It’s that time of year again, time to plan the summer garden. Actually, my planning starts as soon as the previous season ends. One of my favorite winter pastimes is to peruse the seed catalogs that seem to flood our mailboxes this time of year and then try to not buy every pack of seeds I want. It’s a great way to get past the winter blues. Although I’ll be growing our usual family favorites, I always like to add some unique varieties as well. This goes for flowers too. Besides tomatoes, flowers are one of my top favorite things to grow.

Let’s dive right in. First on the list is Peppers:

Corbaci Peppers (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds): Although not new to us, we are excited to have these in our garden again. I ran out of the seeds last season and was unable to grow them. These are a sweet heirloom pepper from Turkey. We love to eat them when they turn red – so sweet! These are great producers and the peppers can grow up to 10inches long. These are also great for pickling, which I plan to do more of this season.

Shishito Peppers (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds): These are a Japanese variety that grow up to 3 inches in length. I read that these are fantastic when you blister them in a skillet and dip them in a nice yogurt sauce – yum!

Corbaci, jalapeno and jimmy nardello –
📸 blueowlhomestead


Dr. Whyce’s Yellow Tomato (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds): I love a good yellow tomato and I have been dreaming of growing these for quite awhile. These tomato plants grow large 1 pound yellow-orange sweet tasting fruits. These are apparently large producers which is great since I live on tomato sandwiches all summer long.

Sakura Cherry Tomatoes (Johnny’s Selected Seeds): These are a F1 Hybrid that grows medium/large cherry tomatoes. Highly prolific and super sweet.

Pineapple Tomato (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds): These are also not a new variety for us but we are definitely excited to have them back in the garden this year. I grew some of my largest tomatoes of the season 2 years ago with this variety. This is a yellow fruit with beautiful red marbling that can grow up to 2 pounds. It also has a beautiful fruity flavor that I love in salads and sandwiches.

Mortgage lifter tomatoes – 📸 blueowlhomestead


Muncher Cucumber (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds): I bought these because they require no pollinators and are also great for pickling. These are a seedless cucumber that can grow up to 8 inches in length. Harvest at a smaller length for pickling.


Baby Boo Mini White Pumpkins (Etsy-Seeds to Cherish): These are a small white pumpkin variety that i bought for my toddler, she loves to help me in the garden. Highly productive plant that produces palm size fruits. I had a hard time finding these pumpkins but luckily I found some seeds on Etsy.


Cornel Bronze Dahlia (Hudson Valley Seed Co.): My first time growing Dahlias and I’m so excited! These are a ball type dahlia with beautiful orange-yellow flowers.

Snoho Doris Dahlia (Hudson Valley See Co.): A ball type dahlia with peach colored flowers.

Moonflower Morning Glory (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds): I am so happy to finally be growing these flowers. I have seen them a lot on Instagram and I couldn’t buy seeds fast enough! These are annuals that grow large white blooms. They can measure up to 7 inches across. The most exciting part of these flowers is that they bloom at night!

Senora Zinnia (Johnny’s Selected Seeds): Zinnias, in my opinion, are one of the easiest flowers to grow. I always direct sow mine but you can also start them indoors a few weeks before planting outside. These are a salmon-rose colored variety.

Xsenia Cosmos (Johnny’s Selected Seeds): Last year was my first year growing cosmos and I fell madly in love with them. They have beautiful, delicate flowers that attract all sorts of pollinators. I bought these particular cosmos because of the beautiful terracotta rose color flowers they produce.

Cupcakes Blush Cosmos (Johnny’s Selected Seeds): A fun variety where the flowers resemble cupcake wrappers. These produce delicate pale pink pleated flowers. I’m sure these will be one of my favorites of the season.

Autumn Beauty Sunflowers (Johnny’s Selected Seeds): I love sunflowers, who doesn’t! I must admit that I have the hardest time growing them because the squirrels and birds eat all my seeds. Out of all the sunflowers, Autumn Beauty is my favorite. The yellow and bronze colored flowers remind me of my favorite season – Autumn.

Sunflower – 📸 blueowlhomestead

As much as I like starting veggies and flowers from seeds, I do not like to start herbs. They seem to take a long time to grow, so I will pick up some herb starts from my local garden center. This year I am looking forward to growing stevia. If you haven’t heard of stevia, it is used as sugar alternative. The leaves are low-calorie and sweet. I use the processed version in my morning coffee daily.

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