With temps barely reaching 30 degrees it’s hard to think about your garden, but being cooped up on these long winter nights, I think this is the best time to start planning for spring! So what is a gardener to do in February?
First, take a look back at your garden journal and see what worked last year and what didn’t. (Not sure what a garden journal is? Check out this post from last season that explains why a garden journal is essential to successful gardening.)
Next, make a list of what which fruits and vegetable you would like to grow this year. Everyone seems to want the staples of a backyard garden—cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, and green beans. Those are easy to grow and make a fine garden, but browse a few seed catalogs and consider branching out! One of our garden consultation clients is growing Amaranth which is a grain related to quinoa—how fun!
For me, this year I am working on expanding my perennials including planting more raspberries, strawberries, additional apple trees, and chamomile for tea. Also decide if you want to start seedlings or purchase seedlings from a local nursery. Some plants are best direct sown into the soil such as lettuce, carrots, cucumbers and green beans. Others, such as peppers, tomatoes and eggplant, need a head start with our shorter growing season. We are pretty lucky here in West Michigan with many greenhouse choices to purchase seedlings, so if growing your own seems intimidating, rest assured you will have a good selection of pros nearby to get those seeds going for you (for a price).
Finally, order your seeds! There are lots of great places to order organic seeds from but some of my favorites include Johnny's Selected Seeds, Seed Savers Exchange and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Happy Gardening!
Steve & Corey Veldheer are organic yard & garden specialists in west Michigan.