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Seeds for Spring & Summer

January 16, 2011

I finally received my seed orders in the mail last week. (Made orders into Seed Savers Exchange & J.L. Hudson) Most of the order consists of veggies I want to plant now, in January, and then a couple months later in March or April.  This month I’m going to start some of the medium-sized vining plants and some plants that need a bit of cold to taste good, not bolt, etc…  I’m having some doubts about the success of the colder weather plants, though.  It’s been a nice chilly 50 degrees during the day for the last couple of weeks so I thought I might be able to get away with it.  But starting just a couple of days ago,  the weather warmed up to 80 degrees!  What? So, I’ve decided to hold off on trying to plant the Red Russian & Lacinto Kale until the Fall.  Here’s what my January list looks like:

  • Nantes Carrots
  • Dragon Carrots
  • Red Malabar Spinach ( a vining spinach that’s perennial in mild climates.  I love the idea of this vegetable so much, it’ll get it’s own post as soon as it gets going.
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard
  • Butternut Squash (seeds going right into the ground)
  • Nasturtium Blue Pepe (yummy young tender leaves & pretty flowers)
  • Gobo or Great Burdock

Another thing I’m trying for the first time is chayote.  Chayote is a pear-shaped fruit, belonging to the gourd family.  It grows on a vine, which can reach up to 12 meters.  We’re going to trellis-up the side fence and see if we can’t get 2 chayote plants to cover the whole thing before summer’s end.

You can eat more than just the fruit of this plant too.  The root, stem, leaves, shoots, & leaves are all edible, making this a great food plant to add to your apocalypse-ready farm.  And it’s a vertical growing vegetable, saving ground space for other fruits & vegetables.

I bought the 2 chayotes above from Vallarta, a little more a month ago, when they were more plump & didn’t yet have the vine growing out.  I had them sitting on my kitchen counter for a few weeks and, all by themselves, they started sprouting.  Neat!  Now that the vines are a little over 6″, I’m supposed to put the fruits 3/4 of the way into the ground at an angle so that part of the smaller side of the fruit and the tip of the vine are both sticking up from the dirt.  Super excited to see how this goes.

Oh AND – I’ve tried to seed a night-scented garden twice now, with absolutely NO success.  I’ve been trying to grow Night-scented Stock, Night Phlox, & Night Scented Tobacco for the last year and just haven’t been able to get the seeds to sprout.  I decided to try them one last time,  since I was seeding the January veggies anyway.  Amazingly, the Night-Scented Stock started to sprout this morning! I’m not exactly sure why it worked this time, but I’m pretty pleased about it.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2011 3:08 PM

    Nice post. What part of the country are you located in? Here in the Northeast we are under a bit of snow. Keep up the great work.

    • January 16, 2011 6:05 PM

      I’m in Los Angeles – in the hotter area of the San Fernando Valley. But today was almost 85 degrees, which is high even for this area, this time of the year! I wish I didn’t have to wait until September to grow some of these leafy greens.

      • January 17, 2011 6:03 PM

        I can’t even imagine 85 today, we are excited about a high of 37 tomorrow. What are your growing seasons in the Valley? Forgive me if you have posted this before, but how much space to have to work with?

      • January 23, 2011 4:14 PM

        In January I plant the last the leafy greens, carrots, etc… to finish up before the summer starts. Depending on how warm it is I also plant trees around this time. In March I start seeds for squash, tomatoes, corn.. i have to wait until October to really start planting the cold weather vegetables. It can stay into the 90s up until mid October. I don’t have a ton of space…about 500 square feet – but a pretty good size for Los Angeles. How big is your growing area? From your site, it looks pretty substantial!

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