This year, despite my best hopes, has become yet another year of intense learning about how best to grow things in my home garden. There are worse things, I know, but I am looking forward to eventually having a calm, uneventful spring in which I already know exactly what I like to grow and how to do so. That day, however, as Aragorn says, is not this day.

I posted on a Facebook garden group I joined a while back about all of the different varieties I had planted just by March of this year. Most members, also addicted to gardening, cheered me on, but a few were shocked. And I thought maybe the amount of plants–about half of which are new to me–may be a tad on the high side.

Part of my rush into gardening comes from the fact that, at 44 years old, I had bought a house and could finally do the amount of gardening I’d been dreaming of. Prior to this I had been living in the Bay Area of California, and despite CA being a lovely place to live, it is also extremely expensive, and I knew that I’d never be able to afford the type of house and yard that I wanted. So now I did finally have land–a good-sized yard (.15 total acre for the plot, 2/3s of which is lawn and garden)– in a nice older neighborhood in my hometown. And, boy howdy, was I ready to garden!

Another factor in my gardening obsession is, of course, Covid. I was locked at home for the better part of two years, and even now have the luxury of continuing to work from home. And Covid also brought with it intermittent food shortages and general societal and consumer anxiety, and like many others during this time, I found gardening helped to ease some of that anxiety.

Finally, an unexpected knee surgery in February 2021 literally made me sit down and do nothing for six weeks right before gardening season. I was bored, in pain, and itching with irritation at missing seed starting season again. (We had moved into our house Memorial Day weekend the year before, so that year’s garden started late as well.) So I made up for it by watching approximately a million Youtube videos and buying tons of packets of seeds and canning equipment. Thus the world of commercial flower farming, farmer’s market gardening, and, in particular, homesteading was opened up to me. For over six weeks, I spent most of my waking hours sitting at home watching my videos, and created the most massively detailed, multi-tabbed Excel spreadsheet to help me organize all my gardening plans. As you do.

All that said, here’s a list of new-to-me varieties that I’ve successfully sown this year so far–all 118 of them. All grown from seed unless otherwise noted. Note that these are not all of the varieties I’ve sown, just ones that are new to me this year. Some of the seeds were ones I bought last year but didn’t have any luck with or didn’t get around to sowing. The rest are new this year.

Herbs:
Basil, Emerald Towers
Basil, Cinnamon
Basil, Thai Sweet
Borage, ‘Alba’
Chamomile, Zloty Lan
Cilantro, Santo
Comfrey (from root cutting)
Dill, Bouquet
Dill, Mammoth
Fennel, Dragon F1
Fennel, Florence
Lavender, Munstead (from seed! finally)
Mint, Catnip
Thyme, Garden
Yarrow, White

Flowers:
Alyssum, Dwarf Rainbow Mix
Aster, Salmon Janina
Baby’s Breath
Bachelor’s Button, Classic Romantic 
Dianthus, Sweet William
Gomphrena, Salmon Pastel 
Gomphrena, Carmine
Hibiscus, Red Mahagony
Nicotiana, Jasmine Scented
Pampas Grass, Plume Mix
Phlox, Lavender Beauty
Poppy, Iceland–Pastel Meadows
Rudbeckia, Indian Summer (yellow)
Rudbeckia, Gloriosa Daisy Prairie Sun
Rudbeckia, Goldilocks
Snapdragons, Rocket Mix
Snapdragon, Black Prince
Snapdragon, Tequila Sunrise
Snapdragon, Night and Day
Snapdragon, Magic Carpet Blend 
Strawflower, Apricot
Stock, Anytime Mix
Stock, Sissi “Shades of Blue” Mix
Sweet Pea, Bouquet Blend 
Sweet Pea, High Scent 
Sweet Pea, Knee-Hi Blend 
Sweet Pea, Little Sweetheart
Sweet Pea, Perfume Delight 
Sweet Pea, Royal Blend
Tulip, Darwin Hybrid Blushing Apeldorn
Viola, Brush Strokes 
Viola, Cool Summer Breeze
Zinnia, Queen Lime Red
Zinnia, Queen Lime Lime
Brassicas:
Broccoli, Burgundy
Brussel Sprouts,  Silvia
Chijimisai
Radish, French Breakfast
Radish, Miyashige White Daikon 
Turnip, Tokinashi
Legumes:
Bean, Borlotto Del Valdarno
Fava, Aquadulce 
Fava, Broad Windsor
Snap Pea, Magnolia Blossom Tendril
Cucumbers & Watermelons:
Cucumber, Salad Bush
Cucumber, Chelsea
Melon, Savor F1
Nightshades:
Tomato, Black Strawberry 
Tomato, Cherry Fountain 
Tomato, Hugarian Heart
Tomato, Purple Reign
Tomato, Tappy’s Heritage
Curcurbita (Summer Squash):
Summer Squash, “Avocado”
Summer Squash, Center Cut
Curcurbita (Winter Squash):
Pumpkin, Snowball F1
Winter Squash, Crown Prince (c. pepo)
Winter Squash, Squash 898 (experimental)
Winter Squash, Honeynut (hybrid, moschata/maxima)
Winter Squash, Marina di Chioggia (c. maxima)
ASTERACEAE:
Lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson
Lettuce, Little Gem 
Lettuce, Marvel of Four Seasons Butterhead 
Lettuce, Nancy
Lettuce, Parris Island Cos (Romaine)
Lettuce, Prizehead
Lettuce, Winter Density
CHENOPODIACEAE:
Beet, Detroit Golden
Spinach, Aurochs
Spinach, Gigante d’ Inverno 
Swiss Chard, Verde De Taglio
Swiss Chard, Bietola a Costa Fine
Swiss Chard, Bright Lights Mix
Alliums:
Asparagus, Spartacus (from crowns)
Chives, Common
Garlic, Lorz Italian Heirloom (softneck) (from cloves)
Garlic, Music (hardneck) (from cloves)
Garlic, German Extra Hardy (hardneck) (from cloves)
Leek, Lancelot (starts)
Onion, Alisa Craig
Onion, Sierra Blanca F1
Onion, Rossa di Milano
Onion, Yellow of Parma
Onion, Red Long of Tropea
Onion, Stirling (starts)
Onion, Zebrune Shallot 
Umbellifers:
Carrot, Shin Kuroda
Carrot, Sugarsnax 54 (pelleted)
Carrot, Tendersweet
Carrot, Gold Nugget
Carrot, Napoli
Celery, Chinese Pink Cutting
Fruits (bare root or small plants):
Raspberry, Double Gold
Raspberry, Caroline
Strawberry, Sparkle
Blackberry, Prime Ark® Freedom
Blueberry, Patriot (early season, highbush)
Blueberry, Northland (midseason, highbush)
Blueberry,  Jersey (late season; largest species)
Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes (from seed potatoes):
Potatoes, Red Gold
Potatoes, Purple Viking
Potatoes, Russian Banana
Trees/Bushes (Bare root):
Apple, Fuji Dwarf (Reachables, dwarf)
Peach, Contender (Reachables, dwarf)

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