I have surprised myself this year. I have yet to make a trip to a local nursery to get my mind in the gardening groove. I usually start making trips in January, trying to beat back the winter blues. This year I have done much better keeping myself motivated and productive through the cold winter months. With a break in the weather this weekend my thoughts, and now actions, are headed to the garden. The chickens have fared well through the winter but the coop needs a thorough cleaning. The compost bins have shrunk down and need to be mixed and combined. I usually have my peas planted in February but with the recent snow I am behind. It is an exciting time but it is also stressful with all that needs to be done.
The first task is something I seem to never do and I waste a lot of money each year. I tend to buy seeds blindly without checking to see what I have from the previous year. All seed packets have the year of production labeled on the package and although the seeds are less viable the older they get you can still get a good crop from year to two year old seeds. My failure to visit a nursery so far this year is actually a blessing as it eliminated my impulse seed purchases. Now I have the chance to sort through my seeds and see what I actually need to buy……and to no surprise I have almost all the seed I need for my spring planting. I have plenty of carrot, lettuce mix, beets, radishes, kohlrabi, turnip, parsnip, cilantro, spinach, swiss chard, kale, endive, mustard, arugula, fava bean and collard seed that I need. I found a package and a half of peas so I need to buy a couple of packets along with seed potatoes, onion sets and I will buy some cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower plants to get me started.
I have a few packages of warm weather crops including beans and pumpkins but in my assessment I seem to overbuy seeds for my spring crop. Thus taking the time to sort my seed supplies is going to allow me to spend less than $50 for seed this year when I usually spend four times that amount (conservative estimate). The nice thing about early spring planting is that there is time to replant if the seed does not germinate well. You really have little to lose by trying out your old seed and see how it does.
With the exception of broccoli. cauliflower and cabbage most spring vegetables do best planted straight into the garden as soon as the soil can be worked rather than starting them under grow lights. I save my grow lights for the warmer season crops.
Now I am off to the nursery for a few items. I’m sure I will still come home with more than I need but what the h*&#. That is part of the fun of gardening.