Start Your Garden: Now is the Time

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Source: flickr.com ( bwmclennan) via Brett on Pinterest

If you’re anything like me, this is the time of year when you get tired of all that cold weather. It was wonderful at first, but now that the winter has dragged on a bit too long, you’re starting to look forward to the new beginning of spring. Of course, what better way to remind yourself that spring is coming than with some greenery?

Contrary to popular belief, spring isn’t the start of the gardening season — the earlier months are the true start, when you can plant seedlings in your home and take the time to prepare the soil, containers and other things you need to create a showplace garden.

Little pots filled with seedlings and early spring flowers can make you feel as though the warmer days are just around the corner, even if you’re still in the dead of winter. Outside the doors might be cold as ice, but inside, you can have tender green shoots in their little flowerpots, just waiting for the first blast of warm spring air.

Getting Ready for the Spring Garden

One of the best ways to get your garden and your psyche prepared for spring is the indoor garden. Starting a small garden now can give you something pleasant to look at every day, and that is especially important when there is snow on the ground and you can’t imagine going outside ever again without being bundled up in scarf, gloves and heavy coat. Here are a few good ways to start:

Take your time in finding pots

Part of the fun of indoor gardening is finding the perfect little pots in which to start your flowers and vegetable seeds. Look for something that inspires you, like painted pots with interesting designs or glazed pots in a variety of cool colors. Can’t find what really speaks to you? Buy a terra cotta pot, a paintbrush and some weather-proof paints to create your own.

Source: bhg.com via Anne on Pinterest

Choose your seeds carefully

 Are you going to grow a container garden? You want to seek out seeds that produce small fruits on compact vines, such as cherry tomato varieties and dwarf cucumbers. Are you going to go all-out with your flower garden? Choose seeds that will bloom at various times of the year, so you will have beauty all the way into next fall.

Buy seeds right now

Seeds are freshest right after the New Year, so now is the time to buy seeds. Don’t wait until next month — at that point it will be too late to get great seedlings going. Many fruits and veggies work well with seedlings, but there are a few, such as squash or pumpkins, that grow just well from seed as they do from seedling plants.

Set up an indoor garden

 Your little garden needs some space, so unless you want to take over the kitchen table, choose a spot in the house where the seedlings won’t be in your way. Your seedlings will need plenty of light, too — what comes through a sunny window during the winter months might not be enough. Look into lamps that are designed specifically for indoor growing.

Pay close attention to zones

When you are choosing what to plant in your garden, pay close attention to the climate zone you’re in. For instance, someone in Tennessee might be able to plant flowers weeks earlier than someone in Virginia. Since each plant might have a different hardiness, always check the zones to be sure of when you should set them outside to flourish.

Finally, don’t be afraid of trial and error. Starting a garden indoors can not only give you that burst of spring greenery you need to chase away the doldrums — it can also teach you about what plants work best for you. Soon you will have a gorgeous tray full of seedlings to enjoy, and before you know it spring will be here, and your garden will be the delight of the neighborhood.

 

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