Wow, it is so beautiful outside today. I can't hold back one second longer, I simply must plant my seeds today. I'm starting them indoors and it's probably still a bit early, but I'm nothing if not an emotional gardener.
So up first, for all you zone 8 guys and gals, corn, tomatoes, green beans, herbs, peppers. The corn grew remarkably well last spring (remember to plant in blocks). My summer crop was awful. Tomatoes are an absolutely necessary. I am terrible about keeping the plants labeled, so I can only guess what I like; Celebrity is a tasty and hearty mid sized tomato. I'm partial to cherry tomatoes, as the experience of eating a sweet, tart tomato from the vine while it is still warm from the sun is heavenly - and you get thousands. But, my 'very most favorite' tomatoes are yellow grapes and yellow pears. I wish I could remember a specific name, but every yellow tomato I've grown and eaten has been superior to the red.
The rest? I've never actually tried green beans before because our space is limited. I grow peppers in pots, just enough for tasty salsas, though bells are nice as well. The onions and potatoes are already in the ground. I still need a good pickling cucumber. And it's still to early for okra, but soon.
Herbs * Our oregano, parsley, and chives are already growing nicely. I need more parsley for the butterfly garden. I need dill because I love it. And Lucy is planting her own herb garden to tie in with her studies. Sweet Basil from seed is remarkably easy and remarkably prolific. I literally gave it away in garbage bags full one year (perhaps I should work on my packaging). Interestingly, my plant transplants have never done as well as my seeds. Thyme is also quite easy to grow from seed. And oh my mint - I secretly delight when I see the mint stretching into the lawn, though I know my husband hates it. The smell of the mint as I mow over it on summer evenings is amazing. So I silently cheer on the mint, "Spread your little tendrils. I won't tell!"
I don't like to give advice normally, but the best gardening advice I've received myself is plant what you eat. We're not going to plant fennel or peas because no one in our family eats these things. Also, if your space is limited, look at what you can grow better than the grocery stores. For example, carrots are usually fine and cheap (even organic) and readily available at the grocery store. Frankly, the carrots from my own garden were mediocre. So we skip carrots most years.
But then the emotional gardener emerges again and thinks every child should have the experience of sneaking an ear of corn while hidden amid 5 feet tall stalks on an early summer evening.
I'm off. My apologies to those of you with snow in your forecast.