Can I tell you how giddy I am that the plethora of garden catalogs has been arriving in my mailbox over these first few weeks of January? Surely, spring cannot be far behind. (Right?)
I’m eager to explore planting grafted tomato and bell pepper plants in my small backyard garden this year. Grafted plants (standard varieties like “Big Boy” are grafted onto hardier, disease-resistent rootstock) are reported to be better growers and heavier producers than conventional vegetable plants. I first started seeing grafted plants available in garden catalogs last season; this year, it seems they’re more widely available and in greater variety. I plan to order 3 varieties of grafted cherry tomato plants from Jung Seeds. My other garden plans include spinach, arugula and Swiss chard (with early spring and late summer plantings), French filet beans (which I love to harvest when they’re teeny and thin), bell peppers, and lettuce (the variety ‘Salad Bowl’ did exceptionally well for me last season, producing from spring through fall).
And, of course, I planted hardneck garlic in my vegetable garden a few months ago. It’s so incredibly easy (and gratifying) to grow your own garlic. I’m already looking forward to cooking with garlic scapes, and then harvesting my own crop of garlic bulbs in early summer.