Winter is for Planning my 2018 Garden!


I spent several hours this week pouring over these 2 catalogs and going over the website at Pinetree Garden Seeds.  I ordered from all 3 places.  I have favorite items from each place, and this year, I got them all.  My standard plan is to order a small package of an item I want to start, say Yellow Pear Tomatoes, and grow some one year and save the other 1/2 for next year.  It has worked well for me in the past when I don’t need very many of a certain kind of plant, but still want to start my own seedlings.  This year was different, as I was starting from scratch.  So, I had a great deal of fun getting to order everything I wanted!


The greenhouse is starting to shape up.  It’s quite a bit bigger than I imagined it would be.  Rob has been working on it after work, in the late afternoons, but it is still not finished.  I think the greenhouse will be done at about the same time as the seeds arrive. We had contemplated going down to Cottage Grove and getting our Territorial Seeds on Saturday, but decided not to go.  Instead, he felt he needed to stay here and try to finish up the greenhouse.  So, I placed that order this morning.

I’m sure some of you want to know what I am planting.  I will do posts on that as I plant them, rather than one huge list.  I will grow a little bit of everything, though.  Peppers, onions, tomatoes, carrots, beets, lettuce, cabbage, and more!

I have a lot of garden work to do in the next few months.  It’s way too early to do much, and as I write, rain is pelting down on the deck outside the sliding glass window beside me, so it’s very soggy here.  There is some pruning I can do, however, and we are getting ready to do that soon.  Some branches are very high up and need to come off, so Rob is getting that organized.  Some are down low, and I can manage that when I get a sunny day and some time.  I got a nice, new pair of small clippers for Christmas, and am looking forward to snipping off some old debris with them.  That is a job I can get Patsy to do any day, as well.  She loves to snip.  So, we have an old pair that will be just hers, and we will hopefully get to snipping soon!  I have big pruners as well, for the thick branches.



I have raspberries to trim (everbearing). I’ve been reading about different methods of doing that on the internet, and feel ready to snip soon.  There are a few plants of June-bearing raspberries from my old house that my aunt nursed through the time when we didn’t have a house that are looking great now, and I will tie them up. I’m much more familiar with that kind, as that is the kind I’ve always grown before.  The everbearing ones were here when we moved in, so I kept them, at least until the June-bearing ones come into their full cropping potential.  The blackberries are done and the strawberries need some more fertilizer and some compost.  The blueberry bushes look fine, but I will add fertilizer.


As I was enjoying a smoothie made from strawberries picked off our bushes last summer, it made me all the more eager to get the process going again for this year!  There is just something so cheerful and hopeful about starting seeds.

Are you making garden plans yet?


12 thoughts on “Winter is for Planning my 2018 Garden!”

  1. Love the greenhouse. Some how I was imaging something it a lot smaller too. Way to go Rob!

    I’ve been making plans for my garden spaces as well. I had hoped to go to the garden store today for their member’s sale but didn’t have the energy for it. So for now, it’s just me making notes in a notebook and going through my seed catalog. I use West Coast seeds which at one time was ‘related’ to Territorial Seeds.It’s a local BC company and the seeds have done well for me in the past.

    So,are you planning to do add in any soil this year? Other amendments? Do you compost? Just curious.

    1. I do compost. Right now, we have an ugly pile of all the scraps, clippings, etc. rotting away on the edge of the garden. Eventually, Rob will build me a nice 3-bin composting set-up like I had at the last house. Last time, he used free pallets. Hopefully, he can get some this time.

      So, for now, the plan is to spread that 1/2 finished compost all over the garden, and till it in in the spring. We will also buy some steer manure, I think. We haven’t got that far, yet, but have discussed that we need to amend the soil in some way. All summer, we dumped the grass clippings around the berries, or poured them in the garden, and had dumped some ashes on the garden as well over the winter. We have a big bag of organic fertilizer we can use, and I ordered a small container of some tomato fertilizer I’ve never tried before, that says it addresses the blossom end rot. We shall see, but worth a try. It wasn’t bad last summer, but with such a small garden, I don’t want to wear out the soil. I have some bone meal for the strawberries. That’s a start, anyway.

