Friday, January 16, 2015

A little winter gardening in California

It's time to start the garden year for 2015! I'm so happy I wet my plants. ;-)

It's true, that tomatoes and marigolds will come later in year, there are so many seeds to plant now, for growing your own food. Whether you garden in pots like me, or have a 1/4 acre plot, a big big backyard and front yard, there is simply no greater joy in life than to grow your own food.
You feel strong, you feel smart, you feel a connection with the humans from centuries past, and since you are what you eat......
doncha wanna eat good and healthy? Yes, you do!
Even if you can't grow everything, I can't certainly, but I can grow a lot of food in a few dozen pots and planters.
Follow along with me this year, because we are gonna see some miracles of life, and some of the best food any human has ever eaten!

 Oh yes you can!  if you live in a climate that has a few easy frosts in the winter, say below 32 degrees only a few times during winter, you can plant so many seeds.

Here's a short list of what you can plant, and what I planted mid January here in Northern Cali.

Spinach, beets, radish, lettuce, pak choi, broccoli, mustard, parsnips, rutabaga, and kale.  I always check the back of the package to be sure it says, NO GMO.
Why in the hell would you trust a for-profit corporation that specialized in pesticides to sell you seeds to plant for food?
GMO's are not safe for you. I don't plant them, and I sure don't eat them when I buy food at the supermarket. I have been buying organic, which is 100% NON-GMO, and I read all the labels to be sure it isn't GMO.

See, it will say on the package.  Here is a list of NON GMO seed companies.
The saddest news I have to report after almost 60 years of gardening, that MONSANTO now owns about 40% of the seeds sold in the US and worldwide, where GMO's are allowed, which is almost nowhere!!
They also own some HEIRLOOM names of very old seed varieties. How's that for Evil!!
Monsanto bought Seminis, "Seminis Vegetable Seeds, Inc. (“Seminis”) has grown to be the world’s largest developer, grower and marketer of vegetable seeds. Monsanto Company purchased the Seminis business in 2005. Seminis offers seed for commercial farmers and home gardeners. For the home garden market, Seminis offers bean, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, melons, onion, peas, peppers, spinach, sweet corn, tomato and watermelon seed."

Beware! What home garden seed sellers are OK? Here is a link and a list.
Good Seeds........ 

This link to the Wayback Machine, the Internet Archive, has an article, a long long list, and it will take time to read, if you want to avoid Monsanto. And I know you do!

What seed companies took the Safe Seed Pledge?  Here is a list.
You can depend on these, and many others.
Renee’s Garden , Seeds of Change, TomatoFest Organic Heirloom Tomato Seeds, Lake Valley Seed,  Select Seeds Company, The Pepper Gal , Henry Field's Seed & Nursery Co., Seed Savers Exchange,  Ferry Morse Seed Company,  Johnny's Selected Seeds , Annie's Heirloom Seeds,  Nichol's Garden Nursery ,  Territorial Seed Company, Cooks Garden,  Ed Hume Seeds, Jung Seed Co. , and many many more.

2005, Monsanto grabbed approximately 40% of the US vegetable seed market - See more at:
2005, Monsanto grabbed approximately 40% of the US vegetable seed market - See more at:

first I had to pull all the dead plants from the frost last month, and here are the last blighty tomatoes. This year, I'm gonna start tomatoes that are blight-resistant.

Then in all my pots, I stirred in some organic compost, some chicken poop and stirred it up.
I made little indentations, and dropped in some seed according to the package instructions and gently covered them up, and watered with a gentle stream from my watering can with a rose.

A few weeks ago I bought a few pansies to brighten up the winter garden, and I trimmed back the alyssum, and gave the garden a general clean-up.

The potted garden is a little bleak, I'll admit, but it is nice to see what survived the frosts:
Alyssum, nasturtium (with a few damaged leaves), and all the perennials, that I just cut back to half, or some, to their stems leaving about an inch.

I also tossed in some winter flowers to bloom ASAP! These all have tiny seeds, so only cover them just slightly.... about 1/16" to 1/4".
Godetia, Evening Stock, Garden stock, calendula, more alyssum,  all are reliable early Spring bloomers.
I have some sprouts... so next bloggy post, I'll show pics of what some of the first ones up look like.