I have been puttering around the house this week, knowing I should be starting seeds, but way more drawn to spring cleaning and trying new things. I have unconsciously been putting off starting seeds outside or in the greenhouse, though my calendar tells me to do so and all my experience from years past point to NOW, I just haven’t felt drawn to do it…. and know I know why, WATER.
There simple has been none. For almost 2 months very few drops of anything have fallen from our skies, while the rest of the country wades through multiple feet of snow, we kick dust around, sweep our porches constantly and sneeze our way through a disturbingly early spring…..
But the gift of rain has fallen upon us, finally!! So beautifully slow and steady all night, so well received by our parched, dry earth. Every thing feels back to balance somehow and today my seeding instincts have finally kicked it.
For those of you who are following along with my calendar this year I know you may have seen seeding dates since January, but if you haven’t planted anything yet, you are NOT TOO LATE. The dates in the calendar are what you could plant, not necessarily what you must plant. In fact if you planted everything I recommended on every day, you would need at farm to grow all that food. Every garden and gardener is different, every single season, so if you are gardening this year, today would be a great time to get started with a few simple questions before you get those seeds in the ground.
Ask yourself and your garden…
How much room do you have to grow this year?
How much water have you collected, or are you willing to pay for city water?
Are you going away at all this summer, if so when? You will want to plan your harvests around your trips.
What do you know you will want to eat fresh daily? What can you afford to source from farmers instead of growing yourself?
How much windowsill/greenhouse space do you have fro starting seedlings? If none, what is your budget/plan for getting starts for your garden?
These are all big questions I must address every year before I start throwing seeds and water around. I try to change things up every year too, to keep up on the needs at hand. For example, having a new baby, no money and lots of time at home in the past few summers, my garden was tremendously ambitious. I planted mostly spring greens and during the summers my garden was filled to the brim in tomatoes. From 110 plants I weighed in 300lbs of red and 75 lbs of green (early frost) tomatoes from my backyard. I grew enough to can and supply for my families needs for a year. With the same plan in 2012 I never bought a tomato product. This year, to date I now have 25 pints & 3 quarts of diced tomatoes, 5 pints of salsa and 5 half pints of ketchup left to carry my till July. I will let you know if I run out, but I think we will plan accordingly and be just fine. So these past years it was my goal to never buy a tomato product, and my experiment worked….
This year I am wondering, will I do that again? We have more travel planned, the water is looking less promising and I am actually more excited about growing spring greens for my Mama’s Mini CSA and trading for milk and eggs, than having all that tomato processing to do this fall… Decisions, Decisions!!
Well, While I mull over mine, what will you grow this year? What will you buy, trade, what will you forego?
If those questions are already answered, well then now my friends, would be a good time to begin to sow. If you are beginning your garden journey here are a few posts that will help you get started-