With the snow receding from my lawn, my thoughts have turned to gardening. My raised bed is now free of snow and the smaller bed has crocuses appearing. I am excited that green is appearing but that means if I want to grow something, I have to start planning now.
My first attempt at growing a garden ended in disappointment. My corn and pumpkins were stunted, my rhubarb and garlic did not grow at all, and my onions were small. However, my volunteer tomatoes did fairly well. I did a soil test in autumn and found I was low on nitrogen, a definite drawback to growing anything. I added composted manure and granulated nitrogen supplement to 1/4 of my 9' x 9' garden bed and planted onion seed in September.
Although the Canada Red rhubarb I purchased did not sprout, my mom was separating out the rhubarb in her over 30-year-old bed last year and I took a chunk. I am looking forward to seeing the rhubarb come up this year. It has a good history so I have hope I will see it this year.
Since I have purchased a share in a CSA, I have been considering what to plant. I choose the vegetables based on what I like to eat. Since I have a free packet of tomato seeds from last year's seed purchase and I liked picking my own tomatoes, I started four seeds today for transfer to the garden bed when warmer.
I have recently discovered I like cucumbers so I am looking at a small bush cucumber to plant as well. This would involve me purchasing more seeds, but that is fine. Even though I was not enthusiastic about the earwigs that nested in the romaine and iceberg lettuce I planted last year, I may try again this year with some treatments that may help.
However, I really like strawberries, but my raised garden bed needs to be all strawberry plants or I need more space to put it. I like looking over the Jung's catalog and found they have a pyramid raised bed that they say is perfect for planting 50 strawberry plants. This purchase would get me space for strawberries and a second gardening bed if the strawberries are not successful. I am still debating this expense and I would be depending on my dad to bring me the one cubic yard of soil needed, but this may be possible for this year.
Other outdoor activities include planting two more trees for the house, aerating the lawn and planning my first rain garden. I have the trees picked out but need a permit from the city for one since I would like to install it in my park row (the lawn space between the sidewalk and the street). I plan on outsourcing the lawn aeration (and possibly overseeding the lawn as well), but the rain garden I am still considering what plants and seeds to purchase. Since I will start out with the smaller section of the lawn and the space in front of my house, I have nearly 200 square feet to consider. This will be a challenge of arrangement, serial blooming and appropriate height.
Spring is definitely around the corner and planning for growing things is always exciting and keeps me busy. What are your gardening plans?