The late-night online seed orders have been coming in fast and furious, and I've just been shoving them in the big plastic container of seedy madness and waiting for a free moment to sort them out. I had a great system of envelopes at the beginning of last year, but somehow I still ended up with this giant mess. I seem to have eleven thousand varieties of lettuce, and enough tomatoes to satisfy the needs of several large Italian families. If only I had the space to plant them all!
I'm planning to try a few new vegetables this year; I've tracked down a short-season sweetcorn that might just work in the sunny spot in the middle of the backyard. The variety is Yukon Chief from Victory Seeds in the US (I couldn't find a Canadian source, not even in the actual Yukon). It is supposed to be a fairly compact plant, with each stalk bearing multiple ears. I've never grown corn before, and in fact very few people around here do, but if these seeds do well, perhaps that will change. I bought a packet for the Rabbittown Community Garden, too. Since there isn't really any corn growing near either location, we should be able to save some seed without any concern about it crossing. Who knows, it just might work.
Like all the other cold-climate gardening folk, I've been reading my way through the winter. These two books have been especially pleasant to flip through while the snow falls outside:
I'm very interested in Charles Dowding's no-dig method, not least of all because I am a very lazy gardener and would rather not do any more back-breaking labour than absolutely necessary. I think a lot of the labour we take on in the garden is simply to make us feel like we're doing something. It's the worms' job to integrate compost or manure into the soil: why do we insist on micromanaging?
Tammi Hartung's book is just gorgeous - beautifully illustrated, and full of suggestions for attracting more creatures to your garden, because more creatures means better balance and a more productive, less labour-intensive garden. Now, I say this as someone who lives in a place without squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, possums, tomato hornworms, or, to the best of my knowledge, squash vine borers. But if I can attract creatures to eat the slugs and cabbage worms, I'll be a very happy lady.
So my plan for this evening: seed-sorting. It's going to take a while. But since our last average frost date is still 3 1/2 months away, what else do I have to do?