Thursday, December 26, 2013

Spring Planning (Already!)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We enjoyed a beautiful day with family and friends at our new house, I couldn't have asked for a better day.

Now to get ready for....gardening! Did you think I was going to say New Years? I'm working on some New Homestead Goals for the new year too, but it's also time to start thinking about the spring garden. In our area we are definitely still in the middle of cold, snowy, icy winter but starting to collect seeds and equipment and plan out the gardens now means we'll be ready to go when the weather gets warmer.

Our last frost date here is usually the first week of May. (If you don't know yours you can find it here.) That means we're about 17-18 weeks before our last frost. Now is the time to gather up all those seed catalogs that have been coming in the mail for the last few weeks (or request catalogs on-line from various seed companies if you haven't been getting them already), and start choosing what you want to plant this year. Seed orders can be sent in any time now! Also, if you want to plant asparagus, now is the time to order your crowns. Our properties has an existing asparagus patch but I love asparagus and plan to put in lots more this year.

We have quite a few seeds that we got in the fall from our local hardware store. They were leftover from the previous spring and they were giving them away so we stocked up on some things we know we will want to plant. Being older seeds they may not do quite as well as if we bought all new this season, but they will do just fine to get us started. We will still be ordering some things also.

A couple of other things you can do now? Start slow growing (and slow to germinate) herbs, like thyme and parsley,  indoors. It's an early start, but perfect if you're going to grow them in pots and have enough light indoors to get them through the winter. Also, if you buy oranges or other produce in those mesh bags start saving them now and you will have great storage containers for onions, shallots, and garlic later.

Since this will be our first spring here, we are planning out where we want to have our gardens. This involves a lot of extra work this year because one spot we want to use is the area where are our chick houses currently are and we will have to get those moved (when they are not frozen to the ground!) and other areas look like this right now...

Well, except when I took these pics things were a lot greener! That's a lot of weeds to deal with!
We are measuring  the spaces we want to use and then will plan the layout of the gardens taking into consideration the amount of sunlight, drainage, and proximity to the house (for the most convenience, I like to put some of the things I use most often in everyday meals (tomatoes, leafy greens, herbs) close to the kitchen door!). 

Sometimes this very cold and wet part of winter can seem a little long, but planning ahead for the garden not only makes a busy spring more manageable, but makes bleak winter days more cheerful too!

Are you doing anything to get ready for your garden yet?

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  1. I was doing this very thing today. I took inventory of what seeds I had and what seeds I am going to order. I can't wait to see how things go for us this year - and you too!

  2. Hi Toni! Isn't it exciting to get all those seeds out? I am looking forward to sharing the adventures in our garden on the blog this year, I hope you are planning to share yours too, I love to see other people's gardens!

  3. I have been down with a bad cold, but that didn't stop me from going through all of last year's seeds and all the seed catalogs I have! Unfortunately I won't be able to have a big garden this year because we have to return the garden area to lawn in order to sell our house - according to the real estate lady. Oh well, I can always plant some things in pots!

  4. Hi Vickie! I'm sorry to hear you're under the weather! I hear there are people out there who would rather have a lawn than a garden...I just don't understand it! ;) Many years ago when I lived in a large city, I couldn't have a garden so I did pots on my deck (as many as I could fit!) and those plants actually did really well! I had some big beautiful plants and a great harvest from them. I hope yours give you lots of enjoyment to help make up for not getting to have your big garden! I glad you stopped by!

  5. Thank you for linking up at green thumb Thursday! Exciting to plan for spring, isn't it. Our new garden has some asparagus too, cant wait to see it grow!