One of the most enjoyable gardening tasks of the year is one that doesn't even happen in the garden. Around this time, one cold wintry night or day I pull out the seed boxes and start the wishful planning of the summer garden.
This year round it just happened to be on one of the coldest nights of the year, hence the heater is blazing.
Firstly I took stock of what seed I have. Actually, I have plenty.
I sorted the cucumber seeds (5 varieties; might look at more), eggplant (4 varieties; must get more seeds), cantaloupes/rockmelons (4 varieties; enough), watermelons (3 varieties; plenty), zucchini (2 varieties; more than enough), pumpkin (3 varieties; that'll do) into sowing for October, when I get back from my next holiday.
Unfortunately, I'll be overseas during September and the start of October, which is prime gardening time. It's not that sad, as I'll be having a lovely time in Italy and Spain I'm sure, but it does mean a little forward thinking will be required to ensure the summer garden harvest doesn't suffer too much.
I've prioritised tomatoes and peppers for early sowings, hoping that with a bit of time between now and when I leave I'll be able to coddle them enough to survive until I return.
Of my approximately 45 tomato varieties of which I have seeds, I have prioritised 21 varieties for early sowing. I will probably sow more as the year progresses. At least I am honest with myself. I will also try early sowings of capsicums/peppers, as last year sowing in late September didn't work that well. The plants weren't developed enough and when the hot weather hit they suffered. I'm hoping an earlier sowing will mean stronger plants. We will see.
I've also got some more onion seeds, lettuce and turnips/swede to try. I've never sown these so late, but looking at the seed packets they saw sow between august-spring. Again, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Overall, I could easily get by without buying much. The only seeds I really need to buy is corn. But knowing me I'll end up with a couple more varieties of tomatoes, some cucumbers and peppers, maybe another pumpkin to try. I can't seem to stop myself.
Now I just need to think how I am going to sow these seeds and get them growing. But I have the beginnings of a plan. Just need to nut out the details. Stay tuned.