Friday, January 2, 2009

Winter Gardening?

Winter Gardening? Sounds cold to me! Maybe it was the abundance of Christmas goodies or the early snow, but I have been craving vegetables. Not canned, frozen or shipped from California, but real vegetables grown in Tennessee sunshine. I remember that Mom said the potatoes should be in the ground by the first of March. That sounds kind of soon to me. Can't we sleep in until the end of March? I find it hard to believe winters were milder back in the day. You know the, "whole walking to school in 'foot' deep snow and up hill both ways", tale. Trust me, for I have seen snow in April and tornadoes in January. You get the idea. Timing is everything. In any case, the idea is to start sooner rather than later. If you wait until the weather feels warm enough, you are already behind schedule.

The physical work of your garden is still a few months away, but the planning can begin now.

Make plans for your garden. Think carefully about the location and arrangement of each plant. This holds true for both vegetables and flowers. If you don't have a lot of room, consider a raised bed or planters.

Take an inventory of the gardening supplies you have on hand. You probably already have a hoe, rake, a weeding-hook, a trowel for transplanting, a wheel-barrow, a spade, and a watering can. But, there could be some nifty sales at the lawn & garden center.

Make a list of the vegetables/flowers you want to grow and where you want to put them. Then do some research on the best soil and location for the plants you have chosen to use. By researching the habit and season of bloom, you are better informed before you plant. Check out the great heirloom seeds available from Marianna's Heirlooms.

If you are replacing old or dead shrubs, you can cut them up and remove as many of the old roots as possible.

If the weather is mild enough for outdoor work, you can give your lawn some attention. Rake off all debris such as limbs, twigs, leaves that may have collected on it during the last few months.

Go over all the shrubs cut out old wood and weak branches.

Get racks or trellises ready for use in your garden or yard.

Spend some time doing online shopping for seeds. Be sure and check out the wonderful heirloom varieties available these days. For more information about heirloom vegetable gardening, click here.

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