January is the perfect time to sit down with a cup of tea, browse through seed catalogues, and begin to figure out exactly how many plants of each variety I’ll need to plant in the coming month, when I’ll plant them, and where. Which will be a one-time planting? Which crops will I plant successively? For example, to have a steady crop of lettuce, I’ll be planting and transplanting lettuce seedlings every 2-3 weeks. Which seeds shall I start indoors, which in my cold frames, and which prefer to be direct seeded?
As many of you know, I’m offering shares beginning in May so I’ll be working closely with season extensions such as my cold frames, our make-shift cold house and row covers. As I write this, my dear husband is transforming the T5 bulbs of my sun lamp (used during those long winters in western MA) into a functioning grow-light for seedlings. And so my first planting of lettuce (to be transplanted into our cold frames) will be Feb. 1st- only 2 weeks away!
As for varieties, here are a few things I plan to offer this season, listed in no particular order:
- Lettuce: Nancy, Baby Oakleaf, Rouge D’hiver
- Salad Mix: Encore, Ovation Mix
- Onions: New York Early, Redwing, Purplette
- Cabbage: Red Express
- Beans: Provider, Dragon’s Tongue, Purple Pod Pole
- Peas: Sugarsnap
- Carrots: Negovia, Naploi
- Eggplant: Listada de Gandia, Rosa Bianca
- Broccoli: Belstar
- Basil: Genovese
- Beets: Merlin
- Swiss Chard: Five Color Silverbeet
- Cut Flowers: Chinese Aster, Globe Amaranth, Love Lies Bleeding, Red Cap Zinnia, Sea Shells Mix, Strawflower Mix (one of my faves), Jolly Jester (marigolds)
And of course there will be Kale, Arugula, Melons, Cucumbers, Summer Squash and Winter Squash, Tomatoes (from my own seed collection as well as a few varieties from Johnny’s), Peppers and Potatoes. And how could I forget? LOTS of spinach. Everyone asked for spinach last year and this year I’m determined for there to be plenty.
I’ll up-date with a “finalized” list but before then, if you’ve bought or are planning to buy a CSA share, I’d love your in-put. I buy quite a few of my seeds from Johnny’s Selected Seeds and you’re welcome to browse through their catalogue and send me your suggestions.