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.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

2017 Winter Sowing, Seed Orders, and Garden Plans


Dec 22--WINTER SOWED--Trays covered in plastic, set in my "shop" to freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw....
                                    Agastache cana--gift from my son
                                    Aster-New England (from Seed Saver's Exchange visit)
                                    Aster-Pale Pink from saved seed-Wildcat Hills, Nebraska
                                    Echinacea-saved seed from garden
                                    Echinops--saved seed from garden
                                    Gaura-lindheimeri    White butterfly (gift packet from a neighbor)
                                    Foxglove-Giant Spotted (from Seed Saver's Exchange visit)
                                    Helianthus--saved seed from Toadstool Geologic Park--Nebraska
                                    Lupine-pink and white--saved seed from garden
                                    Queen Annes' lace -saved seed from Lucas Road

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                           SEED ORDERS FOR 2017  Budgeted---$100   Spent--$113

I thought I would be under budget this year for seeds (and I was........but then.....)
I ended up going over $13.  I'm facing facts that it is time to raise the seed budget. I've had the same amount for the past 10 years.  Some seeds are now close to $4 a pack.  I still consider that a bargain, given the quantity of fresh, healthy, ORGANIC food that garden gives us.  It literally saves thousands on the grocery bill.

So next year--the seed budget goes to $125.


Pinetree Seeds: Placed Order  12/16/16       Received 12/22/16
                       Basil, Blue Spice
                       Marigold-Lemon Gem
                       Pumpkin-Howden
                       Summer Squash-Golden Zebra
                       Winter Squash--Butterscotch (Isn't that name wonderful!!)
                       Tomato-Gold Nugget
                       Tomato-Black Cherry
                       Tomato-Pink Bumblebee---who wouldn't want to grow something that sounds so cute?
                     
Fedco Seeds     Placed Order 12/16/16      Received  January 6, 2017
                       Broccoli-Green Super
                       Brussels Sprouts-Gustus
                       Bush Bean-Blue Lake 274
                       Corn-Ambrosia Sweet Corn
                       Kale-Vates Dwarf
                       Mache-Verte de Cambrai
                       Pea-Super Sugar Snap
                       Pepper-Green-Revolution
                       Spinach-Space
                       Tomato-Prudens Purple,  Sungold,  Supersweet 100
                       Zucchini-Cocozelle
                 

Johnny's Selected Seeds   Placed Order January 6 ,2017     Received  January 17, 2017
                      Glacier Cherry Tomato (growing for neighbor)
                      Gold Nugget Cherry Tomato  (growing for neighbor)
                      Mokum carrot-pelleted  (1000ct)
                      Salvia- Marble Arch Mix
                      Cosmos-Cupcake Mix
                      Lunchbox Mini Bell Pepper (growing for neighbor)

Territorial Seeds   Placed order January 9, 2017    Received  January 17, 2017
                      Alyssum Mulberry Mix
                      Zinnia Starlight Rose
                      Zinnia Zahara Double Strawberry
                      Zinnia Art Deco Mix

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                                               GARDEN PLANS 2017
            Please remember--I don't draw in the aisles between the beds, but it's there in real life!
              I outlined in red where spaces should be.
           Tentative planting dates are shown.  Carrots (3 beds) staggered for a steady supply

The Raised Beds---Don't forget---there's spaces between those beds!!!

West portion of garden--Regular "in ground" beds





44 comments:

  1. Hello Sue, you are so organized. I would think prices have gone up on everything the last ten years, why not the seeds too. Looking forward to springtime. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day and weekend!

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    1. Hi Eileen-Thanks so much for the visit! Have been enjoying your posts all winter-at least you can get out and about! Have a great weekend. And keep snapping those pics!
      :)

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  2. Great list. I've given up on blue lake beans-they grow well but I can't seem to get a good result from freezing-they turn mushy when cooked. Any tips? Big overhaul here for 2017-veggie bed will become flower/herb/salad garden and new beds going into the meadow which gets far more sun. I'm buying manure/compost and soil as I can't wait for soil to build up fertility based on my adding good stuff over the years. I'm looking forward to having more flowers but not to the work! I'm completely taken by your phlox-hopefully I can find a retailer.

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    1. Hi Susan-I blanch the blue lakes for just ONE minute, then immediately chill and seal in those vacuum sealer bags. Though they are by no means "crisp" when cooked , they aren't mushy--kind of in-between. What bean do you like for freezing?? I"d love to try it and see how it compares. Perhaps I'm used to mushy beans and don't realize it--LOL! Have a great day.
      PS-If you want some of the phlox seeds, please email--I'd be happy to send you some.
      suemar63@aol.com

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  3. A big box of seeds and onion and shallot sets arrived on our doorstep today. I recognise many of the species on your list but very few of the varieties.

