I am beginning to seriously study the seed catalogs (online) and read about all the new varieties. This gives me plenty of food for thought. Since no garden is perfect, I made a list last fall of all the things that did or didn’t work last year and the things I had to change, even if it was the position in the garden plot. I am pouring over my notes from last year and striving to do better this year.
If you made notations on your garden’s successes and failures, think at this time if you grew what your family likes to eat. Did you keep up with the harvesting of those plants or do you need to grow less of something this year? Did you use your whole garden plot productively? Personally, I like to seed in wide rows or square beds because I have the space to utilize. Some of my neighbors have reduced the size of their garden permanently now that their children have grown up and moved on. (If you have children like mine, they don’t grow their own gardens and tend to raid my garden when they come home all summer long!)
Let’s get realistic here though – it’s time to decide which crops you truly want to grow, and in what quantity. Do you need just enough to eat fresh, or do you want a surplus to freeze, can, or dry? After you have made some decisions about your home vegetable garden, it is definitely time to lay out your garden on that piece of paper.
If you’re like the author, you will only order enough seeds to match your plan and your needs. Make sure to choose disease-resistant strains of seeds. I tend to try new varieties of vegetables in my home garden based on the experts.
This time of year (cold as it may be) is the time to get as much done as you can before planting time arrives. Organize yourself (even if it’s just your thoughts) in order to prepare. Gather your momentum so you are ready for the joy of placing that first seed in the moist earth!
Before ordering your vegetable seeds, if you are like me, you have half-used packages of seed left over from last year. Most gardeners are hesitant to use these. This is normal, but you can test their germination in an easy way before you decide.
To test their germination, dampen a paper towel. Lay about ten seeds on it (from the same variety) and cover this with another damp paper towel. In order to keep this paper towel moist, either spray mist occasionally with water or roll the towel gently and place it in a plastic bag. Keep this in a warm place. After the germination time (stated on the package) has elapsed, count the number of seeds that have sprouted. If fewer than 50 percent of your seeds have germinated, order new seed.
Now is the appropriate time to ask if it is really worth the trouble to start seedlings indoors, or is it more practical to wait until spring and purchase the few transplants and annuals you need? If you decide that you want to start the seedlings, be sure to order these seeds along with the rest of your seeds. I tend to purchase all my seeds from the same company every year, but this can be your choice.
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You receive encouragement at that website, and you are shown it is possible to succeed in spite of the weather.
The blog posts are ongoing and a great source of information. What you thought was impossible is not really impossible!
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