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Planning My 2011 Edible Garden

January 13th, 2011

I received most of my favorite seed catalogs before Christmas, but I didn’t look through them. I set them aside for the new year. This past weekend I realized it’s getting close to the time to start my onions and celery already so I figured I should start looking through the catalogs to decide what interesting things I may want to grow this year.

First I had to get out my seeds and sort through them. I’ll get rid of varieties that didn’t do well or I didn’t like, I’ll sort out old seeds to do germination tests, and I’ll see if there are any gaps that need filling. I’m pretty sure I’ll need pea seeds, popcorn, and a few other things I want to try new this year.

I really want to try to grow some broom corn this year, how fun would it be to make a broom. I’m pretty sure my nieces would love to come over and have a Little House on the Prairie party to make brooms.

I’m also looking for a new variety of popcorn to grow this year. We grew Strawberry Popcorn two years ago and we loved it, but I want something that produces larger kernels and has a higher yield for the space.

Are you going to grow anything new and interesting this year? Do you have a great variety of heirloom popcorn that you’d recommend?

33 Comments to “Planning My 2011 Edible Garden”
  1. A Year In My Garden on January 13, 2011 at 5:03 am

    I wish I was this organised – my seed packets from last year are scattered to the wild winds – strawberry popcorn looks fascinating – i may well look into whether they will grow over here – i don’t think the climate in ohio is massively different from ours

    Reply to A Year In My Garden's comment

    • Susy on January 13, 2011 at 4:55 pm

      It is a beautiful little corn, we loved it. I’m alway wanting to try new varieties though, so I’ll try something new and see which we liked better. It probably will grow well over there.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. J on January 13, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Could you post a close up picture of the index-card looking things that you use to file and track your seed usage and growing. I’m new to gardening and need tips on organizing and tracking my growing.


    Reply to J's comment

    • Susy on January 13, 2011 at 4:55 pm

      Yes, I’ll try to get some photos and do a post about how I built my seed storage box and how I organize my seeds.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Kelly on January 13, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Just yesterday I realized how late it’s getting and spent a good chunk of the day finishing up my organization and ordering seeds. I’ll be trying celery for the first time this year (mostly due to your success last year). I’m always trying new peppers and tomatoes, trying cabbage this year and cowpeas. I had horrible results from my winter squash and melons last year so that’ll be “new” this year (hopefully!). Some new herbs (shingiku, chamomile, lemon balm, cumin, thyme) and in the fall I’ll be trying garlic for next year. I may try potatoes too, but there’s so many types I don’t know where to start!

    Winter seems so much shorter when you’re a gardener!

    Reply to Kelly's comment

  4. Michelle Leigh on January 13, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I’ve been wanting to try the strawberry popcorn! I haven’t actually grown corn of any variety yet, so I have no suggestions. Went through my seeds last week, but I’m not sure of my plan yet. Just moved from my house to an apartment with bad sunlight. Might take over my mom’s backyard… ;)

    Reply to Michelle Leigh's comment

  5. Arika on January 13, 2011 at 11:46 am

    This year I’m going for less “experiments” and more of the staples I will eat on a regular basis. It’s not as exciting, but last year I planted a bit of everything and therefore didn’t yield a lot of anything :) So this year I’ll be planting a lot of potatoes, lettuce, onions, carrots, tomatoes, and zucchini, with a few small patches of new things for me- watermelons and kale!

    Reply to Arika's comment

  6. Kaytee on January 13, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Everyone is getting so prepared and I’ve hardly thought about my garden! I just requested seed catalogs last week and haven’t gotten them yet. I do have a lot of seeds I bought last year and didn’t use, so I only have a few spots that I need to fill (peas, beans, greens).

    I love your seed organization. Did you make that yourself or buy it? And I’m with J, can you post a picture of the “variety, acquired from, date sowed” thing. Looks like a great, quick way to keep track and reference back to.

    Reply to Kaytee's comment

  7. Amy @ Homestead Revival on January 13, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I’m really not growing anything unusual this year, but I am extending my garden and will include a few more varieties than last year and I’m adding a cutting garden of flowers for my youngest daughter (she’s starting her own little business). My goal is to just to get some basics down even better.

