Friday, December 18, 2009

Spring Planning

I know it must sound crazy, especially to non-gardeners, but I’ve begun planning the 2010 vegetable gardens. I hear groans and gasps from all of you, but it’s the unvarnished truth; next year’s gardens are already taking shape. In my mind, that is.

Why? Well, here in the middle of nowhere the planting catalogs begin packing our mailbox somewhere around mid-January. They are seductive, glossy-paged volumes that can easily lure an unprepared gardener into making poor choices.

Listen, when a couple of feet of the white stuff covers everything in sight and the wind feels like it’s come straight from the Arctic Circle, giving brightly colored pages featuring flowers and foot-long veggies to someone wearing mukluks is like turning a dieter loose in a candy shop. Without my pre-gardening list of essentials, I might be tempted to order three varieties of Swiss chard, five types of lettuce, a half-dozen packets of corn (because really, how can anyone have too much corn?), twenty different sunflowers…you get the idea. I might lose my mind (what’s left of it after canning the tomato glut from 2009) and wreak havoc with my wallet simply because it’s cold outside, the colors are enticing and I’m not prepared.

Bon bons, anyone?

So this week I’m making a list of what I actually want to plant—the stuff we’ll enjoy and eat rather than the weird impulse purchases we’ll grow and wonder what to do with—and while it seems early I assure you it’s not. I’ll check the list against my container of seed packets to see what I’ve already got left over from this year before I come up with a finalized list for 2010 gardens.

I leave room in the gardens for anything that catches my interest—mind you, after I’ve chosen the essential items—so it’s not as if the venture will be completely non-spontaneous. My December gardening plan will pretty much ensure that I don’t go overboard when the pretty catalogs arrive which is a very good thing. Believe me, I’m speaking from experience. Have you ever tried to can, freeze or give away twenty bushels of winter squash? I thought not.

That’s how I’m spending some of my snowy afternoons. What about you? Any spring planning going on in your house? Or are you busy with holiday stuff?


Dru said...

I'm patiently waiting for some of that snow to head my way.

When I walk outdoors to go to work, yes, I'm thinking I want to see green trees and warm skies.

Have a great weekend!

Marianne Arkins said...

I'm planning my garden, too! Was just talking to DD about doing containers for our root crops this year (I haven't been planting potatoes lately because of the blasted wire worms) and I want to try celery, since I use it in Dd's food. I'm planting with an eye on canning and freezing this year, too -- so fewer cucumbers and more green beans.

I'm also on the lookout for more deer resistant plants for my ornamental gardens, as I want to slowly replace the ones that get eaten every year with ones that won't.

Isn't it fun???