It’s Time to Plan the Gardens

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This is what our neck of the woods looks like right now. But I’ve noticed tiny buds beginning to pop on the trees, the days are getting longer and warmer, and many of the songbirds have returned to serenade us in the mornings. All of this is to say Spring isn’t too far off. So, it’s garden planning time.

We are expanding our growing space this year. We’ll have at least 5 times the square footage previously allowed if we want it. This has led to many squeals of excitement and conversations about produce possibilities. We’ve had a garden for the past 14 years, but we were space limited. In order to maximize our yield, we’ve been creative. We grew squashes and cucumbers on trellises, and we installed some raised beds to eke out just a few more feet of space. We’ve even grown cilantro and rosemary in our peony garden.

This year we’ll be able to give our plants more room to grow, so that maybe we won’t run into some of the insect and blight problems we’ve faced in years past. And we can try some new vegetables, as well.

I ordered seed catalogs a few weeks ago. I’ll warn you now, there is nothing more satisfying (and frustrating) than sitting down to browse through a seed catalog in February, especially if you live in a northern tier state. It’s almost like booking a dream cruise vacation that you won’t go on until six months later. Supposedly, planning is half the fun but looking at all the different produce photos makes me itchy for warm weather and the smell of fresh turned earth.

Now is the time to consider your gardens.

  • What do you want to grow?
  • What needs to happen to get a good return on your time and money investment?
  • Do you need to plow fallow land?
  • Do you need to amend the soil?
  • What kind of space do you need?
  • Do you want to grow up as well as out?
  • Do you want to grow vegetables only, or do you want fruits and herbs as well?
  • How many zucchinis do you want to have to pawn off on friends and family?

We’re planning on growing things we haven’t been able to before now. Potatoes and cabbages are at the top of the list. We’ve never had enough room to make growing them worth it, but now we will. We also want to grow strawberries. If anyone has any tips on how we can get to the berries before the birds and bunnies do, please leave a comment.