Well the blog was mostly a fail last year. I was faithful right up until vacation. Then upon return after two weeks in the sun, there was no time for anything but weeding. Turns out Mar-Duke allotments has a whole lot of rather aggressive weeds just below the surface, that grow a foot if you turn away for a few moments. Nevertheless, I harvested enough and enjoyed it enough to give it another go this year.
Today I chose my new allotment space. This year I was smarter. Last year I went with the "I dont want to be near anyone" theme and paid for it by long long walks to water and my car and also getting regularly creeped out by creepers stalking around near the bushes. This year, I went with "less walking more gardening, in the people zone and organic too". I snagged up a double organic right next to the water and the car. I am as always, optimistic!
The sprouts are off and running. I have no idea what to plant when anymore. I typically ignore all the finger wagging rules and go with what feels right and it has always worked, however Global warming is giving us week long stretches in the 60's in mid february and we have had virtually no snow all winter--in Chicago. So this year..should be interesting.
I've decide to kick off the season with a full confession. I will share what I am planting, and why.
If you are a novice gardener, run away. Not much learning is forthcoming. Marketing students, however may clean a bit of intel here.
East Indian Lemongrass: I have no idea how to grow it or cook with it. I bought it because I can't have a lemon tree in Chicago.
Celery: Peppermint Stick: Celery is rather annoying to grow, but I do like Christmas so maybe this one is OK.
Onion: Flat of Italy All the other onion pictures were yellow this packet had purple onions on it. (Not a single one of these have sprouted yet.)
Onion: Walla Walla: I like to say walla walla
Onion: Yellow Sweet Spanish Utah: I read an internet post that said walla walla sucked and spanish was better. I almost didn't buy it because it had Utah in its name. (take not marketing students)
Leeks: I cook with leeks maybe once a year. I planted King Richard and King Mussleberg both because leeks look like swords and the image of the dueling kings amused me.
Shallots: (Zebrune): They cook with these a lot on top chef so they must be superior right?
Malabar spinach: red Stem: I like this stuff. Its like a spinach vine with thick leaves and alien purple berries. It never bolts either.
Kale: Beira Tronchuda: they used the words "exceptionally sweet" and rare gem in the description.
Kale: Redbor: ITS MAGENTA!
Chard: Joys Midnight: Because when I was growing Rainbow Lights chart I had to spout so many extra seeds to get the colors I really wanted: Dark leaves and red stem. In this variety, ALL seeds yield that coloration.
Golden Purslane: The seed package said "succulent" and "golden" and "soothing". Its like magic
Lettuce: Truchas: "Breathtaking"; "crimson with green ribs" "refined" "delight to each" "melt in your mouth" "utterly bitter free" Talk about magic art deco lettuce!
Lettuce: "Flashy Trouts Back" Because this is the dumbest name for lettuce ever and I felt sorry for it.
Lettuce: "Flashy Butter Oak": Its green with maroon spots and a butterhead.
Lettuce: Avicenna: ITS RUBY COLORED!
Watercress: Does good floating around the pond on the floating islands.
Daikon: Because I thought this was a radish and the picture has a lettuce on it that looks like a plant from the little shop of horrors so it had me puzzled. $4.95! for these seeds that I bought just because I wanted to know what it was.
Chicory: Treviso Mesola and Grumolo Rosso Because both of these sound pretty and if it turns out I dont like chicory, at least they will look nice.
Zinnas: 3 different packages of purple and orange. Because I like their gall
Zinnas: Flower is green Because its so weird
Amaranth: Rio San Lorenzo: Because the flowers were so pretty and amaranth seems so old and wise.
Cabbage: Ruby Ball Because its red and "can sit in the garden for 6 weeks unfazed..." at my neglect.
Cauliflower: Veronica BECAUSE ITS CHARTREUSE, which in my head meant red, until I remembered it was neon green which disappointed me at first until I decide neon was also cool
Cauliflower: Mulberry: "the color deepens to a blue-purple! Are you kidding me. MUST HAVE IT
Broccoli: Purple Peacock: Last year I bought it because it was purple. It would not sprout. This year I have it because its a battle of wills thing.
Broccoli: Di Cicco: Because if you want your kids to eat veggies some of them have to look normal.
Brussels Sprouts: Rubine Because my sister in law makes tasty brussel sprouts and I am currently annoyed with her and this variety is purple red, which is obviously superior to her boring green ones.
Poor Mans Weather Glass: first it is a blue flower, second it tells the weather. No brainer.
Cosmos: Double Click Cranberries: Because they look less straggly in their picture
Basil: Sacred: Because I liked the zen seed pack.
Basil: Napoletano: Because I love it
Basil: Genovese: Because everyone grows it.
Basil: Cinnamon: Its a PIA to grow but it tastes sweeter so I love it.
Oregano: White Flowered Greek: Because the seed was organic and an heirloom and its for the bees, maybe the bees need so more old fashioned awesome in their diet.
This is getting kind of long. I will do tomatoes, peppers and other stuff tomorrow. Its time to cook tilapia and do my evening seedling stalking to see who sprouted.