Who could resist ‘putzing’ in the garden this past Friday when we experienced mid 60’s and sunshine…in Michigan??! I think the temp was a record-breaker! My daughter (who had the day off from school – end of semester something or other?) and I managed to rake a few garden beds from all the wind-blown collected leaves. Under the blanket of leaf mulch, we found tear drops and daffs poking through the ground. Can Spring really be sprung? I sure hope we’ve rounded the corner on winter…
Hey folks, NOW is the time to plan your garden. Growing your own herbs and veggies is one of life’s great pleasures! And it would also help the pocketbook a bit when it comes to groceries. It’s a fun project to involve the kids or grandkids with, knowing where your food comes from, in addition to creating an outdoor classroom. Plan to supplement your table with locally grown produce. Take a trip to the country and visit a nearby farmer’s stand or farmer’s market in your area.
Once you’ve scoured the seed catalogs or local shops, start with preparing the soil…even a container garden will do. Consider sun exposure and water requirements. Pick a variety of favorite veggies or focus on a theme garden, like a pizza garden, growing things that you’d enjoy on your pizza! Basil, tomatoes, green peppers and such. You may choose to start some plants from seeds or purchase seedlings from the market…normally after any threat of frost (Memorial weekend around Michigan).
Cold weather crops can be cultivated as soon as the soil is workable, that is, the ground thaws and the accumulated water runs off. That’s where raised beds has the advantage! But, that’s another topic for discussion. Typically, April is a good time to begin planting brassicas, sugar snap peas, spinach, lettuce, collards, without worrying about protection. Plant often and sequentially.
Herbs are great for folks with high blood pressure and need to reduce salt in their diet. You’ll be amazed at the flavor a little bit of fresh herbs will add to any prepared dish. Check into edible flowers too! Surplus herbs can be dried to get you through next Winter and some left to seed/reseed the herb garden.
Another great idea this Spring is planning a plant exchange with your friends? Think hardy, low maintenance and native plants too. If you’re a seed collector, how about a seed exchange? Fun, fun, fun!
Let’s get growing and shake-off the blues!