Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spring Fever

Our winter has been so mild this year, it hardly seems possible that spring is near. This week, I have noticed the birds singing in the morning. By the sound of their music, the birds think spring is here.

I have deliberately not been spending much time thinking about gardening. If you know how much I enjoy my garden, you may not believe it. But I've learned to know myself well. I can make dreams and plans in February that are not within the realms of possibility.

In my realization that I can't "do it all" I want to base my garden plans upon reality. Last year, I couldn't keep up with our garden. Yes, I know that we had a lot of other projects in process last year but I prefer to not doom myself to failure this summer. My goal is to stick with the basics, but plant a lot of them. Our family is growing and eating more than I dreamed possible.

Instead of trying some exotic vegetable that I maybe won't enjoy even if I can persuade it to grow, I'm focusing on things like potatoes, onions, green beans, and tomatoes. Vegetables we love, we can grow, but we didn't have nearly enough of last year.

So, unlike most winters, I haven't been reading gardening books. I haven't perused seed catalogs with a red pen. I know my self control has it's limits and I'd rather not tempt myself.

The garden is far to wet to plant. But last week my hands were in the soil to start a few seeds. I don't have a good place to start seeds indoors. Maybe sometime I can acquire some grow lights. I know it is pointless to start tomatoes or peppers. But I do have success starting lettuce,  broccoli, and similar plants who like the cool basement window sill. This year, I'm also trying to start my own onion and leek plants. With my dismal success in keeping onions over winter, I'm hoping that starting my own plants instead of growing from sets will be an improvement.

What have you started in your garden plans this year?


  1. Gardening fever has hit here too! We had a 16 x 8 raised bed last year that did very well, it just wasn't big enough. So last weekend we expanded our garden spot and are going to be putting 10-12 raised beds inside it. I can't wait for it to warm up and start digging and planting. What type of tomatoes do you grow and do you do anything special to them for success?
    God Bless!!!

  2. I just started my peppers and eggplants! It was so great to finally get gardening again, we have had such a mild winter that it was hard for me to just sit back and wait. I use grow lights in our laundry room and always sprout plenty of leftovers to sell at work. :)

  3. Gina,

    Here in sunny Nor Cal we have not had much winter. Not warm, but little rain either. I was not able to resist when I saw the daffodils and even iris in full bloom.

    Got peas up reaching for the trellis already, cabbage is looking very nice, spinach doing well with a second sowing just broke out to the sun.

    February and even the strawberries have a few flowers. Go figure! This IS a screwball year!


  4. I would say that's a very good plan with for a Mother with young active children. You have so many chores to do at this stage of your life. Enjoy your days while the children are young and at home with you! They leave the nest way too soon. I'm starting lots of flowers that are new to me and many that are native. I like to share with my sisters and other friends. I'm at a stage in my life now that I can explore new foods and methods of producing them so I am also trying some new veggies in the garden. That day will come soon enough for you too.

  5. Good for you, Gina! There are seasons to life and you're in one now that requires different prioritization. Grow what you need and have time for- Lord willing there will be a time later for new things and creativity. :-)

    We always have relatively mild winters (though we have a dusting of snow right now as I write this!)- but I'm such a fair-weather gardener. :-) Indoor seeds are about the only thing I do, and I'm late with them, too. Oh well.

    Have a great day enjoying your kiddos!

  6. A very warm winter here as well..(Alabama). I think I've worn a sweater maybe 5 times at the most! Anyways, we've started a little with the gardening..some sugar snaps, lettuce, broccoli, and greens. Also started some more parsley (every summer it gets so hot that it dies off). My husband has already plotted out our plans for the main garden. We are growing the "three sisters". Excited about it, except wondering how difficult it will be to get in there to pick the harvest as thick as it's going to be. It'll be like going through the amazon! Have y'all ever used the three sisters method? If so, was it difficult to pick the veggies?

  7. Aww... gives me spring fever. But here in Northern AB we're still snowed under, even if we're having a mild winter too. Hopefully it will start melting in a month or so, but its 2 1/2 months til we can start planting.

    Love your thoughts on sticking to the basics and doing what works for you and your family. I'm in just the same season in my life....


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