Monday, January 30, 2012


We have recently moved away from our original, tiny town homestead onto a larger lot in a smaller town!  Whew- that was a mouthful!  Let's hear it for the run-on sentence!

Our yard here is H-U-G-E!  We actually have space to divide the yard into a garden/ chicken/ bee yard and a living/ playing space.  I can't even believe that!  This is an excited girl!

There are going to be some new challenges for me in this space.  I am used to gardening in clay soil and my new yard looks like the beach.  The soil here is so sandy.  Most of my gardening dollars this year are going to be spent on building up the nutrient poor soil.  Soil health is the single most important thing in the health of the garden.  About 10 years ago my dad gave me Howard Garrett's (the Dirt Doctor) book and it has been the single most important gardening book I have ever read.  Only because at that time, I hadn't put much thought into the soil.

This weekend I had the chance to start some seeds in my fancy leftover egg cartons.  Like I said, my money this year needs to go towards healthy soil, so I determined to use seeds I already had on hand, and "seed trays" that were cheap and easy to come by.

I planted seeds and jotted them down in my gardening journal, along with the date and soil type.

So far I have planted:

tomatillo verde (2 plants)
striped Roma tomato (3)
Mary Robinson's German Bi-color tomato (2)
Purple Russian tomato (2)
Dad's Sunset tomato (1)
Turkish orange eggplant (1)
Thai yellow egg eggplant (1)
Florida Market eggplant (1)
Rotunda Bianca eggplant (1)
purple jalapeno (1)
Tam jalapeno (1)
Pasilla Bajio hot pepper (1)
green bell pepper (2) - seeds I saved from last year
banana pepper (2)
broccoli (5)

I need to procure some early girl tomato seeds and a cherry tomato seed and I think I'll be set in the tomato department.  I'd also love some red and yellow bell peppers.  Those are Moonpie's favorite.  I may even have to pay the dollar to get some.  Sound the trumpets.

And would you look at this?  My new house has window sills to put seeds on!  Oh, that makes my heart happy!

Some gardening links:

USDA hardiness zone  You must start here!  The USDA has released a new hardiness zone map.  I'm 8b now.  Who knew?  (thanks to Root Simple for this information)

Sprout Robot This is a great tool (shared by my buddy Heather)!  You can type in your zip code and they will email you about which seeds to start and when to start them.  They even have additional tips next to each plant if you need it.  This is a great resource!  Thanks Heather!

Square foot gardening  If you live in a small space, or just want to start small, this a great resource.  In our last home, this book was my go to guide.

Baker Creek Seeds

Have you gotten your hands dirty yet?  What have you started?


amanda {the habit of being} said...

so excited for you and your big backyard! can't wait to see what you do with all that space!

Rosie_Kate said...

I bet it feels so good to have space!

I still have at least a month before I get to start my tomatoes and peppers. I've been recently browsing the seed catalog, though, choosing the earliest varieties available!

Amanda said...

So exciting! But I am completely overwhelmed at the list that Sprout Robot gave me -- I am so not ready to start planting yet. Give me another couple weeks to finish painting the kitchen, please! LOL.

Poppy said...

Thanks for the great links! I love Baker Creek Seeds! I'm going to enjoy following your blog. Good luck with your "beach" of a yard!

Coby said...

Upon typing my zip code I was really disappointed with the info I got until I realized you said "plant hardiness zone" and not "plant hazardous zone." I'm hooked on phonics.