Ah, January, typically the time of year when the winter doldrums set in. The glitz of the holiday season has been packed away, the skies become grayer and the weeks seem to drag on longer.
Avid vegetable gardeners already know this secret, but if you’re new to gardening, we’ll let you in on it now: it’s already time to start thinking and planning for spring! Yes, spring!
Plotting out a home garden can help you while away the cold winter days and before you know it, you’ll be enjoying the feel and aroma of fresh, life-giving soil, and growing delicious fruits, vegetables and herbs. Since the planning period costs nothing, it’s a great way to fast-forward to the warmer months within your own imagination.
First, order up some free seed catalogs. They’re packed full of ideas for home-grown delights, and will get you thinking about what you would ultimately like to grow and will enjoy eating in the warmer months to come.
Next, decide how much room you have around your home to grow your own food. It doesn’t matter if you’re limited to some containers on a sunny balcony, or a small patch of yard that can be transformed into a garden, you’d be amazed how much fresh produce you can harvest in the summer. (Tomatoes and peppers, we’re looking at you!)
Then, take stock of what you have on hand to garden with. If you own nothing more than a pair of gardening gloves and a trowel, don’t let that stop you from thinking big. Did you know it’s possible to rent just about any garden preparation tool you’ll need to get started? It’s not necessary to invest lots of money on tillers, spades, and wheelbarrows if you’re just starting out. Do some research on when is the best time for soil preparation in your area and plan to rent some equipment for a few days during that window. You’ll save a bunch of green while discovering you actually do have a green thumb.
Finally, explore your home for a nook that you can turn into a mini greenhouse for starting your seeds. All you need are some seed trays (even yogurt or sour cream containers work) and either a sunny, south-facing window or a few grow lights. In just a few weeks, you can enjoy watching your seeds germinate and your seedlings grow on even the coldest, dreariest winter days. There is truly no better way to bring an early start to spring!