I think Spring is coming.  At least I hope it is.

My plants are going gangbusters.  My paperwhites from Christmas are finally blooming.  And my orchid has bloomed twice (it’s still in the same spot on the kitchen counter by the way.  It’s doing to darn well to move it).  Even my violets are getting into the act.

And now?  It’s that time of year!  When the seed catalogs start arriving and my thoughts turn to the garden.

(For those of you in a more temperate clime, I may seem to be behind the times.  But please keep in mind my last frost will likely be in mid-June.  I don’t even think of putting the good stuff in the ground until Memorial Day.  And then I hover over the forecast every night with my old sheets at the ready.)

I’m considering starting more plants from seed this year.  I often get lazy and just buy my cukes, tomatoes, peppers, and onions in plant form from the garden center.  But I really want to spend my money there on landscaping plants this year, so I’m thinking it’s time to go back to the old fashioned way of doing things:  gather seeds where I can, borrow plants from friends when they split them (rhubarb), and purchase good quality seeds.

Since my garden has expanded nearly 3 fold in size (or more), I’m thinking ambitious this year.  I really want to be able to put up enough that we can eat all summer and have enough to make it through winter.  Here’s my list of what I’d like to have:

  1. Asparagus
  2. Beets
  3. Broccoli
  4. Carrots
  5. Celery Root (we really like this in our Turkey day stuffing, so why not try it?)
  6. Corn (Yes, the failure is going to torture me.)
  7. Cucumber
  8. Garlic
  9. Green Beans
  10. Horseradish
  11. Lima Beans
  12. Onion
  13. Parsnips
  14. Bell Peppers
  15. Jalapenos
  16. Peas
  17. Potatoes
  18. Pumpkins
  19. Radish
  20. Rutabaga
  21. Acorn Squash
  22. Spaghetti Squash
  23. Zucchini
  24. Sweet Potatoes
  25. Tomatoes (regular, cherry, and pear)
  26. Turnips
  27. Watermelon
  28. Basil
  29. Strawberries
  30. Rhubarb
  31. Dill
  32. Sunflowers

That’s in the main garden.  Most of those I’ve grown here before.  Some are new, but I figure if we’ve got the space we might as well try ’em.  Up near the house, I hope to have a couple small areas out back for herbs.  (Basil is in the main garden because we use a ton of it…it needs space.  Same with the dill.)  In that area I’m looking at thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley, sage, chives, and maybe some funky basil like purple or chocolate.

I’m looking forward to having a garden again.  Except for the idea of running into major league sized snakes.  The little green guys I can deal with.  It’s the big black ones that freak me out.  So here’s hoping they’ll stay down in the long grass and leave my garden alone. (Yes, I know I’m kidding myself.  Leave me to my delusions for a few more months, thanks.)  Anyway, the first step is to gather my seeds.  So I’m perusing seed catalogs and finding those that offer me short season plants.  (38 days for turnips?  That we can do.  100 days for a ‘mater?  No siree.)  Then I have to start hassling my husband about putting up the fence.  Because anything we plant will not last if we don’t have a fence.  There are at least a half dozen deer in residence on the property.  They’ll clear those tender plantings out in one night.  Easy-peasy.  Then the question is do I need to worry about the guinea hens getting in?  What about the pocket gophers?  They never bothered my other garden (just our apple trees and shrubs), but are these guys more rogue?  And I haven’t seen any rabbits around, but you just know as soon as I plant my bounty they’re gonna show up in spades.

Suddenly my gardening dreams are turning into nightmares…