Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Plant a Garden!

Planting a garden is one of the most rewarding things you can do. I learned from the best, my mother. That woman has a green thumb!

I ordered some seed Sunday from Stokes Seed in Buffalo. There are so many good seed companies it is hard to pick one. Last year the local stores ran out of seed so I wanted to be sure I have what I need!

I ordered:

1 9B-1 Bush Blue Lake 274 (Bean/bush) 1 $1.85 $1.85
2 172-1 Buttercrunch (Lettuce/head) 1 $1.50 $1.50
3 121J-1 Vision (Sweet corn) 1 $5.60 $5.60
4 90F-1 Evora (Carrot/Amsterdam) 1 $2.60 $2.60
5 141L-1 Lafayette (Cucumber/pickling) 1 $2.15 $2.15
6 286-1 Melody Hyb (Spinach/semi savoy) 1 $1.95 $1.95
7 231E-1 Cascadia (Pea/sugar snap) 1 $2.10 $2.10
8 231A-1 Little Sweetie (Snow pea) 1 $2.00 $2.00

For starters! Want to try some others too but these are some of my favorites. They are so easy to grow here. We bought some of the best soil in southern Clinton County when we bought this place.

Your biggest reward will come from what you like best and what costs most in the store. Everyone has tomatoes and they are giving them away here in August. Good sweet corn is harder to come by. We eat lots of vegetables and salad is a summer mainstay so I like lots of mixed lettuce.

Snow peas and sugar snaps are best from the garden, too but my favorite vegetable is green beans. If I had to live on one food, that would be it. I rarely get enough and always eat more than anyone else around me. Have to shop for some more, I like the Benton variety but I haven't seen them yet. The seedsmen are changing variety names so quickly now it is hard to keep up with them.

Many of you already have a garden but if you don't, pick the best soil you have near the house. That is easy here, it is all good soil. We tore up some lawn to start ours. A neighbor came with a tractor and tiller and tilled it up two different days for twenty dollars. I can't own a good tiller for that but I do have a small one for cultivating. I will find a good one for a cheap price someday for the 1655 or DX24E.

Sample the soil as soon as possible, send it off to a lab like Midwest Labs and follow the recommendations from the results. Most call for lime in Ohio unless it has really been taken care of. All of our ash is spread on that part of the lawn to keep the pH near 7.0 and the calcium content high.

You can plant your peas, lettuce and cole crops early as the soil is dry enough. Frost keeps the tomatoes and lush vegetables from being planted real early before May. After Easter is a good rule to follow but other crops can be planted before then.

If you have a larger garden like our 40 by 60 foot area, you can easily produce a thousand dollars worth of food for less than $100 with part time labor before and after work. Gardening is very therapeutic by nature, too.

With grandkids now we have no excuse not to garden. They need to know where their food comes from and how to grow it!

I am liming and fertilizing the area between our two remaining apple trees for new fruit plantings. Hurricane Ike got our good Jonathon and only the yellow delicious and red delicious are left. They have the right root stock, the Jonathon didn't. It blew out of the ground in the high winds.

The new plantings will be on good rootstock adapted to our area. I want to try some Fuji and that crispy variety and another Jonathon or two. Seven apple trees for seven grandchildren and one for Rolan Steinlage, our new friend in Iowa.

What will you plant this year?

Ed Winkle


  1. Very good article on gardening! I would suggest Garden Harvest Supply as a good online resource for potted vegetable plants.

  2. Thanks! Never tried them. I just may do that! We support our local suppliers Bill Boehm and Danny Grant and Steve Boehme, they are good farmers and have done so much for our local communities. Danny is the best supporter of FFA I ever had as a teacher and I had some great ones! Only Steve has a website of the three,