Planning spring planting

It’s time. No more seed catalog dreaming. No more staring wistfully out over the compost piles and bare garden dirt. Seeds will be hitting potting soil this weekend, in flats tucked nicely between grow lights and heated seedling mats. Most of our seeds come from Fedco, and the rest from Territorial Seeds, Ed Hume, High Mowing, and Seed Savers.

Early spring

Here is the master list of what we’re growing this season:

Luscious Bicolor sweet corn – growing some ‘candy’ corn this year instead of feed corn.

Bouquet dill – because pickles.

Afina cutting celery – soup celery, a pantry staple dried and stored in glass jars.

Italian flat leaf parsley – our climate is too cold to winter over, so we replant every year.


  • Copra Onion – all around best yellow storage onion
  • Rossa di Milano Onion – a new must-have red storage onion.
  • Allium schoenoprasum – heritage garlic seed from a 1920’s cottage garden in Sweden.
  • Chesnok Red garlic – 4th generation acclimatized seed stock, stores like a champion.
  • Kettle River garlic – also 4th generation seed stock, but doesn’t store that well.

Cole crops:

  • Gunma cabbage – new variety for whole head pickling.
  • Ruby Perfection cabbage – keeps forever and tastes great.
  • Early Snowball cauliflower – if we have space; grows well here.
  • Purple Vienna kohlrabi – nice very-early vegetable.


  • Biskopen pea – 2 seed sources from NordGen seed bank in Sweden.
  • Persson dry bean – also from NordGen this variety was developed by an ancestor in Sweden.
  • Blue Lake pole green beans – old favorite; prolific and easy to grow.
  • Green Arrow shell pea – new variety of fresh eating pea.
  • STF kidney bean experiments – 4th generation grow out trials; who knows what these krazy kidneys will do this year!


  • Donkey spinach – slow bolting, cold hardy; one little plant has wintered over with almost no protection.
  • Les Orielles du Diable leaf lettuce – pretty red-blushed green leaf lettuce.
  • Buttercrunch lettuce – just yummy!
  • Winter Wonderland romaine lettuce – another cold hardy lettuce we’ve wintered over.
  • Red Sails leaf lettuce – an STF favorite; tasty, slow to bitter.
  • Beedy’s Camden kale – sturdy and cold hardy; chickens love it too.
  • Magenta Sunset chard – pretty and tasty; better after some fall chill.
  • Bright Lights chard – multi-colored and almost spinach-tender.


  • French Breakfast radish – mild and crisp; bolts fast though, and gets buggy in warm weather.
  • Nelson carrot – new to STF; Nantes variety which usually do well here
  • Nantes Fancy carrot – enough leftover seed for a planting; sweet and good storage variety.
  • Cylindra beet – leftover seed, and a tender-textured beet with tops that chickens like.


  • Carola potato – new to STF; main crop with good storage potential.
  • Desiree potato – a red potato we’ve grown in years past; stores well.


  • Ancho hot pepper – awesome dried or roasted and frozen; a must for homemade chili and tamales.
  • Odessa Market sweet pepper – last year wasn’t good for our pepper crop, so we’ll try these gain.
  • Jaluv An Attitude hot pepper – see above.
  • Beaver Dam hot pepper – see above.
  • Czech Black hot pepper – a beautiful jalapeno type pepper; really tasty pickled.

Viney goodness:

  • Little Leaf pickling cucumber – gherkins are us; these plants produce like crazy, so daily harvest is a must.
  • Blacktail Mountain watermelon – we got a few sweet treats last year, so we’ll try for more.
  • Sweet Dumpling delicata squash – small and sweet; just right for two with butter, sage, and a little sausage baked in each half.
  • Black zucchini – semi-bush variety; produces like crazy and tasty fresh, sauteed, grilled, and in soups.

Kimchi fixings:

  • Shanghai Green pak choi – classic baby bak choi.
  • Kaboko Napa cabbage – seems to like it here, and we like it in our kimchi.
  • Miyashige white daikon radish – carrot flies really like this big sweet radish, but we’ll try a few tricks to keep them at bay.



2 thoughts on “Planning spring planting”

  1. Wow. You are all the way on the other side of the continent and here we are, growing most of the same varieties. Fedco is local here, and we order all of our seeds from them. I’m starting the onions today. Happy growing!

    1. I think Maine is close enough in climate that the seeds do well here. Plus I love Fedco’s catalog 🙂
      I’m trying to start seeds later than usual, since our spring usually plays tricks on us and I end up replanting anyway. It’s hard to wait though…

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