Starting My 2020 Quarantine Garden

It feels like forever since I’ve written about gardening.  Not that it hasn’t been on my mind.  I think about it all the time.  Every time I’m in the grocery store I think about what I can grow from scraps, what seeds can I save, what herbs can I grow on my windowsill.  Sometimes though I believe that just like the plants you need a sunny day when you feel good about yourself and what you have accomplished to unlock the flood of ideas onto paper (or keyboard).

After a fruitful morning of letter writing and helping a dear friend learn how to use Zoom I knew it was time to turn my attention to my garden.  First of all, I had to make sure my Master Gardener friend had my order for this year’s plantings before I did anything else.  She told us all that though the yearly Master Gardener’s sale was cancelled that she would take our orders, collect the monies and deliver the plants to our doorstep – in the most COVID-19 friendly way.  Thank goodness for PayPal, the mail and great friends!

The week got away from me – letter writing, checking on my sick brother and sister-in-law, getting groceries, and general house management – and I let several tasty choices slip through my fingers.  Thankfully, I was able to reserve some good selections for making wonderful summer dishes, canning, drying and otherwise preserving.

My OSU Master Gardener’s Order – 

  • Basil Perpetuo
  • Basil Emerald Tower
  • Tomato Tonapath
  • Tomato Brandywine Pink
  • Pepper New Ace
  • Pepper Numex
  • Pepper Serrano
  • Rhubarb
  • Tall Phlox

I missed out of some Super Sauce Tomatoes which are GIANT Romas good for sauce and canning and Grape Tomatoes which are my favorite for salads and snacking.  Jalapeños are my favorite straight from the garden and it turns out everyone else’s as well.  Thankfully, I have a repository of seeds saved from open pollinated plantings and purchases from over the years that will allow me to start a few things directly in the garden soil.

Seeds to Direct Sow in Zone 6a:

  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Zucchini
  • Pumpkin
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Various Salad Greens
  • Swiss Chard
  • Kale
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Green Beans
  • Cilantro

Obviously, there are loads more seeds that can be direct sown throughout the year, but these some of the ones my family and friends most likely to eat.  So, in addition to choosing what I want to plant I’m brushing up on companion plantings, planting mediums, garden amendments, compost making and even hydroponics.

Wanna learn more about those things?  Check out these books:

The Hydroponic Garden Secret: How to Grow More Food Faster All Year Long by The Alternative Daily

 No Waste Kitchen Gardening: Regrow Your Leftover Greens, Stalks, Seeds and More by Katie Elzer-Peters

Vegetables Love Flowers by Lisa Mason Ziegler

Straw Bale Solutions: Creative Tips for Growing Vegetables in Bales at Home, in Community Gardens, and around the World Straw Bale Solutions by Joel Karsten

The Pollinator Victory Garden by Kim Eierman, Founder of EcoBeneficial

Mastering The Art of Vegetable Gardening by Matt Mattus

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