Garden plans for 2021: orders in, and probably way too much!

I posted previously about seeds we ordered from Rare Seeds. Since then, I’ve placed another small order from them, which I will talk about below. (all links should open in new tabs, so you won’t lose your place. 🙂 )

The problem is, our first order hasn’t arrived yet. It has been shipped and, as far as my account on the website states, it’s complete. It should have arrived by now.

Could it be stuck at the border? I don’t know. I’ve emailed them and asked. Hopefully, they will be able to find out at their end.

A lot of the stuff on my wish list there is out of stock, so when I had the chance, I did place another order while what I wanted was available. This is what I will be getting (along with a free packet of mystery flowers).

Hopi Black Dye Sunflower. I’m really excited about this. Not only is it supposed to be a good eating sunflower, but it can be used to make a purple dye. After what happened when we planted sunflowers last year, we ordered 2 packages of these.

Mongolian Giant Sunflower. I love how they use small children to demonstrate just how MASSIVE some of their products are. This one is a monster of a sunflower! Heads can reach up to 18 inches across, and the stalks can reach 14 feet. This will make a substantial wind break and privacy screen. Yes, we ordered two packages of these, as well.

Crespo Squash. This is a type of big, warty green pumpkin. Why did I order it? Because it’s big, green and warty. Also, it’s supposed to be very delicious.

In deciding what to get, we are looking at both summer fresh eating, and winter storage. The sunflowers we planted last year did not get a chance to mature, but if we can get these planted earlier, hopefully, that will not be an issue again. We will also be looking at finding ways to keep the deer away from them. From the looks of the stalks we left in the garden, they are still trying to eat them which, for this time of year, is part of why we have them there. Hopefully, the birds are able to eat the developing seeds in the seed heads, even if they’re not fully formed and ripe. Last I checked, some did appear to be eaten, but not much. With bird feeders right by the house, they don’t really have much incentive to eat underdeveloped seeds.

We got our Vesey’s catalog in the mail recently, which was quite exciting. 😀 The girls and I have been talking about what we want to do while going through it. Today, I ended up placing a much larger order than before. I had been thinking of waiting until January, but with things already disappearing from my cart because they were suddenly out of stock, I figured I’d better order things while I could. Even so, much of what I would have liked to have ordered was out of stock. Some of them, I ordered different varieties instead. Others, we will wait and will probably order in January or February.

This is what we’ve got ordered, as of right now.

Vesey’s Mosaic Mix Tomato. We are not big tomato eaters. I actually detest tomatoes, though I can eat tomato paste or crushed tomato as an ingredient in dishes. One of my daughters, however, really likes little tomatoes. This package is a mix of cherry and grape tomatoes in a range of colours that will produce over a long period of time. This is for her! 😀

Merlin Beet. Of the beets we tried to grow last year, this is the one the girls liked the most. We’ll just have to protect them from the deer!

There is another variety we plan to get, but it’s out of stock, so we’ll order that later. When we’re ready to plant, we should have 2 varieties of beets.

Spinach collection. Three varieties of spinach that mature at different types. We all love fresh spinach, but store bought spinach goes bad so quickly, we rarely buy it. Something else we have to protect from the deer, though!

Summer Squash Mix
Sunburst Summer Squash These are the same as what we ordered last year. The mix does include sunburst squash in it, but having more of them went over very well last year. This time, we have better information for starting them indoors, and protecting them from late frost, so hopefully, we will have even more. They will be for fresh eating, and for pickling and freezing.

Baby Pam Pumpkin. The pumpkins we planted last year were planted way too late, and we didn’t even know what variety they were. This time, we chose a variety noted for its eating quality, and faster maturity.

Red Kuri (Little Gem) squash. These little winter squashes should mature even faster than the pumpkins! This variety was also chosen for its winter storage qualities.

Teddy Organic Winter Squash. We picked these for their combination of small size (serving size!) and high production, as well as it’s faster maturity.

