February has arrived. Bone chilling cold and the promise of a snowstorm on the way means it's a typical winter in our part of CT. After having just gotten through what seemed like the longest January in a long time, and not having flower shows or plant conferences to look forward to this year, I turn to the promise of seeds to inspire hope.
Think about it. You take teeny-tiny seeds, some no bigger than the period at the end of this sentence. You plant them. You tend them. You wait. Then one day, tiny sprouts appear. It is magical. Those tiny signs of life give us such joy! Planting seeds is an act of faith in our future, faith that yes, spring will come once again.
Now I must admit that one of my absolute favorite things to do in early January is to order the seeds for Natureworks. This year, it came with a true sense of urgency as I could see that, with the pandemic continuing, gardening was once again going to be VERY popular in 2021. And I was correct. Luckily, I spent days and days placing our orders from our wonderful chosen seed vendors and, miraculously, most of the seeds were confirmed, shipped, and are now sitting at Natureworks waiting to be sold. Yes, some seeds were backordered. Yes, I did have to scramble to find some of my favorite varieties. But I prevailed and YOU will be the beneficiary.
Another really fun January project was to write or re-write many of the handouts that we offer for growing edible plants. The result is that NINE new or updated handouts are now on our website! And I am not done yet. As you probably already realize, I love to teach and write. Our collective goal at Natureworks this year is to make sure you have the information you need to grow your edible garden succesfully.
So, what can you do in February? Number one is PLAN. Draw out your 2021 garden and decide what you want to grow. I have kept a garden journal for over 15 years but this year I am starting with a new one, complete with grid paper. Why? I had 13 raised beds. Now I have 18 plus I grow in 8 Smart Pots and a bunch of other containers. It's getting complicate! But I LOVE to grow food which includes veggies, herbs, and fruit. We eat it and we give it away. I also always mix flowers in with the edibles which makes my garden really pretty and alive with pollinators.
Planning involves two things. The first is crop rotation. You must move plants in the same family to new spots each year. How do you know what family your crop is in? Easy. Click here ___ and link to our handout on this subject on our website! Next is to plan succession planting. This is how you maximize your planting and harvests from early spring thru late fall. Not sure what I mean? Again, we have a handout for that! Click here_ and read our newly revised, two page explanation of this important process.
As winter continues and then turns into spring, we will be right here by your side, helping you to have the best edible ORGANIC garden ever.