Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Spring Garden Planning - Getting an Early Start

"The best place to seek God is in a garden.  You can dig for him there." 
~George Bernard Shaw, The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God, 1932

Well, here we are in February, and spring is not that far away. Thank goodness!!!  I am so excited because I can finally focus on my true love…gardening. Like you, I am receiving numerous catalogs in the mail and although they are enticing, I must remember my purpose is to spend as little as possible by recycling used items or getting them for free.

Today, I am going to start my garden supplies inventory list or as my husband would say, “the junk list”. I will admit, I have a huge amount of vases, pots, seeds, plant markers, etc. however, everything will come in handy at some point and he knows this. The list I am creating today will also give me an idea of what I will need to plan this year’s growing season. Because I live in an urban area and my yard is ridiculously small, I am limited in what I grow. It’s this reason that the buckets, large pots and small misc containers I have on hand will be turned into planters.  My motto is, if you can put holes in it, use it.

My list is completed and I have everything I need for my garden with the exception of compost (which I will pick up for free from our county’s compost facility). I start all of my less hardy seeds such as petunias, impatiens, savory (summer and winter), marjoram, chives and onions around the end of February indoors. In addition to the above mentioned plants, I will also grow the following this year: 

Beans (lima and Romano), peas (snow, snap), tomatoes (grape, plum and paste), summer squash, carrots, cabbage, corn, kale, greens (collards, mustard and turnips), okra, bunching onions, peppers (sweet and hot), spinach, Swiss chard, nasturtiums, cosmos, cilantro, coneflowers, sunflowers, lupine, basil, parsley, black eyed Susan, sage, marigold, sweet William, chicory, oregano, Chinese forget me nots, Siberian wallflower, thyme(creeping and garden), lovage, horehound, sorrel, cowpeas (black eyed and purple hull), yarrow, lupine, kohlrabi, chamomile, lettuce (Asian Mesclun and Bibb), radish, shallots, watermelon, candytuft, cucumbers, corn salad, dianthus, alyssum, leaf lettuce, endive, Virginia stock, daisies (Shasta , Ox Eye, and Gloriosa) coreopsis (Lance leaf and plains), zinnias, pansies, salvia, sunflowers, larkspur, morning glory and lemon balm.  

Ok, I know I have an enormous amount of seeds of all types and I admit I am truly obsessed with collecting them.  However, I share frequently with friends, family and anyone who shows an interest in starting their own gardening. This year I plan on donating produce to our local food pantry and homeless shelters.  I am also going to grow extra plants for my neighbors.

I have been cultivating my seed collection for many years now by various means.  My friends and family typically present me with seeds and gift cards to garden centers for special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas or Earth Day.  But my favorite way to get them is by gathering seeds from my own plants, something I'll discuss in detail down the line.

Well, I must go for now.  I will keep you informed of my activities soon.  Until later…Ta-Ta!


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