Pixie Melon
Halona Melon

I was unsure about trying to grow melons again, as the transplants I bought last year did not work out. I had a variety recommended to me, but it was not available. These cantaloupe type melons were picked for their quicker maturity. We enjoy melons, but it’s another of those things we rarely buy, so it’s worth giving it another go.

Cucamelon. Yes, even though I was able to save some tubers, I’m still getting some to start from seed. Just in case!

Conservor Organic Shallot
Norstar Onion
Red Karmen Onion Sets (to be shipped in spring)
Red Baron Onion (bunching onion)

We have 3 varieties of garlic already planted. Now, we’ll also have lots of onions, too! We use onions a lot, so figured it was worth going ahead and planting lots. We chose come of these for their winter storage-ability.

Yukon Gem Potatoes (yellow flesh)
Purple Peruvian Fingerling Potatoes (purple throughout)
Norland Potatoes (red skin, white flesh)
Purple Chief Potatoes (purple skin, white flesh)

Last year, we ordered 2 boxes (3 pounds each) of the Yukon Gold. This year, we decided to double the amount (each comes in a 3 pound box), but quadruple the varieties. The Norland and Purple Chief are noted for their winter storage, so we’ll have some we will grow for eating earlier, and others to keep for later.

Napoli Carrot
Deep Purple Carrot

Deep Purple is one of the varieties we planted last year. The Napoli is not the variety I originally picked, but this one was in stock and highly rated. We have two other carrot varieties coming from Rare Seeds that should have arrived by now. If something has gone wrong with that order (for all I know, seeds aren’t being allowed across the border right now. Or maybe it’s just slow), we’ll still have 2 varieties. If we end up with 4, well, that’s just more for pickling or freezing.

Dalvay Pea I actually had a 3 variety collection in my cart, but waited too long to order, and now it’s out of stock. So I ordered this variety for now. We may order another variety, later. These were noted for their fast maturity and long pods.

Lewis Bean (green)
Golden Rod Bean (yellow)
Royal Burgandy Bean (purple, turns green when cooked)

The 3 variety collection I had on my wish list is out of stock, so I picked similar varieties that were in stock. These types of beans are another thing I rarely buy in the stores, though we like them. They tend to either look oogy, or get oogy very quickly. These will be used for pickling and freezing, too.

Peaches and Cream Corn Collection Three varieties of Peaches and Cream corn. Not the collection I originally intended to order, but the one that was in stock! We have 2 other, more unique, varieties from Rare Seeds that are held up (watch, after my saying this so often, I’ll find them in the mail tomorrow… LOL). I believe we will need to plant those varieties away from these ones. I don’t think they would be good to cross pollinate. Especially the purple variety. 😀

Illinois Everbearing Mulberry (shipped in the spring) This is it! Our first food tree! I really hemmed and hawed about ordering it, because it’s quite expensive, but it will be two years before it produces fruit, so the sooner, the better. It’s actually a zone 4 tree, so we will have to ensure that it is well protected. It can grow up to 25 feet high, which also needs to be kept in mind when we decide where to plant it, too! My mother remembers they had a mulberry tree growing behind their barn, when she was a child in Poland. She remembers bright yellow silk worm cocoons on them, too! We might be able to grow the tree here, but I don’t think we could introduce silk worms here! 😀

Western Mix Wildflowers
Alternative Lawn Mix Wildflowers

These are mixes that will be scatter sown in a couple of areas. One of them will actually be outside the property, between a fence and the road. This is an area that is currently open, and I don’t want it to be taken over by trees, like on the other side of our driveway. Plus, the garden area is on the inside of the fence, so it will attract pollinators. Reading over the planting instructions, it seems they actually do better being planted in the fall, so we might take the summer to prepare the areas (they actually recommend tilling! No, we aren’t going to go that far), then seed them.

There we have it! Our order is in.

