Saturday, February 23, 2013

Seed Starting (and Garden Planning) Has Begun!

It's time for late-winter/early-spring gardening!  At times, I wonder what role gardening has on this blog, except that it is a huge part of our creative lives.  Long ago, it was more a matter of simply growing vegetables to can or freeze for the next year, and it certainly is still that.  But, it's also become much more creative and much more of a community-minded activity.  We live in the suburbs, after all -- a long ways away from when we gardened surrounded by 180 acres of farmland (and I had space for 54 tomato plants and could put up more than enough food!!)

Indeed, my main goals for the garden this year have more to do with dear friends who passed away this year, who always checked out the garden and watched whatever we were up to, chuckling often when we asked for their bagged leaves from their curbs, but always willing to provide.  And then, a few years ago, I noticed that one of the men had started growing red and white impatiens in flower boxes all along the front of his house.  And, he got some pin wheels.  And, I started enjoying watching his gardening adventures, just as he got a kick out of ours.

He passed away from cancer this year.  His pin wheel and flower boxes are still in front of his house.  So, this year, I might not have too many plans for the garden in terms of where I'm planting what, but I do know that I'll be planting some red and white impatiens and I need to find some pin wheels in honor of friends who we miss dearly.

And, meanwhile, we just started a flat of tomato seeds that have joined an earlier flat of leeks and flowers.  I am bound and determined to actually grow leeks one year -- so far, it hasn't happened, but that's the fun of gardening.  This year might be the year!  Last year was a good one in terms of new things -- we grew broom corn, green cabbages, and cauliflower successfully for the first time.

This year, I don't have many goals, except that I'd love to see my asparagus really provide a decent crop, I'd like to see my strawberries perform, and I need to figure out a way to get a larger tomato harvest.  I'd thought I had put up enough tomatoes, but we ran out of canned tomatoes and sauce a few weeks ago -- way too early!  I also need more basil because we ran out of frozen pesto long ago, too.   My other goal is to avoid planting things that my family just won't eat.  There's no need to plant a bunch of lettuce or pac choi because the guys will only eat so many salads and even fewer stir fries....

We were just blessed with some used wood from a house that is being remodeled, so we spent an hour or so today pulling nails from it and getting it ready for more garden boxes (not that I have any idea where to actually place them in our small yard!).  We also want/need to build another compost bin.

The fun begins!

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