These are Musquee de Provence pumpkins in late January - a great choice for your garden if you want to feast on your harvest throughout the winter.
IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN...when the temperature plummets, winds howl, ice cakes up on your windshield wipers and summer seems so, so far away....that we gardeners naturally dream about what we want to grow in just a few months time.
At Ox and Robin, we offer 35 different varieties of vegetables and herbs. We know it can be daunting to figure out which ones will be the best ones for your garden.
Here are a few questions to help you figure out which seeds to buy:
1. DO YOU WANT TO GROW FOOD YOU CAN EAT LONG PAST THE GROWING SEASON?
If so, you might want to consider planting Musquee de Provence pumpkins which store well into the winter season. The ones pictured above (photographed this evening) will most likely last until March.
Other long-storing varieties include Tiger Eye and Black Turtle dry beans, Chamomile, Pennsylvania Dutch Butter Flavored Popcorn and Fish hot peppers (which can be either dried or kept frozen for spicy dishes throughout the winter)
2. DO YOU HAVE LIMITED SPACE?
If you have very limited space, you may want to grow Tom Thumb Peas or either Fish hot peppers or Frank's sweet peppers, all of which can be grown in containers.
If you have a little more space, Dwarf Grey Sugar Peas and Luther Hill Sweet Corn are exceptionally compact plants for their respective crop families. Chamomile also takes very little room in the garden.
DID CRITTERS EAT YOUR CROPS LAST YEAR?
No fun! We'll talk more about how to deal with critters in an upcoming blog post, but for now, you may want to consider growing plants the critters just don't like. Yes, they exist. Mustard greens, such as Green in Snow or Ruby Streaks are pretty much impervious to critter attacks. Deer, rabbits, voles...nothing on four legs seems to like them, probably because they have a bit of a spicy flavor.
Hot peppers, such as Fish are also quite critter resistant once the plants get established and the peppers develop some heat.
Herbs are also a good critter resistant choice. Stinging nettles, Holy Basil and Chamomile are all fairly pungent to furry noses, and therefore good choices if you don't have a tall, robust fence around your garden.
DO YOU WANT TO GROW CROPS THAT ARE AS PRETTY AS THEY ARE DELICIOUS?
You can't go wrong with Chamomile if you want a lovely flowering plant. Okra flowers are also quite stunning and large. Personally, I think peas are beautiful in flower, and we offer 3 different varieties: Champion of England (a very long climbing type), Dwarf Grey Sugar (a compact plant) and the miniature Tom Thumb.
DO YOU JUST HAVE TO GROW TOMATOES?
Join the Club! We have six wonderful heirloom varieties to choose from, each of them quite unique and tasty; Matt's Wild Cherry, Jaune de Flamme, Italian Heirloom, Pink Potato Leaf, Black Cherry, Malachite Box and Orange Banana.
Now that you have a better idea of what you want to grow, it's time to...