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    1. Hi Sue---oooooh, Christmas in a box. I love when those orders start coming in! Have fun!!

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  4. Oh, I love to see other people's garden layout! And know what seeds you've ordered. (Will somebody please give me a good boot in da butt to get my seed orders done?) I'm going to come back and study your layout in detail (ha, didn't know I was going to be such a stalker, did you?), but right now I have to get some cookies baked . . . before we experience an ugly revolt of the Cookie Monster I live with. (Haven't had any cookies in the house since Christmas.)

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    1. Dearest Mama Pea.............Sue likes cookies too!!!!!
      Maybe toooo much! Ha!
      Hope you and the Cookie Monster have a great weekend

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  5. I am behind in my garden planning, but I already know some items are coming off my veggie/fruit list. However, that space will now hold some flowers so I have some shopping to do too. I think you were due on upping the budget. :-)

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    1. Hi GonSS-Flowers are a very important part of the garden. Can't wait to see what will be growing in your garden this year.
      Stay warm! Spring will be here before you know it.

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  6. Sue,

    You have your seeds ordered and your sketched out plans for planting on this upcoming season, I'm so jealous!!! I've marked up my catalogs, and need to get an order out soon.

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    1. Hi Sandy-I think the most difficult part is choosing what to get. You're past the hard part-time to send them out!
      Thanks for the visit-I appreciate it.
      :)

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  7. Gaura is one of my absolute favorites! You are right, the seed budget is a small drop compared to your return in fresh food, beauty and exercise! In my community garden plot last year, I was taken aback by the amount of people that buy strange starter plants from big box stores... like zucchini and BASIL. Basil sprouts from seed in like hours! Can't imagine how much they are spending. I miss my big garden and the planning and drawing every year :)

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    1. Erin-I miss your big garden too! You were the queen of organization (in the garden as well as the home!), I hope you'll consider posting again.

      The most ridiculous plant I've seen for sale is CORN. My god. Really???
      And peas. Let's not forget those.

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  8. Seed catalogues must be a very exciting thing at this time of the year...Unfortunately, catalogues don't exist in this part of the world. I'm amazed you're all ready for the coming season!! I have been keeping a big eye on shops where I could buy seeds from, ones that we didn't managed to save seeds of. So far, no displays yet...perhaps, it's still a bit early. I like your selections of veggies...it's what we would grow too, only we don't get them by their specific names...like, it's just big tomatoes and little tomatoes, as long as they are tomatoes!!

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    1. Hi Annie--Wow, things sure are different where you are. I couldn't imagine surviving our LONG winters without those colorful seed catalogs to enjoy in the evenings.
      Interesting , too, about not getting by varieties. But I'm am certain that being homegrown, it's ALL GOOD! Can't wait for that first spinach leaf snitched from the garden.
      Have a prosperous and fun year in the garden
      :)

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  9. Your plans look very organized and neat. Too bad seeds are going up in price but I suppose everything else is too. I can hardly wait until the weather warms up. I hope all your little seedlets grow.

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    1. Hi G.Marigold--Normally I enjoy my winter, but with the lack of snow (just ice) this year, I'm looking forward to Spring as well. I"m glad you commented--it made me realize there is something wrong with my blogger list--your posts are not showing up on it. ??????
      Good to see you're ok. I thought you had quit blogging.
      Have a good week

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  10. Looks like a plan - impressive variety. Will look forward to updates once we get to growing season. I'm cutting back this year - at least that's the plan.

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    1. Hi John--cutting back??? I just love your "pot" garden and hope you'll do some pics on that again once the season is upon us.
      Thanks for the visit
      :)

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  11. I really admire your organizational skills. It certainly must keep you busy on winter days. So much to look forward to.

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  12. I finally got back to see what your plans are. Oh, I can't wait to see it all come to fruition! Your garden always amazes me. And I absolutely love the mix of flowers you have for pollinators. I agree with you that seeds are so inexpensive, compared with buying all that produce grown organically by someone else! The names get kitchier every season!
    I am going to start working on some kind of container garden set up and hope that we can move it once we find a house. I can't wait to start planting again-mid-February for our zone. It's just around the corner!
    Hope you are enjoying the snow!

