endeavors!

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  17. Tonya-hi, thanks for visiting.
    This is the first year I did not clean-up my flower beds and I'm so glad I left them--the birds are using the seedheads and by spring the stalks will go through the shredder much easier.
    Best to cut back---you have a LOT on your plate.
    (and I'm LOVING your kitchen!!)

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    1. I did notice an increase in the wildlife visiting the gardens this year since I didn't clean anything up--much to my dogs dismay, haha. Thank you, I LOVE my kitchen also :)

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  18. I second your Fedco recommendation! We've been very happy with their seeds.

    I enjoyed seeing your garden plan. I love how you're maximizing the use of your space. That's going to produce a LOT of great food!

    I assume the dates you've penciled in are planting dates. It's interesting to see how different they are from ours here in zone 7. It looks like Yukon Gold is your favorite potato. Ours too. :)

    Happy gardening in 2015!

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  19. Hi Bill
    Yep--those pencil scribbles are my "hope to plant" dates. I envy your zone 7--that would be nice.
    BUT----I do have those cool summers, so that's a big plus here.

    Thanks for your comment--always nice to find fellow chemical free gardeners!!

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  20. Hi Sue, Mark here. I'd thought I'd stop by and say "Hi". De and I started looking at the seed catalogs and talking about the gardens, but nothing on paper yet. We have 23 garden beds in our zone 5 garden - I think, I can never remember how many and right now they are all covered with snow :-P . Our "fancy stuff" is a small plot of rhubarb and a horseradish plant. We also have a 20' x 40' plot and a 30' x 60' plot.

    This year is our year to get fruit trees and berry bushes in the ground! Apples and pears to start with for trees. We're thinking raspberries (we have wild blackberries) and maybe some blueberries for "brambles" We have some pretty black, peaty soil, and almost 40 acres of mixed pines and hardwoods on the family farm adjoining our acreage. If pine needles are what it takes, at least we'll find them easy to come by.

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    1. Hi Mark---horseradish sounds like a neat idea--though I'd be the only one eating it so......I'll just steal some of YOURS. Ha!
      It's exciting when the fruit trees start to get planted. We still haven't gotten around to planting pears yet. I also lost all four of my peach trees last spring due to late (June 13) freeze. Bummer--though we did know we were out of zone for them, we tried anyway and they did last 4 years and give us a few peaches. They will be missed (but not replaced). Maybe cherries instead? Time will tell.
      Thanks for the visit

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  22. Looks like an ambitious plan

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    1. Hi John--it looks like a lot of work, but it's actually pretty "maintenance" free--I keep everything mulched so I don't have to water very much and the weeds stay smothered.
      Harvest time is really the only time I wish I would have a smaller garden......

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