Taking Stock

Now that the weather is warming up (it still snowed this morning) I’m thinking about starting seeds indoors for the season. Thanks to our good friend, Global Warming, this year’s average last frost is predicted to occur around May 8. As such, it’s time to start my early transplants. In preparation for this I took a look at my stock of seeds from last year, and made a plan for this year’s garden.

5-All Seeds

My garden has four raised beds and a dug tomato patch. I can’t very well rotate the tomatoes, but I’ll try to do some rotation among the beds.

Last year, some of our plants did wonderfully, and others flopped. The entire squash family performed poorly due to vine borers getting in early. We had melons, summer squash, zucchini, cucumber, and two varieties of pumpkin in the ground. We harvested some squash and a few cucumbers but that was it. This year, we’ll have to prepare for vine borers by covering the lower part of each stalk.


On the other hand, our kale did phenomenally well. We were never wanting for kale, and I still have some frozen. Unfortunately, we planted every last seed so I’ll have to buy more. This is one that I’ll start indoors, along with broccoli, cabbage, tomatillos, and herbs.


Tomatillos are distant relatives of the tomato. We grew them in the tomato patch and they did quite well for us. I did learn that I need to prune and stake them (a lesson learned about tomatoes as well). As far as tomatoes are concerned, we grew “Black Krim” and heirloom variety, last year, along with a few hybrids. We’ll definitely grow the Krims again, and I’m thinking of doing Roma tomatoes as well, for canning. I think, however, that I’ll buy started tomato plants.


I planted a couple of marigolds last year to keep pests out of the beds, and they didn’t do so well. This year, I’ll grow more of them and hope they do better.

4-Morning Glory

Morning glories are one of my favorite flowers. While the varieties grown for flowers is not edible, sweet potatoes and water spinach are morning glories as well. I like them for trellises and railings. The railing on our deck worked well for them last year, and I’ll grow them again. This time I’ll also add runner beans and cucumber to the railing.

As I’ve mentioned, I plan to grow potatoes in tires. Other plants that I need to get seeds for are bush beans, beets, and carrots. I also want to get onion starts and try them this year.

And in the spirit of inspirational quotes:

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

     a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV)

I don’t quote the bible often, but Ecclesiastes speaks to me for some reason.

Is anyone else planning a garden right now?

~The Homesteading Hippy

12 thoughts on “Taking Stock

  1. Dave Benson

    We planted tomato seeds about 10 days ago and they’re looking good already. Our average last frost here (Southwest NH) is May 20th (!). We keep a close eye on the extended forecasts, and last year I needed to put a ‘hothouse’ around the outdoor plants in late May.

    1. The Homesteading Hippy Post author

      I’m going to the garden store today. If they have good varieties, I might try growing tomatoes from seeds. I’ve only ever done starts, but I can always fall back to that if seeds don’t work for me. Traditionally here in VT, Memorial Day is considered to be the first safe weekend to plant tender crops, but I think that’s only if you don’t want to check the forecast and cover your plants.
      ~The Homesteading Hippy

      1. Dave Benson

        We’re partial to Amish Pastes- similar to the Romas. We had only 4 plants last year- we’re going for 24 plants in the ground this year. Lots of canning jars on hand, and we’ll borrow a neighbor’s juicer. We had poor luck starting from seed on a windowsill- all spindly. We now have a 14W blue LED light, and it does a wonderful job.

  2. Jan Ray

    I’m thinking about planting tomato seeds directly in the ground. I have heirloom tomatoes which dropped seed last year coming up. I’m thinking they’ll take a bit longer, but be stronger for the start>>>>who knows

    1. The Homesteading Hippy Post author

      Thanks for your comment! Where are you gardening? I think if I tried that here the season would be too short to get any good harvest. I worked at the greenhouse where I’ve bought my starts, so I knew which ones were doing the best (and I got a nice discount…). If I find a good variety, maybe I will try starting a few tomato seeds inside. I’ve always heard that it’s difficult, but I guess self-sufficiency isn’t necessarily an easy venture.
      ~The Homesteading Hippy

  3. Jan Ray

    I’m in Central Texas, our last frost date is usually mid April, so I think I’m safe. I just want to try it. We’ll see.

  4. Jan Ray

    I’ve found the secret to starting any seeds indoors is heat mats under the starts, as well as lights put right over them, raise the light source as they grow. They’ll get very spindly otherwise.

  5. Growing Up in the Garden

    I garden in Southern California and we start our tomato seeds in February/March. My seedlings are already going into the ground! A thought about crop rotation and tomatoes. Tomatoes are especially susceptible to disease. They are more prone to pests and disease if grown in the same spot every year….I move my tomatoes every year and have grown them in raised beds and dug into the ground and they do well in both places. Have fun planning and planting this year’s garden!

    1. The Homesteading Hippy Post author

      Thank you for the insights. I’m so jealous of your climate right now… I guess I should have clarified in my post, though, that my raised beds are located over a septic drain field, so I’ve lined the bottom to keep roots from reaching through. I like to plant my tomatoes deep, so that wouldn’t work in these beds. If I had to do it over, I would have built my beds with two boards rather than one, so that I could have deeper soil in them.
      ~The Homesteading Hippy

      1. Growing Up in the Garden

        Ah yes, every garden is unique. I can’t complain about the climate here in S California. Every time we even talk about the possibility of moving I think about having to give up the year around growing season. Don’t know if I could do it….

  6. Pingback: I planted my first seeds of the year! | The Homesteading Hippy

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