Posted on 28 December 2008 by

Gardening Calendar

By Cindy Naas

With the arrival of January and a new year, it’s time to start planning for the coming summer!

It may not be necessary to map out every detail of your upcoming garden, but it certainly is an activity which will keep gardeners off the streets and out of trouble during the remainder of the long winter.

1. Order seed catalogs – I have a running list of seed companies whose products I’ve used before and have some new names added. January is the best time to send off for the catalogues. Spending a few hours poring over new varieties of veggies and fruits will inspire your imagination when everything outside is covered in snow.

2. Review your garden journal – I am a firm advocate of keeping a journal of everything planted in one’s garden. You can keep lists of plants which worked as well as those which did not, and use this as a reference for future gardens. The winter is a great time to remind yourself of the varieties of veggies which you’d like to plant again.

3. Organize your tools – Make sure everything is hung neatly if you have a special place like a potting shed. Take a look to see that your tools were put away clean and sharpen your trowel, spade and pruners if they can be sharpened. These are tasks which should be done long before the sudden rush of garden fever appears in April, and will pay off handsomely in effort saved later.

4. Sketch out any new additions you’d like to make to your garden – If you are building raised beds, measure the spot you’d like to place them. If you have decided to consider 4-season gardening, look at where you might put some rows which can be covered. Then, price materials needed to build these features now, while the lumber yards are quiet. You’ll also give yourself enough time to look at salvage yards and resale stores to try and save a few dollars when building new garden additions.

5. Make your lists of veggies to be grown – Especially for square-foot gardeners, it’s essential to list everything you’d like to grow and work out when you’ll want each new seedling to go. For instance, by the time you plant your lettuce outside, your tomato seedlings should already be a few inches tall, ready to be popped into place after the early lettuces are finished growing. Keeping a steady supply of new seedlings is the best way to take advantage of small spaces that urban gardeners have to live with, and now is the time to plan what plant goes where and when.

Winter is a wonderful opportunity to look at your garden’s bare bones- its shape when nothing much is growing, and think about what you envision there in the middle of summer at the height of the growing season. Make sure to take time to walk through your garden in these winter months, and dream and plan for the warm happy days of summer.

One Response to “Gardening Calendar”

  1. Mangochild Says:

    Thank you for this great post – just what I need as I’m planning out this year’s garden. Any thoughts on preferred seed companies?

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