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    1. Hi Daisy---what a terrific idea to plant in containers!! A movable feast!
      I'd hate to think of you going a whole season without.
      Keep us posted! Have a good week

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  13. Sue, unfortunately I do not have a garden, but I love seeing others' gardens and you have some great plans here!

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    1. Good Morning, Linda--Thank you so much for the visit! Hope you're doing well. Looking forward to your next post. Have a great day

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  14. Your restraint as well as your level of organization is admirable! Just starting the seed order here, and still have to finish the roundup of 2016 on the blog. Oh well. On the other hands, my leeks have been started, so there. As for planning....not my strong point, sigh.

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    1. Ien--I'd say that if you can grow a great garden like you do, then planning IS your strong point!
      I hope you put up a pic of your baby leeks---I imagine they're at that "cute" stage........

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  15. I am so envious of your raised bed system. And your organization!
    Hoping you have a great year.

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    1. Hi Bill--and I'm envious of your early planting!!
      Wishing you guys the very best year ever. And no deer. Or raccoons. Or moles/voles/...................the list is long, isn't it?
      Have a great weekend

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  16. Oh Wow, Sue! You're so organized. I haven't ordered a thing yet, but you're really inspiring me to get at it. :-)

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    1. Hi Karen--I'd say I can't hold a candle to you--your gardens are so fantastic. It must take OOOODLES of organization!
      Hope all is going well with the assorted parents/inlaws. You are truly an angel --all the things you do for them. Take care

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  17. and the winner is for Garden Organizer of the Year for 2017 Sue! Would you consider going to Washington D.C. to help on a broader scale? :)

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    1. Troutbirder---
      LOL!!
      I may be organized, but holy cow, I don't think ANYONE could straighten THAT MESS out!
      Hope you two are doing well. Spring will be here soon (I hope!)

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  18. Oh, my goodness, Sue! I am in awe of all of the things you can grow organically. I cannot grow squash or pumpkins, because I can't keep them from getting that insect that eats them at the base. I can't grow corn or sunflowers, because the squirrels eat the corn, and take the whole heads of sunflowers before they ripen. I am looking forward to the gardening season coming. Thanks for your visit to and comment on my Wildflower Wednesday post.

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    1. Hi Sue-I have never had squirrels take the sunflower heads until this past summer. I found that very odd. Guess they must do that if you're having troubles with it as well. Thanks so much for visiting! Happy ALMOST Spring!

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  19. We splurged and got me a raised 8 ft by 2 ft cold frame on legs. Hoping I can grow something! Nancy

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  20. Wow! Some of the seeds you have ordered sounds fantastic, maybe we'll have to do a seed swap if your laws allow it? I'll be posting a list of ours by the weekend

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    1. Sounds like a fun idea. Looking forward to seeing your list!

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  21. I just built a potager last summer, and have about the same amount of raised bed space as your garden, but configured differently. How many people are you growing food for? I agree, good seed is worth the price. Love mixing flowers with my veggies, especially the edible ones, and can't live without my herbs! Look forward to following your progress, and I thought "Butterscotch" squash was too delicious-sounding to pass up, too!

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    1. Hi Caroleekmbs--thanks so much for stopping. I'm looking forward to checking out your site and seeing your garden this year.
      I grow for my hubby and I and a lot of neighbors.....whether they want it or not (ha!)
      Happy Gardening in the coming season..
      :)

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  22. Have you grown mache before? I've had it on my grow list for a while and finally decided to add it to my cart this year - I've been enjoying adding more to my salads than the typical lettuce so can't wait to give it a try.

    Prices of seed do keep going up and up, but, as you say, well worth it for the hundreds/thousands it saves us on the grocery bill - not to mention the organic/super fresh/variety/satisfaction aspects of it all :) All my orders are in except for a 2nd order I had to place with Pinetree as I forgot the dang Mokum seeds...and gotta have my Mokums - we only have a few left in the cold cellar - they are so darn good!

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    1. Hi Margaret--I couldn't agree more about the Mokums! They are , by far, the best carrot on the planet. Though I do keep trying new varieties , the majority of space is devoted to those crisp, sweet delights!
      As for mache, I grew it last year and LOVED it! It's a lot smaller than I expected--not BIG like lettuce, but it adds a really nice touch to salads, and is really really cold hardy.
      Hope all is well with you-looking forward to your garden updates soon!

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  23. Wow! You are so organized and well planned...I love it. It is wonderful that you keep a diary and I am sure your garden gets better and better every year as a result. This vegetable garden look amazing!

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    1. Hi Lee-thanks so much! I appreciate your kind words.
      I've checked out your site and found a lot of great info there--will be following.

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