Prepping for Your Garden: How Early Is Too Early to Plan?
Gardening is one of those wonderful family activities we love to do. It teaches J about stewardship, caring for the food we eat, having fun in the dirt, and doing something productive and delightful with us. Talk about nourishing the whole person of the child! I remember when he was still an infant and in the sling and I was out weeding two summers ago. It was heavenly. And then last summer he would wobble around in the tomato patch and try to put things into his mouth that didn’t belong there (i.e., sticks, compost, etc).
Even if you don’t have a backyard, you can still do a considerable amount of gardening if you have a windowsill or even little terrace. Fresh herbs? Yes, please, thank you! And compost? The best thing to do with your kitchen scraps: grow fertilizer & reduce your garbage can waste.
1) Last year’s garden.
We had a massive garden last year. See post here. We also got really into composting. See post here. Now that it’s March (though there is lots of snow on the ground still around here in the Metro area), I’m contemplating our garden for this spring and what will be in it. J has a little book on gardening that he likes to paw through and point & name his favorite garden items. You guessed them: blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Luckily we have all those in the ground already from last year. We also planted two apple trees for his birthday in late summer last year. Hoping to get some to make apple sauce!
2) Prepping for this years.
So is it too early to prep for the garden? In an ideal world, we’d start everything from seed that we’d ordered from some amazing heirloom seed company. (Anyone read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver?) But being that our summer is short (mid-May to Sept), and our growing season is equally short, we may have to do like we did last year wherein we either acquired plants from the Farmer’s Market or planted seeds directly into the ground. We did get a bundle from the Friends School Sale at the State Fair Grounds (amazing selection of everything on the earth and under it) as well.
Another thing to consider is planting out at our place in Wisconsin. There’s TONS (well, literally ACRES) of great soil. Maybe all the sprawly stuff will go out there this year. Ahem, I’m talking to you, pumpkins, who tried to ruin me last year.
I’m dreaming about lots of root veggies, tomatoes, cilantro, basil, and cucumbers. Though we won’t break ground for months, I’d like to sketch out the garden plans before baby girl arrives mid-April, just in case I’m too tired to do so then and we plant late! Travesty!