Short answer: Getting ready for spring! If I can get the right plants started now, I’ll have a great start on the season. We have just a few month of moderate warm before the blasting heat kills the tomatoes in June. If I plant too early, or if it gets cold unexpectedly, the poor little plants may suffer and I may have to start all over again. It’s a risk I’m willing to take as I try to avoid succumbing to cabin fever.
I’ve started tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants from seed this year. I start mine in empty plastic cell packs that I salvaged from my local Lowe’s. When the plant starts are beyond clearance, they end up in trash bins or recycle racks. My cashier asked me to dump the dying plants out with their soil first, then let me take as many as I wanted.
Dill seedlings- hoping for great pickles this year!
Little tomato seedlings. BLTs seem so far away…
Baby cilantro. Nothing like homemade salsa!
It’s also a great time to weed and mulch. The weeds are small, so I’m getting them under control now and then will cover the bare areas with mulch. I use leaves as mulch in my vegetable gardens. They’re a great addition to the soil as they decompose and they are free, too! Start looking around, some of your neighbors may have been so kind as to bag some up for you.
See how the kale doesn’t have many weeds? I also like how it helps to keep the vegetables cleaner. Dirt and sand are less likely to splash on them during a hard rainstorm.
The Swiss chard likes the mulch too. I hate weeding, so I try to be proactive and smother the ground around my plants.
In my flowerbed, though, I plan to have so many flowers growing and acting as “living mulch” to shade out the weeds. I’d much rather spend my gardening moolah on seeds or pretty flowerpots than bark chips.
Some new flowers that I’m starting: milkweed (for the butterflies), painted daisies, nasturtiums, black-eyed Susans, and blanket flowers. I loved my zinnias and petunias last year and am planting them again.
I’ve also been sketching out where I want to put everything. I love to plant on paper before I start digging in the ground. Literal “back of the envelope calculations” and rough sketches help me avoid the temptation to over-plant.
I may be the only one who understands the scribbling, but it helps me get organized rather than just plopping plants in the ground.
So I’m starting seeds, weeding, mulching, and planning the garden in February. I’m getting ready for some fresh tomatoes! What are you looking forward to from your garden??