Sunday, 27 February 2011

When does the gardening year start?

One of the things I like about gardening, especially in the Mediterranean climate, is that the year doesn’t seem to end, or rather the seasons merge into each other and we’re always looking forward to something.  As we take up and burn the dead tomato plants in the autumn we’re starting to sow broad beans and peas and thinking of spring, and all through winter we cut salad and other leaf vegetables from the garden.  But if I had to choose a start to the gardening year it would be now when we are sowing our tomato plants and soon will be sowing peppers and courgettes, because these Mediterranean vegetables seem to be the most important in our cooking and in most gardens in this area.  So I felt very excited this morning when we sowed seven varieties of tomato seeds:

Roma and Andean for sauces and bottling

Ananas and Coeur de Boeuf for salads

Languedoc – a local variety which is well adapted to hot dry conditions

Saint-Pierre – an all-round variety which usually crops well, although not so well last year

Marmande – a variety from the south-west of France, which didn’t do very well last time we grew it here (maybe it’s too hot and dry for it), but we’re giving it another chance this year

All these varieties of seeds are now on the seed starter box which Lo Jardinièr made two years ago.  As soon as the tomatoes have germinated we’ll start the peppers on it.

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The new gardening year has begun!


GaiasHope said...

lol this was funny for me!
I wrote a post with title 2011 Gardening Season the last hour and after that I open my google reader and I found this post from you!

I love mediterranean!!!!!

I have tomato seedlings already! I will write about this in my next post today or tomorrow. I had sow the first seeds at 6 and 9 February and I had the first green sign of life before 4 days

Mark Willis said...

Have you tried the tomato variety called Ferline? It is more blight-resistant than any other tomato (though not totally immune) and it produces big red fruits, not unlike Marmande, but smoother.

me said...

Oh my goodness, tomato seeds already? I've decided that I'm not sowing seed this year, but will buy plants from the market. Am I cheating?

Kate said...

I have dozens of magnificent Marmande tomatoes trying hard to ripen in the garden despite it being only 8C on my verandah most of this bleak autumn day!