Yes! March! We are so close to spring, I can taste it in the air. February was a wonderful month to fantasize about spring and everything related to the garden. Rooting DC confirmed that I am ready to get gardening (or at least, garden planning). I attended wonderful workshops about seed-saving (thank you to Southern Exposure Seed Exchange), herbal medicine from the home-garden, achieving continuous harvests with succession planting, and growing your own mushrooms! I was also able to collect free seeds for community gardens at the University of Maryland.
This weekend, I pulled out all my seeds (and bought some new, exciting ones from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange), my gardening books, and a lovely new garden-journal a friend gave to me for my birthday, to develop my garden plan and start some seeds inside. With two seeds starting trays and six tupperwares , I started over 30 seed varieties. Vegetables, herbs, and flower! Some highlights include five types of basil, ground cherries, okra, artichoke, and cauliflower. I focused my seed-starting efforts on cool-weather crops (broccoli, lettuce, leeks, etc.) and slower-growing warm weather crops (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, watermelon, cucumbers, etc.). I also started a tray of red-radish microgreens.
I took tupperware from Thai take-out and other unwanted containers, lined them with small gravel, and put in organic seed-starting mix, and voilà: home-made seed starting kits. I also made every effort to label the seeds with some duck-tape and sharpie markers. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep track of the seedlings as they grow.
I’m still planning many different types of seeds to direct-sow in the garden. For spring, I’m planning to direct-sow radishes, peas, beans, spinach, carrots, onions, garlic, broccoli-rabe, and other greens.
I was also really happy to pick up a few clay pots and paint them with chalkboard paint – I’m eager to use these for kitchen herbs and label them accordingly. Cute!
I cleared out some of the fall/winter crops from the garden that were hurting from the cold weather. I harvested kale, mustard, collards, and broccoli to enjoy this week.
Next item on the garden “to-do” list is a soil test and developing a garden design. I’ve got a fire going, some mint-green tea and all my garden books out — so, I’m ready to go!