Ready for it to be Spring

The respite of winter has been sufficient and I am really looking forward to getting back to gardening. The snow can leave any time! I have plans, and seeds, and energy.

One thing I really should keep in mind in the future…..a huge garden yielding a ridiculous amount of vegetables leads to TONS of work harvesting, storing, and processing said vegetables! I’m sorry I dropped off the face of the planet late last summer. I was totally swamped with work!

But winter has worked its magic insofar as I am now ready to get out there and get to work again, having somehow forgotten how ready I was for it all to be over with last fall. The month of March is when I get back on track with the garden.

Right now is the time to plan. I use an on-line program to map out my garden and I love being able to figure out how many plants I’ll reasonably be able to grow given the space I have. Since I start most of my plants from seed, I really have to be organized early.

I did something fun this year….because I usually only need a fraction of the seeds that come in a packet, I decided to gather some like-minded gardeners together and share seeds. (And it’s a great idea for a party in the middle of the dreariest part of winter!) We all looked through seed catalogs and decided what varieties and plants we were interested in, and then I placed one big order for all of us. Once all the seeds arrived we split them up (another fun party!) so now we can all grow many kinds of, for example, summer squashes. It was also fun to chat with other gardeners and hear what they were interested in planting. Because of one of their suggestions I’ll be growing tomatillos this year for the first time ever. Wish me luck!

While most plants can’t go out until the middle/end of May, lots of things I start indoors from seed need weeks before they’re set out.  The leek seedlings sprouted about a week ago and my calendar is filled with start dates for eggplant, tomatoes, peppers….if I keep them all straight I will be suitably delighted! Some things can either be started inside or out, so (why are you people not surprised?) I do BOTH! I start a few of my squashes and cucumbers inside, and then start another batch of them outside when it’s warm.

Right now the only plants I have started are leeks and celery. (I could have also started onions, but this year the only allium I’m starting from seed are the leeks.) In another week or so I’ll start anything that needs to be started ten weeks prior to the last frost date, such as eggplant. The squashes and other vine plants hate to be transplanted, so I’ll only start them a couple of weeks before they go out and plant them in pots that can go in the ground.

The day will soon come when I will be back out there, digging in the dirt. Hopefully I won't get TOO busy TOO quickly and I'll be able to keep you up-to-date with my progress.

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