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What's the first thing you're planting this spring?

The Garden Blog

The garden blog

Ann garden January 1 12When people ask what I'm growing in my community garden this time of year it sometimes takes me awhile to respond. It's not that there isn't a lot going on -- living in Southern California, just as much growing as there is in the summer -- it's that it's all so subtle. Except, of course, for the poinsettia and the roses, which are pictured here and continue to be just spectacular.

Otherwise, I've got greens: red and green lettuces, arugula (which is going nuts) and some very cool Osaka Purple Mustard I grew from seeds ordered from the D. Landreth Seed Company that I'm using both for salads and on sandwiches. Also continuing to do well is my celery plant, where I can take a stalk or two a week for my chicken salad and let it continue to grow, the jalapenos (although they're almost done) and -- and this is the most fun -- the strawberries. Gotta love the ability to pick a perfectly ripe strawberry and pop it in your mouth in January.

Looking forward, I've sent away for some new seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. They include kale and a Japanese cucumber variety (Sagami Hanjiro) that Baker Creek identified as one of their favorites for 2012. So far, it's a very promising year in the garden.

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