We've made it through February again, and I feel like my garden planning is behind schedule. But maybe not. We still have a good six weeks or so before we'll be able to get into our community garden plot, so as long as we get the indoor seeds going now...
Let's just glance at what's different this year.
First of all, I'm trying a new garden tracking website. Last year I joined Sprout Robot, which gave me a calendar of when things are supposed to happen, but seemed limited and didn't send me reminder emails as promised. I have since discovered myfolia.com, a "social garden tracker & organiser" that seems more comprehensive. So far, I've only signed up and named my garden, so stay tuned for a report on how the inputting of seed information goes and how the garden calendar shakes out.
So long, squash! We're only going into our fourth season in the garden plot, but we're already sick of battling squash bugs and powdery mildew. Our first time out, we grew almost nothing but squash simply because the space could be filled with viny things; we never ate so much butternut squash and pumpkin in our lives! The second year, we tried growing a much wider variety of gourds among other things; some failed miserably, others, a modest yield. Last year, even though we told ourselves we were giving up growing squash, I just couldn't stand to see the seeds go unused, and we planted a few kinds anyway. Pff! I was only reminded that it wasn't worth the effort. So this year, no squash! Forget it. Well, maybe I'll still try the cucumbers and maybe zucchini—no! None of those things. Don't let me do it!
Also, no beans. Like the squash, it's an issue of the yield not justifying the effort or use of space.
Instead, we're increasing the veggies that seem to do well no matter the uncooperative weather or our sporadically lackadaisical approach. More beets! More carrots! Okra, tomatoes, kale, and onions.
And then, even though it hasn't gone so well in the past, I still want to try a decent herb garden in our little front yard space. I even bought brand new seeds. Speaking of the front yard, we've been saving plastic two-liter bottles to use as mini greenhouses here. Perhaps to get some herbs or lettuce in earlier than usual; I haven't quite planned it out yet. At any rate, the snow needs to melt first.
Lastly, we've tried to put in a little more effort to preparing the soil. Even though the community garden was technically closed for the season, we stopped by our plot to make a late autumn deposit of compost and horse manure (collected from a guy down the road). The idea is that it will sit on top of the soil and "season" all these winter months and then be tilled into the soil as a wonderful, nutrient-rich amendment when the park district people come out in early April to give the ground a rough chop.
So anyway, it's another kick-off to big garden aspirations. I hope for everything, of course, but I promise nothing.