Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Getting your Garden Planned in January

Did you get your 500 seed catalogs yet?  Did you know that the seed company sends these catalogs to your door at the weakest moment of your life? We are disadvantaged when we are winter weak and weary, surviving day to day. When those seed catalogs arrive, like silly fools, we are totally incompetent when we fill out an order; it ends up the size of the Gettysburg Address, because we are so wanting a garden.
When you fall for this deceptive advertising; like order enough seeds for the next century, you become a slave all summer long working in the hot sun, wasteful at the end of a gardening season, giving out all of your hard earned zucchinis.
So, to avoid disappointment, revise your order form several times until it is manageable. "What am I capable of producing" Garden Stud?

Narrow down your garden plan. Ask yourself,  "What do I want as an end result"  the harvest is the end result. If you plan on canning and freezing for an entire year, then you want a simple garden with tried and true varieties; such as: bush beans, squash, potatoes, and tomatoes. If you plan on eating fresh all summer and not preserving for the winter then maybe a smaller garden with more variety: lettuce varieties, tomatoes, herbs, beans, cucumbers, carrots, and squash. Which ever way you choose, think of the harvest first.

Starting from seed. If you order seeds to start them in a green house, kitchen or back porch, then you want to order them soon. And if you prefer this method, be ready to be a mommy for your seedlings; this can also entail extra cost and effort. Timing is everything when you start from seed; they can become rather spindly and weak living in those peat pots if they are have to wait for their summer home.

Planting directly in the ground. Then pick varieties that can make the time frame for your growing season. In the Adirondacks the growing season is barely enough for a blade of grass, but for lucky people south of Mason Dixon-100 day CORN! And take the soil temperature to make sure that they will be able to germinate. I buy extra seeds for this hypothetical outcome, in case you get snow in June, God just loves to watch us work, especially with gardening.

Garden slackers- read here  For the laziest of gardeners, buy from a green house. It takes perseverance to wait until that day, but you can stroll in like a big shot, and buy plants. Greenhouse plants have the advantage that someone has done the work for you, but you pay the price.

Scavengers-read here The next best thing to gardening is finding someone that works hard and displays a bounty, we are talking about the person that fell for all that advertising...Go to their vegetable stand and give them a donation-walk away with fresh produce.
Well I hope I didn't put too much of a damper on your exuberance. Right now we are all savoring the day we can smell the earth. It doesn't hurt to dream big, but think things out.
This year I have decided to plant heirloom varieties. I bought in on the Beekman 1802 Heirloom garden; it is a community project with support, and thought it would be fun to try-I might learn something.
And I also tried the Seed Savers organization http://www.seedsavers.org/ I ordered varieties that are staples for my garden for a very reasonable price, and helping their organization.

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