Well, it is technically the 2013 Gardening season now, so this past week or so I went to find where Busy was hiding these days. Found him in the garage (after a major cleaning, that is).
My little garden assistant, Sofie, “helped” me while I was cleaning, and together we also made some feeders for the winter birds using the old pinecone/peanut butter/birdseed trick.
Once the garage was clean, I got Busy to set up my work table so I could finish the seed saving that I only half-started at the end of last season – I’m a real novice here, and I only saved easy flower seeds this past year:
• Marigolds (but this year I made note of the color and habitat – had to guess last year and had tall ones where I wanted shorter ones)
• Forget-Me-Nots (one of my mother’s favorites)
• Various Sunflowers (including a couple of unusual ones from my neighbor)
Forget-Me-Not seeds up close.
My little seed scooper-placer thingies I make from empty seed packets – work great!
I learned my lesson on the seeds at the start of last year. I didn’t store the previous year’s left-overs properly and mice or voles got to them and snacked a little. Now I keep them in tins or jars, except for the Marigold seeds, which are in plastic containers. And because I stored them better I’m trusting some of my purchase from last year that I didn’t use up to still be good this year, so will be spending less this year.
I am of course leafing through the catalogues every chance I get, and almost daily wander around the yard, rotating the crops and organizing the various garden areas in my mind’s eye. Kitchen Gardeners International has computer garden planning tool you can use for free for 30 days, which I might try (if I like it I’ll pay the $25 for the year) – but it can be found here:
Part of my garden vision includes expanding the herb/tea garden area, making it more of an herb/tea/flower/veggie-garden area, about triple its current size. It won’t be as big of a project as the added space last year, since I don’t need to fence it. But then again, I’ve got ideas for that whole area, including raising and moving the fire pit to straight in front of the pergola thing, and adding a short decorative fence to divide the casual area from the lawn, maybe including planting some sort of climber for the fence (Black-Eyed Susan Vine?). This little fence will also help keep the water from the near-by sprinkler in the grass, blocking much of the spray that would normally cover the gravel and fire pit in past years – I can’t really move or change the sprinkler head without too many other changes to the irrigation system.
I’m trying to do as much as possible earlier this year than last, which translates to “on time” really. So this past weekend I got leek, onion, artichoke, and broccoli seeds planted. In a couple of months or less I’ll have the cold frame set up again and transfer these kids there to make room for other starts. Also prepped some saved containers for tomato and other starts, and filled them with potting soil. For some of my starts I’ll be skipping the little peat-pot stage and planting them directly in larger containers. I’m hoping to not grow such spindly little things this year, and have good healthy plants to transplant at the proper time.
So, now that I’ve got some of the dirt related things out of the way, guess what I’m doing next?
-- There's a box?