While many of you across the country (especially in New England) are buried under a couple of feet of snow, I’m sure you’re thinking more about snow shovels and rock salt than seeds and grow lights. But it is that time of year to pull out your seeds and plan what you will get started indoors in preparation for spring planting. Here in the South, this weekend will be about eight weeks until last frost. It’s now time to set up my germination station again! Last night, I organized my seeds and separated them into two piles: indoor starts and direct sow. Today, I’d like to share with you what I’ll be planting in my grow room this weekend.
There are certain plants that must be started indoors at least eight weeks prior to last frost, and most of them are in the nightshade family – tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. I also start my squash indoors to help them fight the dreaded squash vine borer. Whatever room I have left in my flats, I’ll plant some of my melons (though melons can be directly sown after last frost).
Here are the varieties I will be planting this year with links to where you can get the seed. In many cases, several seed companies will carry the same variety, but the link will take you to where I bought the seed this year.
- Purple Beauty bell – my first time growing
- Emerald Giant bell – a regular in my garden
- Red Mini Bell – I tried this last year and loved it (great stuffed with feta and roasted)
- Sweet Yellow Stuffing – I tried this last year and loved it (also great stuffed with feta and roasted)
- Cubanelle – a regular in my garden (I added this as a chili because they do have a mild heat to them when they turn red)
- Black Hungarian – my first time growing
- Filius Blue – I tried this last year in pots and loved it
- Long Red Cayenne – a new regular in my garden
- Lemon Drop – my favorite chili pepper
- Italian Pepperoncini – a regular in my garden
- Serrano – my first time growing
- Jalapeno – a regular in my garden
- Fish pepper – a regular in my garden
- Red Hot Cherry – my first time garden
- Amish Paste – a regular in my garden
- San Marzano – my first time growing (my mother’s favorite for sauce)
- Black Krim – a regular in my garden
- Cherokee Purple – a regular in my garden
- Mortgage Lifter – I tried this last year and loved it
- Brandywine – my first time growing
- Black Beauty – a regular in my garden
- Rosa Bianca – my first time growing
- Edirne Purple Striped – my first time growing
- Black Futsu – a new regular in my garden, sweeter than butternut!
- Burpee’s Butterbush – I tried this last year and prefer it to Waltham
- Tromboncino – I tried this in pots with a trellis last year, unsuccessfully. Because this can be eaten as a summer squash or like a winter squash, I’ll try this again.
- Seminole Pumpkin – a new regular in my garden as it’s the only pumpkin I’ve been able to grow here – awesome!
- Sweet Passion muskmelon – my first time growing
- Tam Dew honeydew – I tried this last year and it’s the best honeydew I’ve ever had
- Rich Sweetness melon – a new regular in my garden
- Noir de Carmes melon – I tried this last year but the pickle worms got them; I’m trying again
- Ice Cream (Green Machine) muskmelon – I couldn’t get this to grow last year so I’m trying again
- Golden Midget watermelon – I tried this last year and lost the plant after one fruit, so I want to try again
- Cream of Saskatchewan watermelon – a regular in my garden
- Early Moonbeam watermelon – I tried this last year and want to grow it again
- Strawberry watermelon – I tried this last year and it didn’t do well, so I want to try again.
- Wilson Sweet watermelon – my first time growing
Obviously, I won’t be able to start all those melons in addition to my nightshades and squash. I’ll see how much space I have left, chose a few varieties to start indoors, and direct sow the rest after last frost.
Come back Friday to see the rest of what I’ll be planting this spring. It may not remove the snow from your yard, but it might warm your thoughts as you think about spring.