Friday, February 28, 2014

Growth Spurt

With the winter cold and nasty weather forecast still dragging onward, my need to garden is going gangbusters at the moment.  Seed catalogs have arrived in abundance at our house, and all the glossy, colorful photos are making me long to get out into the yard and prepare giant beds for all these lovely possibilities.

It is like sunshine captured in a catalog.  

Last year, I threw myself into prepping our little veggie garden and weeded like a mad woman to get the flowers into decent shape as early as possible, because I knew that I had surgery and chemo and all sorts of other breast cancer treatments coming close on my heels.  I did too much, too early, and then everything languished as treatment, especially chemo, brought me to a standstill for far too many days in a row.

This year, I am trying to be a bit smarter about my planning.

For the veggie plot, I am going to stick to things I know we will use pretty much daily and that are healthy choices:  fresh herbs, cherry tomatoes, a couple of larger tomato plants (these didn't do well for me last year at all, although the cherry tomatoes grew like crazy, so I'd love suggestions of what is working for everyone for slicing tomatoes these days!), Swiss chard, some early lettuce, and onion sets.  If I get the chance, a couple of zucchini plants will go in by the front porch, with their sculptural leaves providing a nice, green complement while their prolific squash grow discreetly underneath.

But not much more than that:  overdoing it does me no good this year, so I am desperately trying to keep it simple this year.  At least in my mind, that is the current plan.

With the flowers, it will be mostly pots of annuals, and a few more perennials added to the mix in our beds, and that is about it.  I want to focus on weeding more regularly this year:  it got away from me entirely last year, because I didn't feel like getting out day to day for obvious reasons, and I fear that this will be the summer that I am forced to reclaim most of my beds from thistles and all sorts of other nasty interlopers that sneaked in while I wasn't able to keep them out.

If I can accomplish most of that this year, I will consider it a success.

What are your garden plans?  Any good gardening books to recommend, especially the sort with glossy, lovely pictures?  We have some more snowy, nasty days ahead, and I know I'll be dragging out the seed catalogs and books again soon.

(Photo via Ana_Cotta.  Oh, if only our soil weren't still frozen solid...)

1 comment:

P J Evans said...

I like Santiam and Oregon Spring - early/short season tomatoes, not huge in size. Territorial Seed has them.