March is here and we are beginning to feel the weather change. Not big changes yet, but enough to prompt our thoughts to warmer weather activities. Maybe your thoughts like mine go to the wonderful place of what shall be grown in the garden this year.
So despite having some snow on the ground, March is the time to order or pick up your seed catalogs, or attend seed exchange events, check out any seeds you have collected and begin the dreams of your garden. Planning out your garden on paper serves many purposes. It helps to chase away the winter blahs, putting you in mind of warm weather and the wonder of growing plants to feed yourself. It is also the best way to get a good idea of what you want to grow.
Putting your garden plan on paper helps you to realize actual space you have and time constraints you may have that are important issues. Keeping these two thoughts in mind when planning keeps the gardening experience a thoughtful, wonderful endeavour.
Part of planning your garden includes the selection of seeds. It is such a delightful process. When choosing the seeds you wish to grow its fun to involve your whole family. Children especially like to choose seeds and will be more inclined to tend to plants they have chosen the seeds for. This vested interest also encourages participation at weeding time!
Encourage the selection of seeds with other senses too. Think of your favourite pasta sauce, the delicious smell of the tomato, garlic, onion and basil and add them to your seed list. You can grow the plants to create your own homemade sauce. It’s also important to choose your seeds with your family’s tastes in mind.
When choosing your seeds it’s always fun to grow something you have never eaten or grown before. Choose at least one plant you’re unfamiliar with. Who knows, it might turn out to be a favourite that you never knew you had.
If this is the first garden you are planning, go inquire about planting, care, watering and weeding needs. Make inquiries at greenhouses, garden shops, from family members who garden or search out solid internet sources. These inquiries are important to creating a gardening experience that you enjoy and evokes nostalgic, warm hearted feelings for the next year in February/March when your garden planning begins again.
Once you have decided what to grow, it’s time to decide how many seeds you will need. If you have a large garden space, lots of help, and plan to do canning, well the more the merrier for seeds. If you are just beginning to garden or have decided a small space is best, you might want to seed shop with a friend and share seeds from each package. Remember that even a small space can produce a large harvest when properly planned and cared for.
Whether you are a seasoned gardener, a newbie gardener or a returning gardener, this part of the process of gardening is useful and needed. Garden planning and seed choosing and longingly thinking about the tasty food to come from the garden are the yearnings for spring that will get us through this last bit of winter. So plan, dream, choose and yearn.
Kitty R. Lynn is the Grower/ Education Coordinator of the Our Sustenance Greenhouse