Greeting the Garden

When the end of February rolls by, I set a date in my mind to enter the garden. To really enter it. With the intention of getting it ready for spring.Next weekend, I'll think to myself.

It's not exactly the most fun you can have in the garden.

After an entire winter, man, at the very least I've got to gear myself up for this. I really don't enjoy the spring clean up. Turning soil, picking out rocks and clumps and other debris, opening the garden chest--slowly--making sure no little critter is inside---it's nowhere near as fun as filling a basket with brightly colored veggies.

A garden is about 100 opportunies just waiting for fabulous dinners, eh?

The end of winter is like that though. Nothing is green yet, everything is thawing so it's all wet. And it's a cold wetness, which is worse. I think it stinks, literally, too. It takes until at least April before the dirt and outdoors as a whole start to smell earthy and sweet, not stale and cramped as it does in February. Well, like other years previous to this one, I did this important task. I adjusted pots, wiped things down, picked through forgotten objects and pulled out my seed starting supplies. I brought several trays inside and some peat pots too. I laid them out in straight rows, filled them with seed starter mix and got them soaking with water. My husband installed some shelves in front of our kitchen window this year to allow for a few more seed starting trays and more direct sunlight to warm the soil. Once I finished with the seeds, I filled the shelves with our teapots, french press, cookbooks and pasta jars.

999 I also pulled out a new notebook for this year-- it is making for a lovely garden journal. I laid all my seed packets out from last year, took stock of what was left and drafted a garden layout. After doing that, I determined exactly how many plants of each vegetable or herb I'd need and what I'd like to give away as extras, and to whom. Then, I began fillingn specifics in my garden journal followed by labeling my seed tray. Now, in early June, I use the journal to take notes, to record which plants are doing well and which one's art. I'm writing down all the little things I always forget about.

Each year, getting started is sometimes the worst part. But, it usually will just take an afternoon and if you left things fairly tidy the year before---well, it should all be worth it.


And now, friends, it is June. Today, I spent time willing unruly tomato plants back into cages and untangling peas from each other. The gardens are flourishing. The plants are producing. My beagles are tearing off leaves.

How are your green spaces faring?