Garden time is nearing

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Rich Creason

As I sit at my table looking out the front window, I see blowing snow. The temperature has risen from minus nine to four above zero.

We are just a few days into winter and what am I doing? Making out my garden seed order.

I already have several seed catalogs that have arrived in the mail. I usually receive about 15 of these by the middle of February.

I am currently going through the Baker Creek Heirloom seeds one.

I have ordered from them several times and I enjoy looking at all the unusual varieties they offer. I especially like them because they offer free shipping.

Last year, because of my health problems and both of my rototillers being down, I planted very little in my garden.

That means most of my 3,500-square-foot garden grew only weeds.

My 250-square-foot raised bed was filled with potato plants and some pepper plants.

This year, I have one of my tillers running, and I am in slightly better condition than last year, so most of my garden will be used.

While I usually just plant fruit and vegetables, I am ordering some flower seed for my wife Susie to grow in her flower garden in the front of the house.

In the catalog, I have circled a couple different cockscomb varieties and some assorted coleus seeds to start indoors.

I will let a lady at our church start her tomato plants and I will buy a dozen or so plants from her and save me the trouble of starting them myself.

Assorted sweet peppers will also be started in my garage, then moved outdoors to my mini greenhouses before going in the garden.

Another thing I like in this catalog is their colored corn choices.

I have circled the Hopi turquoise variety for one. In the picture, it is a gorgeous blue kernel with some white sprinkled in. I also like the atomic orange corn.

I grow these colored corns to tie to my front porch, still on the stalks, for fall decoration.

This is also my source for sunflower seeds. They have a Mongolian giant variety I have purchased before. The heads get over 15 inches across and the stalks are well over 12 feet tall. They make great display on the porch (with the stalks cut down), and the birds love the one-inch-plus seeds.

I also will get the mammoth grey striped sunflower. This is the favorite seed for my visiting blue jays. While not as big as the mammoth, they are still 10 feet tall with 12-inch heads.

The black beauty zucchini will be another choice from this company. I plan on making a lot of breads, cupcakes, cakes and other desserts from the fruits of this plant.

Spaghetti squash is something I haven’t grown for many years, but I think I will put out a few seeds this year and see how they do.

I noticed a wide variety of melons in the catalog this year. I don’t usually plant melons. For some reason, my garden doesn’t grow melons very well.

I picked a super sweet orange watermelon to try. Maybe if I give it extra special care, I will get a few melons to taste.

As with all the other choices, the picture looks great. I don’t have any good recipes for pictures though.

Since I like to make pies, I also chose a garden huckleberry. It says the taste is reminiscent of blackberry or gooseberry. It says they are easy to grow and “easy” is a word I like.

I have my choices made, but I haven’t figured out the amount of each pick, so I don’t have a total price yet. I may have to cut out something if the final figure is too big.

Rich Creason is an award-winning outdoors and travel writer whose work has appeared in local, regional, national and international publications for 40 years. Born in Anderson, he is a graduate of Markleville High School. He lives in South Madison County with his wife, Susie. He may be contacted at [email protected]

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