8 weeks till the last frost: planning and starting seeds

Here's a list of what I'm planting this year:

  1. Delphinium. It's not the easiest to grow but it's one of my favorite flowers.

  2. Lobelia. I'm taking a tip from Calendula and Concrete. I love things that bloom all summer.

  3. Alyssum. It's easy to grow and also blooms all summer.

  4. Marigold. Allegedly they repel mosquitoes.

  5. Scabiosa. These are leftover from last years cutting garden plan from target (which I don't recommend).

  6. Dianthus. Same as above.

  7. Impatiens. These are good in the shade.

  1. Roma tomatoes. These worked out great for me last year. I plan to make lots of salsa again, and maybe can some of them for winter. Not only are winter tomatoes tasteless, but there are some serious ethical issues with harvesting.

  2. Cherry tomatoes. These also worked well last year.

  3. Eggplant. This never got off the ground for me last year because I didn't start them early enough and they weren't in good soil with enough sun. But I'm trying again. I want to make baba ganoush.

  4. Mixed bell peppers. These also didn't work out last year for the same reasons as the eggplants.

  5. Poblano pepper. I wanted to try a new kind of pepper.

  6. Jalepeno pepper. I did get a few serranno peppers at the tail end of the year last year, but the birds ate them. This year I'm starting indoors and they should be ready in time for my summer salsa.

  7. Crookneck Squash. Another one that didn't work out that I'm trying again.

  8. Wax beans. This will be my first time planting these. They're supposed to be easy to grow, so I have my hopes up.

  9. Beets. I've also never grown these, but I just love beets. And I want something that I can harvest late in the year. I also love that you can use the greens as well as the roots.

  10. Cucumber. My cucumbers rocked last year. I made lots of tzatziki which I used to smother grilled fish. This year I hope to make some pickles too.

  11. Mesclun and arugula. This is my first time growing salad greens. I eat them several days a week and they're supposed to be pretty easy to grow.

  12. Carrots. This is also my first time growing carrots. These and beets are the first root veggies I've ever grown.

  1. Basil. So many uses, the most obvious being pesto.

  2. Oregano. This is really good tossed with cous cous and tomato (from Mark Bittman's 101 Simple Meals).

  3. Parsley. Again, so many uses.

  4. Catnip. Also allegedly repels mosquitoes. I'm hoping my dog will counter act its tendency to attract neighborhood cats. My cat hasn't shown much interest in catnip in the past, so I'm hoping she won't disturb the plants.

  5. Rosemary. Another supposed mosquito repellent. I'm growing a ton of this and will mix it in with both the flowers and the other herbs.

  6. Cilantro. I actually use this in my tzatziki instead of mint which I have a slight aversion to. I also use it on salad and in salsa. Fortunately for me, I'm not one of the poor souls who has the cilantro hating gene (found via IFA).

  7. Dill. For the pickles and for salads.

  8. Chives. For potatoes and omeletes.

Since we are now about 8 weeks from the last frost in this area (you can find first and last frost dates for the US and Canada here), I've just started the rosemary, alyssum, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, chives, oregano, basil, parsley, and catnip. A few weeks back I started the delphiniums, lobelia, and dianthus. I also threw some mesclun mix in a pot to start growing some salad to eat. The mesclun really wasn't happy so I ripped it up and started over today. The other seedlings were doing okay but not great. I've figured out that the sun from the window isn't enough and today I got a simple grow light which I've hung from the ceiling. Here's my little set up:

As you can see, Mimi the cat took advantage of the photo op.


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  2. Rosemary does not seem to repell mosquitos for me. Definitely go with the upright bush type, because creeping rosemary is barely hardy way down here in SoMD.

    - J