Mother Nature has been teasing us with touches of Spring off and on throughout the winter. It’s been another mild winter, despite a couple good snow storms. And all I can think of is gardening!
In anticipation of the new garden season, I’ve been working on my seed inventory. It seems like I might have too many for the size of my garden, but I’m thinking of putting in small gardens here and there as well as containers and raised beds. I haven’t made any definite plans on what’s going where yet.
I recently bought a “hori hori” knife”*. There’s quite a selection of them on Amazon. I wanted one that had a very good customer rating. I didn’t want it to break on me, as I’ve read about some doing. After all they are expected to be a work horse. I think I made a good choice. There were three that it came down to in the price range I wanted and I finally decided on the Cielcera*. It feels nice and sturdy, is full-tang with a guard to keep my sweaty hand from sliding down into the blade (I thought that was called a hilt but I looked it up and now I’m not sure what it’s called…just a hand guard I guess), came with a leather sheath – nothing fancy but good and seems durable – and it came in a nice gift box. I would gladly trade the gift box for an even better sheath, but it’s nice I guess, especially if giving it as a gift.
On a whim, I purchased a Clydes Garden Planner. It’s a slide chart you use to determine the best planting time (starting indoors or planting out) for your vegetables based on the frost dates in your area (also comes with a list of avg. frost dates for different areas). It has Spring planting on one side and Fall planting on the other. I think it will be handy.
As for seeds, I have some that I’ve saved, some left over purchased ones, and I’ve bought some new ones. I still might need a few more.
I decided to purchase seeds from MIGardener for this season. I have followed Luke’s You Tube channel for a few years. He’s very knowledgeable with gardening and has many instructional videos. I like to support a small business when possible. Between that and the fact that all the seeds are 99 cents/packet I thought he was definitely worth a try. Can’t say whether I made a good choice until harvest time, of course, but I will keep you posted.
If you’ve been reading my blog (and you also might surmise from the title of it, This Impossible Garden), I’ve been dealing with less than ideal soil conditions and my gardens have been spotty…some good years and some bad, and always some successes and many failures. Last year we had a very dry summer. Watering with town water I have found is just about adequate to keep the plants alive but not thriving. I don’t know why but it seems to be true. I suspect the chlorine plays a role. I can keep the garden growing for a week with the hose and if it then rains one day/night, even a little, suddenly the garden comes alive! Last year we set up a rain barrel and this spring I plan to set up more of them and will use the saved rain water for the garden. I think that will help a lot. I did use some, when watering seedlings, in the greenhouse, the patio plants, etc. but I’ll use much more in the garden this year.
In comparing last summer with the year before, the year before did so much better and one huge reason I think is that I used mulch the year before. I was going to last year also, but between the broken foot and broken truck, lack of money, and spending so much time trying to fortify the fence from the rabbits (which was a failure after all) I never got to get the straw. This year I’ll be able to get it in my new (to me) SUV (and to afford it in the first place!).
This fall and early winter, I covered the entire garden with several inches of leaves to get more organic material into the soil and hopefully protect and feed the good critters in there as well. I will have to get it tilled extra early this spring so the leaves have time to break down before I plant. I hope this will help. I think it will. So with any luck I’ll have to change the name of the blog. Fingers crossed.
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