Seeds are full of possibility, a dream of summer’s abundance. They sit in their little hard casings, waiting for the right combination of rain and dirt and sunshine to break out these entire plants. Some are so small that they need to be mixed with sand in order to preserve their spacing. The carrot or head of lettuce which emerges amazes me.

Others bulge with the energy waiting to be unfurled. Easy to plant with their larger form, they expand quickly. The little bush bean leaves shake their heads to free themselves of their burst casings, flinging themselves towards the sun.

The seeds I’ve picked will all fit into my little garden plots, but at different times. With a whole 190 days to plant and pick and harvest and begin again, my plans include multiple plantings of beets and carrots and spinach, lettuce and cilantro and radishes. Onions will spring up quickly and be some of the first harvested. I’ll plant the zucchini by seed in May.

I found this gardening planner online from the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Even old farmers love the internet now!

This calendar promises me times to plant indoors, move those seedlings outdoors (or direct sow outdoors), and harvest. For this year, since I have no other guide, I’m using it to plan my sowing.

I must admit, I felt a little thrill when I looked at the guide and saw that the harvest season for spinach lasted from mid-October through February. What the what!?!

A series of succession plantings will keep the veggies rolling in all summer and fall. I coordinated my planting dates, pulled together my final list, and Stephanie and I headed off to our local garden center, Reems Creek Nursery.

Holding my head high, I walked through the door and headed over to the racks of seeds. Focused on the local and organic varieties, a pile of seed packets filled my hands when the helpful Kathleen sidled up to us. Stephanie started a conversation. Kathleen’s ideas dug into my brain and created new methods for my gardening.

Having not started tomatoes back in March when I should have, she suggested waiting a couple of weeks until we could pick from their twenty (!) varieties due to show up at the end of April. Cabbage, beet and other cold season crops were already on display behind the building. I stuffed a few seeds back into the appropriate slots and we headed back to the greenhouse to peruse the annuals.

The perennials were the superstars, though. I smelled a lilac, one small bursting of blossoms on the end of a bare branch.

Lilac

Columbines bloomed in the perennial yard, making my thoughts drift off to my friend Beth. When we left Colorado, she gifted us with a stained glass columbine since those were the flowers she missed the most during the years of her absence.

Columbine

They had one blue one. It’s in the top right corner of the picture.

Heading back into the main shop, I swung by the seed packets one last time to grab some onion sets.

I’ve been burned by the absence of onion sets before. Not this year!

Stephanie added a watermelon (Where will that fit in my garden? Oh, we’ll just create a hill out in the yard, she confidently stated) and parsnips (Egad! I just gave in while wondering where we’d stick these things) to my seed packet pile. I filled a bag with the teeny baby onions in three colors.

Seed Packets

Success! I only forgot spinach, carrots and radishes from my list of seeds to directly sow. I can pick those up next week when we pick up our seedlings.

Now all we need is dirt.