    Just curious, Susy… when is your last frost date? I noticed you’re in a 5a zone (I’m in a 7), but seems you can start things much sooner than I can.

    Reply to Amy @ Homestead Revival's comment

  8. Morgan G on January 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Susy! You are so organized!

    At your recommendation, we ordered from Baker Creek last year and were thrilled with our seeds. We purchased Cherimoya seeds and two out of the fourteen made it during the summer and through this winter. We were so relieved and happy. Since they are still babies and haven’t produced fruit yet, they’ll continue to be the focus of our garden.

    Have a wonderful time planning, can’t wait to see what you come up with.

    Reply to Morgan G's comment

  9. annie on January 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I’m mostly growing the same things I’ve always grown, just more of it. However, this year I’m going to grow pole beans for drying and cow peas which I haven’t grown in a while. Since we garden year round we eat from the garden year round but I’m on a mission to grow enough of our staples (like beans) to last us a year.

    Reply to annie's comment

  10. Farmgirl_dk on January 13, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    I hope this isn’t a really dumb question, but I read that one shouldn’t plant more than one variety of corn in a season unless you have a large distance (hundreds of feet) between your corn plantings, since corn is pollinated by wind. Planting closer than that in smaller (home) gardens, the wind will cross-pollinate the varieties and then you lose the specific corn characteristics that you were planting for.
    I see you are planning on planting more than one variety of corn, is this a concern for you?

    Reply to Farmgirl_dk's comment

    • Corrie on January 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm

      That is true, but not in this case. Broom corn is actually sorghum and so doesn’t cross-pollinate. Other corns will cross-pollinate though.

      Reply to Corrie's comment

    • Susy on January 13, 2011 at 4:48 pm

      Yes that’s true, you can also plant sunflowers in between then to help with the cross-pollination issues. I’ll most likely be growing one variety in my home garden and one in my mom’s garden 50 miles away.

      Reply to Susy's comment

    • Laura on January 13, 2011 at 4:52 pm

      If the corn varieties tassle and silk at different times, you would be safe placing them closer I believe. I guess that would require a 70 and a 90 day variety, or something like that.

      Reply to Laura's comment

    • Susy on January 13, 2011 at 4:54 pm

      I’ve read this too about the different tassel dates.

      Reply to Susy's comment

    • Farmgirl_dk on January 15, 2011 at 12:13 pm

      Thank you all for the info – very helpful!

      Reply to Farmgirl_dk's comment

  11. Nancy from Mass on January 13, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    First of all, I love your ‘gardening box’ and will steal that idea! Usually I just mark up my garden plot plan with dates, etc. but it will be so much easier to keep my packets with any notes to use for year to year. I also order from Baker Creek (and did so last weekend).
    I tried onions for the first time last year and they will be an annual occurance from now on! (I grow something new every year) I’ve never tried growing popcorn so I am a little envious.
    This year, I will grow a russian watermelon and possibly potatoes. But first, I need to get my hubby to help me expand the garden…and put higher posts in to keep the deer out!

    Reply to Nancy from Mass's comment

  12. louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife on January 13, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I’m with J – any chance we could see a close up of one of your index cards? They look very useful.

    My seeds started last year very neatly organised but ended it in a complete mess! I need to get organised ASAP – and plan what fruit bushes I’m going to plant to fill a newly allocated spot in the garden.

    This year is all about fruit for me – last year, all we had were foraged wild plums & wild blackberries. This year we’re starting our orchard (eating, cooking & cider varieties of apples, plus pears and a cherry tree) and I’ve also got lingonberry & cranberry bushes, a friend is set to give us some jostaberry & gooseberry “canes”, and my strawberry runners just waiting for some warm sunshine to get started. I predict a lot of preserving later in the year!

