Can you believe it is finally seed season again? Ah, the trays of soil, the hundreds of little packets and grow lights. I have done less hard core planning this year and more seed organizing (my time has been spent working on a new biz). We hope to have about the same amount of growing space total as we had last summer (crossing fingers), so I have hundreds of seeds in my little seed box, organized by seed starting date ready to go.
My first big check is always what did I put in ground here at the house last summer and the summer before. Our first summer in this house was all waiting for grading and driveway and all of that, so it was a wash, but last summer I did a lot of planting. There were also many things I grew out at the goat farm garden all summer that I brought home and put in ground in the fall as well. I also have some things in buckets in corners along the house (eep) waiting for spring to get planted in.
I hope/plan that for the summer we will again have space at the goat farm, we will garden into our landscaping more at our house, and ... we bought a wooded lake lot last summer (see below) where I am planning to plant endangered/rare woodland medicinals. It is too far away and too shaded/wooded for any more organized plantings, but it is good for plants that can just be left alone and not watered by hand.
Last summer was the big #happyflowerproject where we grew flowers for the food pantry all summer. We plan to grow things for the food pantry again, but expand to food and other plants and not just flowers. And I am planning on growing even more medicinal plants and have bigger harvests! So first. In ground at the house - most planted last summer:
I also have lemon, lime, lavender, rosemary, pomegranate, ashwagandha, and cuban oregano that have been inside all winter and will go out to the deck for the summer.
I plan to grow most of the flowers from last summer in smaller quantities plus more at the house. One thing we plan to do this spring is fence our yard. We have neighbors who let their cat roam - and it uses my garden beds as a litter box and dumps half eaten carcasses daily throughout the yard all summer where I always go barefooted. So, fence. And that will help keep any future neighbors from drifting anything into our organic garden. I enjoyed the flowers more than I expected last summer - I am a practical midwestern gal after all. But they were all so beautiful and loaded with pollinators that I am keeping them this summer.
And of course medicinal and tea herbs. I grow most of these every year, but I am increasing the plantings at the home garden as I expand all of the beds.
Of course the culinary herbs are important too. These I mostly grow at home so I can snip daily at all mealtimes.
Veggies & annual fruit. We are increasing veggies this summer. We will still have our CSA for our own family, but will donate more food from our gardens to the food pantry!
And of course some greens - I'm starting out with only a few and I add them all summer.
Last year I grew dahlias from seed, so we dug up over 125 tubers last fall and have them in the cold waiting for spring planting. We also managed to plant over 200 tulip/narcissus/hyacinth bulbs and I am very excited that we will have an early burst of color! With the fence will also come some fruit and shade trees which are much needed atop our windy sunny hill - and I will start planting those in early spring.
All of this makes me sounds like I have it all together. ;) My box system of dated folders counting back from last frost date really helps keep it simple. I can just load all the seeds into their starting week folder and pull them out every week as I start another round of trays.
So that is the basic list of what I'm growing this summer! I love that I can increase the varieties every year without really adding that much extra work. One step at a time. This still doesn't include any woodland plants I want to put in at the lake, but I am thinking things like goldenseal, black cohosh, oregon grape, woodruff, eyebright, elderberry, slippery elm, hawthorn, possibly some plants in desperate need of habitat and care. The lake lot is much bigger than our home yard here, and it is in an obscure and low traffic area. It seems perfect for that!
So really all I wanted to do was post a lot of photos of the garden to remind myself that YES the never-ending winter has an end in sight and spring and summer are coming. And of course I tucked in some seed lists and all that in between. See how I did that?
Did I forget anything? What are you growing this year that you are excited about?
I am a certified aromatherapist, clinical herbalist, permaculture designer, organic gardener, plant conservationist, photographer, writer, designer, artist, nature lover, health justice activist, whole foods maker, and mother of two young adults in south central Wisconsin.
©2007-23 Denise Cusack, all photos and text. Feel free to share my posts on FB or Twitter or online media or pin on Pinterest (thank you!), but please keep the links back to my website intact (meaning please do not take or copy my images off of this website and share them unattributed or without linking back here or use them without permission). Thank you! :)
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