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It's time in my neck of the woods to begin thinking about what seeds to order for the coming gardening season.  In March I generally start a number of crops indoors here in northern Vermont so that they'll be ready to venture outside for hardening off in mid- to late-April.  Three or four tomato varieties, all my crucifers (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbages), melons and winter squash, basil, dill, and parsley, and some heading lettuce.  Often I try something new, like eggplant or artichokes (the artichokes didn't do so well). 

I'm wondering whether anyone else gets started indoors.

Since I have just posted these photos elsewhere, I thought I might as well post them here, too.  These are of last year's garden in late July and in early November:

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I plant in wide beds to minimize foot traffic and compaction and to make the weeding easier. 

In the July photo:  R to L, Bed 1: bibb lettuce, yellow onions, beets, redleaf lettuce, garlic. Bed 2: basil, early Tenderpod beans, Brussels sprouts. Bed 3: broccoli, and red cabbage. Beds 4, 5, and 6: Better Boy tomatoes, Jet Stars, and romas (30 plants total). Beyond those, bed 7, lots of leeks and French filet beans (Triomphe de Farcy). Bed 8: carrots, Nantes half-long and A-1 Burpee hybrid, later leaf lettuces, rainbow chard, and spinach. Beds 9 and 10: butternut squash, acorn squash, zucchini, and yellow summer squash. And to the rear: the asparagus. The bushes to the left are high bush blueberry.  To the rear of the camera is the raspberry patch.

In the November picture, it's easier to see the blueberries to the left of the tilled garden and to the right what's left of the rhubarb--which is really prolific.  The small tree in the middle is a red oak I planted about 10 years ago.  The big, roundish, bare hardwood tree against the sky is a white ash--which wasn't even a sapling when I bought the land (54 acres) in 1974. 

In the July pic, you can just see a corner of the house (with satellite dish).  When it's clear, the Presidential range of the toothy White Mountains in New Hampshire occupies the southeast horizon--Mt. Madison, Mt. Adams, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Washington, the tallest mountain in the northeast and the place where the strongest wind gust was ever recorded, 237 MPH. 

Nice garden. I'm jealous. =)

I live in a Condo and have not yet convinced my neighbors to start a community garden. I only grow herbs in pots for now. If they don't want the garden again this year I may try some tomatoes tin pots as well, but not much I can do and stay within our rules.

Thanks, Neal.  Seems to me that if the space for your community garden is on condo property, all it would take is your constructing a couple of small raised beds for yourself, say two 4-by-8-foot frames, wherein you might raise some lettuces, beans, arugula, radishes, and so on.  Seeing's believing.  Soon as they see that it can be done, they'll be joining you.

Meanwhile, consider the upside-down tomato planter.  There are lots of types.

We have a lot of unused land, a garden would be nice. The planned construction was cut short by the housing market, so empty space everywhere.

You can get a surprisingly large amount of production out of a relatively small area of well-cultivated soil.  Wide beds--beds you can prepare and then never walk on--can be densely planted according to a given plant's thinning instructions, disregarding the "width between rows."  In and populated areas it's often no problem to get free grass clippings and raked leaves, which can be dug into the beds in October/November to enrich the soil organically.

I'm jealous too. I want to eat all those vegetables...NOW!


I buy most of my seeds locally--from High Mowing, a really great outfit only about 20 miles from where I.  Some I buy from Johnny's, some from Burpee, because I have favorites there.  And some, like watermelon, dill, squash, and so on, I save from year to year.


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