  2. Hahaha. I had to laugh at the pruners. If you want to give me a good gift, give me a tool for my garden. I become a maniac when I have new pruners, looking for things to cut. I left all my gardening possessions for my neighbor when I moved to this apartment. I loved just knowing I had so many tools but I put them to good use by sharing with
    my neighbor loves to work in her yard too.

  3. Isn’t pouring through the seed catalogues fun? 🙂 I have the Territorial Seeds catalogue also and they have my ground cherry seeds in it. I was so happy to see that. I’ll order the smallest amount of seed they have and see how they do. You talk of dumping the ashes in the garden reminded me that I need to ask Jeff where he is dumping the ashes from the pellet stove. I hope he remembered to dump them around the rose bushes. My roses thrive when I do that and also put all the banana peels around them.

    That greenhouse is coming along nicely. I have a serious case of envy here. 😉 I have wanted one for years but Jeff keeps asking me where we would put it. I have some ideas but he does not seem to agree with me. 😉

    Be blessed my friend!

    1. Rob is making the greenhouse in a way that he can unscrew it and we can lean the pieces up against the shop if we decide to take it down. We have very little room if we leave it where it is. That is one reason that it is taking so long to build. Another idea we have discussed it to put it over on the lawn on the side of the house. BUT, it will be super handy on the concrete, so for now, that’s where it will live, at least for a few months.

      I have piles of ashes around all my roses, too. The roses here are pretty sad. Anything that could help has been added. We will see what another summer brings.

  4. We have been measuring to see what size raised bed we can put next to our house. We have all sorts of HOA rules, and we want to make sure we honor those in the process. I’ve never ordered seeds from a catalog. Where I had lived before there was a local hardware store that always set out a pretty impressive variety around planting time, and I just shopped there.

    1. I’m glad you can put in a raised bed, even if it has to be a certain size:). We have great places to buy seeds, as well. But, I am always looking for varieties that mature in a short time, have a large yield, and have disease resistance. So, the descriptions in a catalog are very helpful to me. I read, and read the descriptions to find something that seems like it will produce well and not die easily, then try that variety and it either becomes a favorite, or I try another kind the following year. Last year, they stopped carrying my favorite kind of green bean. So, I tried another kind. It did not perform well for me, so I’m trying another one this year. One year, my tomatoes all died from a blight. So, now, I order some with good disease resistance. And so forth. I also like to order unusual varieties at times, such as purple pole beans, yellow bush beans, speckled head lettuce, etc., and have those along with the usual kinds of things such as green beans, green lettuce, etc. For me, it’s an useful hobby:)

  5. I have not done one thing in preparation for the garden. We still have snow on the ground and I have not been able to get in the mood. Spring seems far, far away.
    Jeannie @

    1. I think one thing that is putting me in the mood is the unusual spring-like weather here. After last winter with snow, snow, and more snow, we are super mild this year. I guess that’s how we get averages. I think the break I had from starting my own seeds put me in the mood, as well, to do it again!

  6. Poring over seed catalogs can be a fun activity! I haven’t really thought much about planting a garden, although I guess I should. Last year’s garden withered up when the temperatures soared to above 100F as the seedlings started growing! I did have my gardener friend plant two grape vines for me – we’ll see how that comes up.

    1. I am just super excited about gardening this year! It’s also a big project to get that greenhouse done, and the plants started, and I don’t want to miss the window of opportunity to get those peppers started–they take SO long, and I missed my favorites last year. The ones I bought just weren’t the same, especially the jalapeños. The ones I grew last year had no flavor at all. Just blah….So, I ordered some with a bit more spice to them! We love jalapeño poppers on occasion, but I like a little flavor to them. I also use them for my salsa, which I can.

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