In the Garden

It’s about that time…

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Winter has been a bit underwhelming this year in our region. All the things my family loves about this season have been sorely lacking. Namely, snow. The kids actually resorted to trying to sled on sleet a few weeks back. Instead of lots of fun, fluffy white stuff (remember, we homeschool and hubberman works from home so getting snowed in is fun for us) we have instead been getting an abundance of grey skies and wind. Lots and lots of wind.

Add to that the Seasonal Affective Disorder that seems to be scooping up people by the armful, and then sending them all out twitchy and grumpy on the roads to honk their dissatisfaction at anything that moves.

I think we all need a little sunshine about now!

While keeping the plates of homeschool spinning over the past two months, I’ve been staring longingly at my seed and garden catalogs. I’ve decided, it’s time. Tomorrow I sit down with my seed catalog and plan out and order this spring’s garden.

Last year, I made a point of journaling my lessons learned my first year of gardening. Now that I have two years under my belt, I’m adding to my list of lessons and goals. Here’s what I have so far:

  1. This year, no cabbages. They were yummy and all, but they just take up too much square foot garden real estate. There is so much more I can be doing with that space.
  2. No squash either. Same reason.
  3. Last year’s amount of green beans was perfect! Just enough to keep a steady flow coming in the kitchen without being overwhelming. Plant the same this year.
  4. Try a leaning trellis for cucumbers. I don’t want to give up on cucumbers just yet, and I think that a trellis might be the answer. I’ll give them one more chance to not be annoying in my garden, and then sadly they will have to go the way of the squash.
  5. Try a few new things I have not tried yet. As I browse the seed catalog, I’m going to challenge myself to order something a little unusual, just to give it a whirl. You never know until you try!

What are your garden plans this year?

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20 thoughts on “It’s about that time…”

  1. I love the Botanical Interests seed packaging, probably just as well they’re not available here. I’m going to grow a much more focused range of vegetables this season, broad beans, peas, new potatoes, sweetcorn, tomatoes and other salad crops, the emphasis will be on successional sowing to give a supply for as long as possible. Lots of fruit and flowers for cutting also planned. We just need a bit of dry weather and some sun now to be able to get started.

  2. The vining plants (including squash and melons and cucumbers) can all be trained up a trellis, or, as I like to do, a piece of heavy duty hog paneling. They are so much less annoying and take up MUCH less room if you can spend the time to train them. I love squash in my garden and learn to work around their land-grabbing tendencies.
    This year I will be expanding my garden space significantly, because I want to plant more potatoes, cabbages and beans. 🙂

    1. Yes, a trellis is definitely the plan for me this year…if I had more room in the enclosure I would give the squash another whirl, but there just isn’t enough room. I’m tempted to do some expanding too 🙂

  3. That’s a good list. We usually plant (and love tomatoes) and though pumpkins take up a lot of room, we’ll plant them anyway (it’s family tradition). I bought two new raspberry shrubs, and plan to add flowers to replace an area of sod.

    Sorry about the lack of snow. We’re having one of the driest winters on record here in Silicon Valley. We’re desperate for a bit of rain.

    1. I hope you get a little rain soon! The raspberries sound wonderful…I would love to have some berry plants, but they would have to be in containers on the deck because of the deer. I’ll have to look into that. I know there are some container blueberries…

  4. Jumping into spring with dreams of your next garden is surely the perfect antidote to this underwhelming winter that has dampened the spark of your days. Great idea. It is almost like already having a foot in the garden and the sun against your cheek, isn’t it?! Enjoy the weeks to come (I have a feeling you will).

      1. We’re actually going to dedicate a bed to being a strawberry patch… get some ever-bearing varieties and see what happens! I may try some other types of berries in there, too.

  5. Yep, it’s that time of year! I had to get outside yesterday, and it looks like it’s another beautiful day today! I’m still trying to decide what I want to do with my garden for this year. I really want to try and grow some lettuce. I have strawberries growing right now, they make great ground cover! 🙂 I’m looking forward to hearing more about your garden! 🙂

  6. Last year I grew lemon cucumbers in large pots, with upside down tomato cages for them to climb. I am going to grow a lot more of them this year, in a raised bed (all my vegetables are in raised beds or containers) with trellises I ordered from a clearance sale. I also am using landscape staples to attach my neighbor’s old stock fencing to the rail side of my fence (stapling it to the rails and posts) for more, and decorative gourds. I already used his old gate for a raised bed!
    I was going to give up on squash (pumpkins) since last year all I got were squash bugs, but I am just going to set a bag of compost way in the back of they yard and put pumpkins and watermelon in them as is. I see others have great success that way. Then they can crawl around to their hearts content.
    I built a growlight shelf for seed starting, which can begin later this month. I am so excited! I have a bunch of kinds of tomato seeds, peppers, cucumbers, some flowers. I have a bed prepared just for pole beans. I have spinach started (not up yet) on top of my refrigerator. I am going to try potatoes (container grown) and celery for the first time.
    I have 5 new blueberries (4 Bluecrop and 1 Draper), 7 boysenberry “sticks” and a big bed I moved the strawberries into last fall.

    1. Wow! Your garden is already humming along! I will be very interested to see how everything does, especially your container potatoes and lemon cucumbers! I was thinking of growing both of those this year!

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