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Even though the temperatures may deter us from venturing outside for any great length of time, there are breaks that give us a short window to escape outside to start to plan and dream of spring. There are chores to do like picking up fallen branches, cutting back the ornamental grasses and pruning the trees and shrubs while they are dormant.  It is also a  good time to look at your vegetable garden.  This is a good time to expand the garden or reorganize what you planted last year.

So, on the colder days, we can retreat indoors and forage through the seed catalogs and gardening web sites.  This is the time to plan what vegetables you want to plant for the coming year.  What has worked well and what new varieties do you want ti try in 2010?  Some of the ‘new’ varieties may actually be vegetable plants that have been around for years and just forgotten until recently.  They are the ‘Heirloom’ plants that offer more flavor and are interesting to grow because of their unusual colors.  There are green tomatoes such as Aunt Ruby’s German Cherry and Emerald Green.  The Rattlesnake pole beans are fun to grow because of their green pods with purple streaks.

Be adventurous and include these or other heirloom varieties in your garden this year.  The results will surely make your garden the talk of the neighborhood.  Not only will you have some fum new vegetables to try at dinner, they will make the meal look more interesting.

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