This is probably way too much – and there are other things I’d still like to order! We certainly don’t have enough beds or grounds prepared for all of it. Especially the corn. But that’s okay. We’ll work it out!

We will need to build potentially 4 trellises for the peas and beans, plus we want to build squash tunnels and trellises. Where we planted the squash last year, there are 5 prepared beds, plus the 2 beds the potatoes were in, plus 1 long skinny bed where I planted the seed potatoes I found that hadn’t sprouted. No idea if they will grow at all next year. We also have the retaining wall and parts of the old kitchen garden available for some things. The potatoes we ordered will need to be planted in a different area from where we grew them last year, so as not to attract the Colorado Potato Beetle. We are talking about trying to grow potatoes in containers, instead, this time.

So we’ll have to prepare beds for 27 plant varieties, plus larger areas for the corn and sunflowers, just from what I’ve listed here. More, counting my first order from Rare Seeds, and anything else we might order later. Not that we actually have to plant all of everything we get this year. Some things can be inter-planted (squash, beans and corn together, for example), so that will help a bit.

We’re still looking at potentially 20 beds or more that need to be prepared! All manually, too.


We can do that. 😀

Did we maybe overdo it? 😀

The Re-Farmer

19 thoughts on “Garden plans for 2021: orders in, and probably way too much!

  1. Whew! About spinach. If you are going to cook spinach, know it freezes very well with zero prep, just pop it dry into the freezer and it will delight you when you souffle or soup or omelette it. Hope your seeds show up soon, so you stop stressing. By the by – you DO save seeds from year to year, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the info about the spinach. We’ve never been able to grow it successfully while living in the city, so never had enough to freeze before. Hopefully, this time, we will!

      As for saving seeds, this will be only the second year of gardening for us since the move, and yes, saving seed will be a goal! Especially the ones from Rare Seeds since they are… you know… rare. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Problem to consider and I never believed it at first but have seen it. Hybrids sometimes do not breed true and worse, often will make a great show of flowering, but never set fruit. Just be prepared. Some like peppers and tomatoes on the other hand will grow and produce just to spite you. Can’t remember a year in the last 20 the Boss and I have not “adopted” volunteers” from the compost pile and been rewarded handsomely. Anybody don’t fall in love with gardening is well, I am not allowed such words as a commenting visitor.

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL!

        Re: hybrids, yes, that’s very true. For things like corn, it can made a big difference. My mother always saved seed, so our corn strain probably went back to well before I was born. One year, she visited family in the US and they gifted her with corn seeds that she grew the next year. It was amazing! I had no idea corn could be so sweet! So if we get the corn I ordered from Rare Seeds, I’ll save seed from them, but I don’t think I’ll bother with the Peaches n Cream varieties.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think selecting the seeds and planning the garden is SUCH an exciting and rewarding time, because if done well, it really pays off later in the actual garden, not just in the “dream” garden of our minds. Saving seed takes even more planning than the planting part, because of timing to prevent cross-pollination if more than one variety of a plant (like corn) is grown. Best of luck in the coming season. It’s always fun to see what other gardeners choose, and especially if they give their reasoning behind the choices, as you did.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! We’re pretty excited about it. Honestly, we’re not ready for so much, but that’s just incentive to get things done! And we we can’t plant everything, it’s still progress.

      In cleaning and clearing up the house, we have been finding all sorts of seeds my mother collected. Some are in envelopes labelled with things like “green flowers.” LOL Even now, my mother keeps trying to give me seeds she has collected from trees along the sidewalks near her apartment, or whatever she can find. They’re “free”, so apparently, that means I must plant them. 😀

      It’s funny because, when we first moved here, she was furious that we didn’t plant a garden right away. In her mind, she was picturing her massive garden, with no concept that this was something that we couldn’t do at the time, or how bad the soil had become in the years since she moved away. Now that we’ve had our first summer of gardening, she still gets angry, because we are not doing things the way she would, and not planting what she did… LOL


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