After three heavy reading posts in a row – it’s time for something dreamier, lighter, more inspiring don’t you think? That is, it’s almost the end of January and I’m thinking about the garden again.
Though it’s hard to imagine when I look at the yard right now – sodden, muddy and partially frozen mess that it is – in only a few short months the signs of spring will be upon it, followed by the abundance of summer. Winter gardening, I’m convinced, is not appropriate for my backyard since its north-facing – though I’m curious to see if my winter veggies – brussels sprouts and broccoli – in the front yard take shape in the spring before the leaves come back on the trees and shade it all in again. They are still alive at least, and the plants look relatively healthy. I also have a single broccoli in the back which *is* still alive.
Already my garlic are peeking through, little green shoots of promise that they are every winter….. though it’s a long way off before anything else is going to go in given the very wet winter we are still having!
A first priority this year is going to be to finish the front yard. I’m actually considering getting some hardscaping done in the form of a front-fence/gate just to give our yard a little structure, though leaving the sides open and landscaping them instead of installing fencing. We’ll see how afforadable (or not) that ends up being. Other than that we’re going to keep mulching the lawn and installing perennials (food and decorative) as the finances allow.
In the food garden out back, on the first dry-ish day that allows it, I will be heading out to get compost and mushroom manure for the boxes which all need a top-up. To lighten up the soil, I think coir will be my choice, and I’m going to put a load of sand into at least one of my boxes to make a good carrot bed for a change. Last year I made the mistake of skimping on re-nutrifying my boxes and that lead to less than stellar yields – especially in the greens box which doesn’t get a ton of sun to start with.
In planning for the upcoming year, I like to think of what my favourite things from the last growing season were. Fortunately, I take lots of photos of the garden in progress which makes it easy to remember most of what went on!
Best things about the last growing season:
Worst performers last season:
Things I would like to grow some or more of:
All in all I’m planning for: snap peas, snow peas, carrots, beets, fennel bulb, cabbage, greens, pole beans, summer squash, winter squash, fava beans, scarlet runners, cauliflower, leeks, slicing cucumbers and radishes. The garlic, rhubarb and berries are already well in hand. Not to mention my plum trees which should at least come into leaf this spring.
Just writing this I feel the joy of spring coming on me and also forseeing the need to set some cash aside to pay for it all! But it’s all for the glory of having a productive and beautified outdoor space, and if I start now, I can spread the spending out over several months…..