I love this time of year. No, Really. I love seed planting time. It's the time to hope & imagine what is going to be even when there is 20" snow outside. It's looking forward to beautiful purple peppers, tomatoes & beans, green & yellow summer squash & buff, green & blue winter squash. No, I'm not color blind. I just prefer variety. It's not just about feasting with your mouth but also with your eyes.
Gardening actually starts in January when the seed companies send out their catalogs. I like to flip through with with a pen & circle all the varieties that I think I want. I then wait a couple of days until I come to my senses & go back through the catalog. I like to choose heirloom varities. So, I actually read the descriptions & pick the ones that I need & that will work for my gardening zone. This is tough for me. You see, I want to pretend that I can plant them all! But alas, we all have limitations.
It's Really easy to get caught up in the romantic notion of what you want in the garedn. What size is your
garden? Is it big enough for rows of bush beans, or do you need to save space with pole beans? I like to pretend that my garden is big enough to accommadate all that my little heart desires. I also dream of little garden gnomes who weed my ginormous garden while I am sleeping. Where you disturb the soil, things will grow. Not just what you plant but lots of weeds. So keep this in mind when you're lusting after all the assorted beans.
It's also a good idea to decide what you're going to do with your future bounty. Do you really need 16 different kind of tomatoes? (I think I do!!) What are you going to do with them all? Certain kinds of them are designed for different uses like sauces, slicing, canning, drying or eating right of the vine. You would be severly dissapointed if you planted Cherry tomatoes, & all you wanted was large slices of tomaotes to put on a sandwich.
It's also the time to start sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes take a long to grow. They need a lot of warm weather with a long summer which we do not have, so they need to be started indoors.
It starts with using a sweet potato from last season. Usually you can start them in a glass of water, think back to biology class. This year I decided to start them in the dirt. We'll see how it works out. The potatoes will grow roots then the slips will start to sprout out of the top of the potatoes. These are what will get planted & grow the sweet potatoes.
Some seeds can be planted straight in to the ground when it's cold like peas. Peas can be planted in the frozen gound around St. Patrick's Day. Others just need to wait until after the last frost has occurred to be tucked in the dirt. Lots of seeds need to be started before-hand to give them a head start. I start mine in the kitchen. I try to make sure that they get watered & are sat in a sunny, warm spot. Then wait. This is the hard part for me. I get really impaitent. I want the seeds to germinate in a couple days. Some do. Some take much longer.
Now is the time to get your garden started. If you don't receive any catalogs yet, contact some seed companies. They are more than happy to send you a free catalog. Choose your seeds, then get started!