Saturday, March 1, 2014

Antsy Gardener

 It's March 1st today, only 20 more days until spring which is marked by the vernal equinox, when the day and night length are equal.

 As an avid gardener, I've spent the past winter months perusing garden catalogs and dreaming about fresh tomatoes. With the anticipation of more light and warmer temperatures, I have begun ordering seeds to start indoors.  Here is what I was looking at today:

Recently the temperatures have been uncharacteristically NOT "spring-like" but that did not deter me from sprinkling some seeds on the ground and covering them with a row cover.  The wild arugula and other greens should sprout in a week or two and I'll have some micro-greens for salads.

When I got home I ran to the garage and pulled out my garden lights, much to the hubby's dismay because he really doesn't like to see all those little pots of dirt on our kitchen counter for the next two months.  I on the other hand, revel at the site of little seedlings poking their heads out of my peat pellets. Last year I started seeds inside for the first time.  The starts did amazingly well and I am anxious to try again this year.  See this post to read about my seed starting adventures.

 If starting seeds at home is not in your plans, then spring is the perfect time to prepare your garden for planting.  Over the next few weeks it will be time to till under cover crops that have overwintered, remove winter mulch or weed small sections of your plot in preparation for some spring planting. Compost can be added to your plot as well as organic fertilizers and mineral amendments.

After you've prepared a small section of your plot, you will be ready to plant your cool season crops such as spinach, lettuce, and many other greens.  I often remove my winter mulch in stages so that every 2 to 4 weeks I uncover more and more of my plot. During my first year at the garden I learned that preparing my entire plot too early resulted in weeds growing back in the areas that I was not ready to plant.  I learned my lesson that year and now prepare my plot for planting in stages.  

A gardener can always dream of what ahead and so I am going to leave you with some garden eye candy to brighten your day!