Sunday, February 23, 2014

Garden Preparation

In order to survive the bitterly cold winter we've been having looking towards spring is an invaluable survival technique. I have been looking forward to having a real garden for years, but our situation-renting and/or moving-made it nearly impossible to start on-time or be around to reap the benefits of our labor. This is the first time that we'll be ready to start a garden in the spring and be in the same place to harvest. I can't wait!

Vegetables from our first garden when we lived in Wisconsin 2 years ago. The green pepper plant moved with us to Idaho only to be killed by my brown thumb :(

This year, I have time to plan and start seeds and lovingly tend, and I am thrilled. I started doing research in earnest today, because as a novice when it comes to anything beyond throwing seeds in the ground, maybe watering a few times, and plucking weeds here and there, I've pretty much just waited and kept my fingers crossed. This year will be different.

Part of the research I'm doing is about what plants to start inside and when. We have an office that's horribly cluttered with things we haven't found a place for, but once it gets cleaned out will be a perfect place to start seeds since it's south-west facing and gets tons of sun throughout the day. We've been saving egg cartons as a place to start the seeds, but I'm considering just buying a starter kit, for this year at least. Starter kits come with seed trays, a water reservoir, self-watering mat, and other features, including a greenhouse top to hold in humidity while the seeds germinate (I didn't know this this morning. It's amazing what a little internet research will do!)

I'll keep updating as we go through the process of planting and watering and watching and harvesting. I have big dreams of creating a wildflower garden (to use at our wedding reception), too. I tend to jump into things head first with no regard to how much work it will be. No baby steps for me (unless you're talking about Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Plan and then baby steps it is!). In my head, I see beautiful gardens surrounding the house and a porch to be envied with chairs and tables I've made from pallets (that don't exist yet) and bright pots full of easily accessible herbs for cooking and tea. I want to can salsa and pickle zucchini and beans. I want to go the summer and into fall without buying vegetables and maybe have enough preserved to last through winter. Now I just have to wait for the snow to melt and for the temperatures to accommodate human life again!