A little planning goes a long way
This week brings another round of fresh snow and extremely cold temperatures to the North Country. So, it may be hard for many to think greenery and gardens. Our very nature tells us to bundle up, enjoy some comfort food and stay indoors. However, a plan to pursue gardening in 2021 can help you achieve some of your “healthy goals” for the New Year. Especially this year when the virus has kept us home bound more than ever. Gardening can lead to a healthier and more productive life fueling spirit mind and body.
Avoid the Spring rush
Winter gives us ample time to do some thoughtful garden planning. You can avoid the spring rush with a little foresight now. Seed and plant catalogs are abundant this time of year. If you prefer viewing on the laptop check out the websites. If you are looking to start seeds, now is a great time to get your order in. Seed availability becomes more limited as the months close in on the Spring. My favorite seed vendor is Renee’s Seeds out of California. http://reneesgardens.com
Not only are these seeds most reliable for germination, but their bloom and vegetable production is fantastic. Our North Country window for growing is so brief, you need to select seeds that are both reliable and productive. The website also offers great seed starting support for the newbies!
Get outside and do a little inspection
Take some time to get outside for some fresh air. Despite snow on the ground you can do a cursory inspection of your landscape to plan out your new garden area. This is a good time of year to inspect your landscape for pesky wildlife like deer, rabbits and other small rodents that can reek havoc on gardens. The snow can provide you with visuals of wildlife tracks and droppings often missed when the landscape is in bloom. You can also check for chewing of shrubbery stems and evergreens. If present, you will want to consider selecting plants that have wildlife resistant properties and consider organic wildlife deterrent use throughout your growing season. This year I will be offering an organic deer and small wildlife deterrent I field tested in 2020. I will be talking about the product in a future blog and carrying the product for purchase. So check back on my website for information http://gardengoddesssenseandsustainability.com
Sunlight: a key for success
This is also a good time of year to assess your landscape for sunlight. Yes, the trees are bare and will skew some of your impressions, but overall you can get an idea of your areas exposure: morning or afternoon sun and the approximate hours of direct sunlight throughout the day. This is a crucial element in selecting plants and overall garden success.
Welcome the birds
You may not have considered this, but birds are a natural insect repellent for your gardens. They eat many pests on your plants. Once the snow covers the ground and the food source is gone, the birds will seek another property to reside, losing your valuable natural repellent. You will want to welcome them to your home all year long by placing a bird feeder and water source out for them. I have a bird feeder just outside my office window so I can enjoy their daily visits. My backyard ponds have bubblers and heating discs to keep the ice open. I actually see the bird tracks to the openings this time of year. In addition to the food source, when planning your new landscape you will want to consider selecting shrubs that will provide winter shelter and protection for your feathery friends.
Plan ahead this garden season and reap the benefits for your health and overall satisfaction! As always “keeping common sense and sustainability” at the core of all my garden practices!