Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Thinking "Spring" and planning a garden (sponsored post)

 This post contains sponsored links.

My garden is good and dormant.  My strawberries survived into November, tomatoes and peppers are long gone, and even my hardy rosemary plant is giving off a "leave me alone" vibe.   The weather has been crazy and I can't even get out there to turn over debris -- we've had lot of wet weather, and then last week we were sucked into that big polar vortex and temps were a gazillion below zero.  (Ok, maybe not, but it felt like it.  But I don't see much difference between 7° temperatures and -18° wind chills.  It's all painfully cold.)

But I'm starting to think about this summer's garden.  I know the calendar says "January."  However, the calendar ALSO says that we have less than a month until "Pitchers and Catchers Report" Day.  Punxsutawney Phil is a cute groundhog, but I'll trust the Phillie Phanatic as my seasonal soothsayer.  And if it's time to think baseball, then it's also time to think "gardening."

Last year I waited until too late to plant.  I had some great basil plants, and a lot of luck with the wintered-over strawberries, but it was close to June before I put in anything else.  I got one baseball sized cantaloupe, a handful of tomatoes, and my cucumbers and peppers just gave up.  This year, I'm starting earlier.

I'm already planning what I want to put in.  (Hey!! There's that proactive thing kicking in.)  I think I'm going to go for quantity over variety this year. Rather than making space for cukes and cataloupe and tomatoes, maybe I'll just do tomatoes.  More plants hopefully equals better yield.  I don't expect I'll be able to feed us for the winter on what we grow, but it would be nice to get enough tomatoes in one harvest to make enough spaghetti sauce for a meal.  No matter how you stretch it, one tomato every three days don't make enough sauce for five!

But this year, I think we may try planting from seed.  I think part of my problem last year was that I was late getting to the local farmers' stands and by the time I did,  and it was too late to reliably transplant. Sounds like a good science project, right?  And maybe gardening tips from Mistress Mary will help.  When we went to Sanibel Island, Florida at Thanksgiving, we went shelling and Celia gathered me a bunch of cockleshells.  I feel a garden craft project coming too...

Are you growing from seed? I know one of my hurdles is we may not have enough sunny windows to fit the seedlings, so I'm checking out grow lights. Access Hydroponic is offering my readers a 10% discount though the end of February 2014 - can you guess where I'll be ordering from if I can't rearrange things to fit? 

Get 10% off best led grow lights when you shop at Valid until February 2014.

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