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New Year, New Garden

It is January and spring is right around the corner. Today I will tell you what I do this month to get ready for my spring garden.


I always review what worked last year in the garden (not a whole lot honestly) and what did not and reevaluate everything, from what varieties I grow to where I plant them.


Lemon cucumbers, they were the best tasting cucumbers and did not get bitter. They will forever have a spot in my garden.

Honey rock melons, super prolific, and so so good!

Giant Purple Mustard, so easy to grow, so tasty, can handle the cold, and oh so good for you.

Garlic, so easy, so tasty, will forever have a spot in my garden. My favorite from last year were the Amish Rocambole and Persian Star.

Potatoes will always be a staple in my garden. Nothing tastes better than a garden fresh potato.


Inchelum Red Garlic, huge bulbs, but lacking flavor.

Every Variety of Tomato. Yep, not kidding. Let me be clear I harvested a lot of tomatoes BUT that is because I had about 25 plants. I got a handful or so from each but not the huge amount I was hoping for, so I am trying all new varieties this year. I wanted to grow big giant tomatoes that everyone sees on social media, but that did not work for me so I will reevaluate what varieties I grow and try again this year.

Big Max Pumpkin, never got a single one.

Cinderella Pumpkin, got one tiny one.

Jubilee Watermelon, got blossom end rot, and were tiny. They did taste delicious though.

A lot of things I grew in my garden were just okay also. Tomatillos, they were yummy and prolific but we just didn't eat as many as we thought we would so we probably won't grow them again.

Armenian cucumbers were the same. They tasted good and grew fine, but the lemon cucumbers were just so much better.

My beans were MEH, which is why I am trying some new varieties this year.

It is so important that you grow what you eat (or want to share). Here comes a big truth, I didn't really like veggies much, but I am learning to love them. Partially because I know they are good for me, but also because homegrown, organic veggies taste so much better than store bought.


Every year I hand draw a garden map. Every year it ends up nowhere near what my map says for various reason. Some plants don't make it or I just change my mind when I get out there. I have not done my map yet, but once I do I will add a photo here. There are also online programs and apps you can use to map out your garden if you don't like the old-fashioned pen and paper method.

It important to map out your garden plans before you start planting so you can make sure you will have enough space for everything you want to grow. Do your research, know how much space and light your seeds/plants will need before you get going so you aren't met with disappointment when it come time to transplant your seedlings and there isn't enough room or lighting isn't quite where you thought it'd be.

Whatever you do, don't lose your garden map! I may be guilty of this.


I am adding a ton of new varieties to my garden this year. Here is a list of the new seeds I will be trying this year:

  • Lemon Zucchini

  • Cocozelle Zucchini

  • Black Beauty Zucchini

  • Fordhook Zucchini

  • White Bush Scallop Squash

  • Spaghetti Squash

  • Burgess Buttercup Squash Blue Hubbard Squash

  • Delicata Squash

  • Marina Di Chioggia Squash

  • Dragon's Egg Cucumber

  • Jarrahdale Pumpkin

  • Sugar Pie Pumkin

  • Long Island Cheese Pumpkin

  • Jack Be Little Pumpkin

  • Winter Luxery Pumpkin

  • Luffa Gourd

  • Amish Paste Tomato

  • Orange Roussollini Tomato

  • White Tomesol Tomato

  • Amana Tomato

  • Pink Oxheart Tomato

  • Wapsipinicon Peach Tomato

  • Barry's Crazy Cherry Tomato

  • Cherokee Purple Tomato

  • Napa Chardonannay Tomato

  • Rose Tomato

  • Quadrato D'Asti Rossa Sweet Pepper

  • Yellow Monster Pepper

  • Banana Pepper

  • Lesya Pepper

  • Pepperoncini Pepper

  • Etiuda Pepper

  • Mini Bell Peppers

  • Red Noodle Beans

  • Dragon Tongue Beans

  • Borlotto Di Vigevano Nano Beans

  • Blauhilde Beans

  • More Flowers (not sure the specifics yet, definitely marigold, calendula, and zinnias

I will honestly have some other seed varieties as well...because....well...I am ADDICTED!

(My favorite place to get seeds is MIGardener and Baker Creek.)

4. Planting Seed Starts

The date you should start your seeds varies for every individual based on your last frost date. You should be able to google your zip code and find the answer pretty easily. According to google, my last frost date is May 20th this year.

Another consideration is what seeds you are starting inside and what you will start outdside. Each seed pack should tell you how early to start your seeds and whether to do it indoors or outdoors.

I ALWAYS start peppers and tomatoes indoors about 8 to 12 weeks before the last frost date. This year I will also be starting some flowers, artichokes, luffa gourd, and sweet potato slips indoors in the coming weeks.

I direct sow everything else because we have a long growing season. If your season is shorter you may need to start more of your seeds inside to get the most out of the plant.

(My next blog will be all about starting seeds, so stay tuned.)


Gardening allows for fun experimentation. You can grow fruits and veggies you have never even heard of and try them for the first time. Even better, if you don't like something I am sure you can find someone in your circle that does to share with and it doesn't get much better than that.

Happy New Year and Happy New Garden!


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