Monday, January 25

Starting to think about seeds again

Seed catalogs are filling up my mailbox again, it must be January!

I tend to get excited thinking about all the new varieties of plants I'll grow each summer, and make a list that is twice as long as possible and four times longer than practical. Then, after much agony, I pare down the list to a few dozen plants and order those seeds I still need.

In my efforts to make a more scientific approach to this garden stuff, I'm expanding the garden planner spreadsheet that I wrote about last winter and many of you have (and hopefully are using). I hope, before too long, to have the small spreadsheet available on a host site for public downloading.

What should we start first? I expect by mid-February to be starting some herbs, some flowers, and a select few vegetables. If all goes well, I'll have a few more projects completed prior to the big seed-starting months of March and April:
  • root-view grow box (for the kids - see what your carrots are doing under the soil surface)
  • improved design of the garden hod - I have learned a few things from this first attempt that I should change before I make them as gifts. I still have several to make and send out to gardeners this May, so the kinks need to be worked through
  • cold frame - I've wanted a cold frame for ages, and I think this may be the year to build it, a small one, 2 feet by 4 feet, but that should be large enough for experimenting
  • row cover frames - haven't quite figured out how these will look, but I want something that is collapsible but will hold row cover material over a 30" x 4 foot section, give or take. The first experiment will be for broccoli and cole crops, which are forever becoming a smorgasbord for the local cabbage butterfly population. Perhaps it would make a good cold blanket for tender plants during the late frosts (June! :|)
  • more seed tapes, with a very busy year planned, I want to have easy to seed carrots, lettuce, and the like. I hardly ever get succession planting correct, so this year I hope to improve my chances.
New tools this year?
I have some money to spend on my garden, so I'm going to buy a digital heat mat thermostat, since my basement room is hardly ever the right temperature.

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