    Reply to louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife's comment

  13. Grant Geiger on January 13, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Could you make a post highlighting what you you will be planting from last year and what you are going to buy this year? This would be a major help since this is the first year that I will be ordering seeds from a catalog. I’m really excited, but there are so many choices and i’m a little lost.

    Reply to Grant Geiger's comment

  14. Miranda on January 13, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Wowee- you ARE quite organized… i wish.
    this year i’ll be focusing on tidy plants since we’ll be putting our house ont he market in early summer…. those plants you mentioned sound really neat though – i can’t wait to have room to spread out!

    Reply to Miranda's comment

  15. deedee on January 13, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    one more request… when you post your organizing system can you also tell us when you start what seeds? or if not, could you email it to me please? i thought i was doing mine right last year, but i think i was way behind!

    Reply to deedee's comment

  16. Amy W. on January 13, 2011 at 9:14 pm


    I’m stopping by your blog again!


    Reply to Amy W.'s comment

  17. Bonnie on January 13, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Great organizing skills. I started gardening last year and learned alot. I’m keeping a garden journal for record. Over all things went fairly well.

    I plan to try several new things this year. I had pollinationg issues, had to hand pollinate last year, so I am adding more self-pollinating plants. I have also found heirloom seeds and it is hard not to get carried away. Another change is adding more decorative edibles.

    New herbs,-sweet mace, purple basil, lavender. New vegetable/fruits- Wapsicon peach tomatoes, purple pole beans, heirloom carrots (2 types), mauve round eggplant. Fruit at least one kind of heirloom melon.

    If I try brassicas or squash again I will use a crop cover to avoid insect damage.

    Reply to Bonnie's comment

  18. RobinL on January 13, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Wow, your veggie garden is WAY more ambitious than ours! We just have a mini garden, built for two, growing just enough to feed us without canning or freezing anything. As long as we have plenty of cucumbers, we are happy! LOL

    Reply to RobinL's comment

  19. MrBrownThumb on January 14, 2011 at 1:42 am

    I just came across this corn called something like blue glass gem, it is beautiful, Looks like beach glass. I’m going to have to source some seeds for it, because I have to grow it.

    Reply to MrBrownThumb's comment

    • Susy on January 14, 2011 at 9:09 am

      That sounds lovely, good luck finding some seeds!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  20. MAYBELLINE on January 14, 2011 at 1:47 am

    I’m thinking of growing sweet yellow corn.
    Someone told me that it takes up so much room; so I don’t know that it’s worth it. I would like to try a variety of blue-gray pumpkins. I’ll be purchasing blueberry bushes this weekend and growing them for the first time.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

    • Susy on January 14, 2011 at 9:11 am

      Try growing a 3 sisters garden, then you can be growing beans up the corn (some varieties better than others, I ordered ‘Genuine Cornfield Beans’ from Southern Exposure for this). I’ll also be growing some kind of butternut as a mulch crop around the corn & beans.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  21. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: Planning My 2011 Edible Garden #seedsowing #gardenplanning […]

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  22. Robin Mullet on January 14, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    I also keep a box of seeds from last year, but not as pretty as yours (a recycled box).Since you live in my area, I hope you will check out my post this week and get the link for our community viewing of the movie, “Fresh”. Maybe you can come! We are having a meet and greet with local producers before the movie-we are all excited about it. Educating the community on heathy local foods!

    Reply to Robin Mullet's comment

  23. Laura Z on January 16, 2011 at 4:01 am

    You are so organized! I’m going to try to grow the same staple that I always do, but actually attempt some hardy winter vegetables this time. Also, I think I might grow a patch of herbs specifically for tea, and I might grow some loofahs to go into gift baskets throughout the year.

    Reply to Laura Z's comment

  24. Leigh on January 16, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    Popcorn. We grew Japanese Hulless last summer and it did fairly well and is tasty too. I thought about trying the strawberry, but in the end decided the ears were too small. I found calico popcorn at Territorial Seed Co and so plan to order some of that to try this summer. We do love our popcorn.

    I’ve ordered some broom corn to try as well. I found one that I can make brooms with plus produces seed good for feed.

    Reply to Leigh's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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