With the warmer (sort of) weather, it is time to order spring seeds. OK, I may have ordered them in February, but when the catalogues arrived, I couldn’t resist. Flipping through each page, reading about new varieties, admiring giant dahlias, lush green foliage, and healthy looking veg. Heck, I even admit to dreamily scanning the gardening equipment.
Deciding what to plant is part of the garden planning cycle, even if you don’t start seeds from scratch. What do you want to try? How much space do you have, and which plants will go well in shadier or sunnier spots? How much time do you want to spend taking care of plants (some you can virtually ignore and they’ll be quite happy, others need ongoing attention.
Lettuce is very simple and friendly – and it can go in very early in a semi-shady spot. Spinach behaves similarly. The drawback is that in a hot summer, they’ll finish early by going to seed. That’s why I like the part-shady location as it slows that process down.
Pumpkins are popular, but need quite a bit of very sunny space, and unless Mother Nature follows your schedule, they’ll need fertilizing and watering. Tomatoes are extremely rewarding both for things like tomato sandwiches (made on fresh bread), or sauces for homemade pasta. The little cherry tomatoes always live in a container on the deck here so passer-bys can snack on a handful of warm goodness.
Probably some of the most immediately rewarding plants are the herbs. One of my favourite garden cat effects is the aroma of warm herbs drifting by as the cats wander through the garden. Try it – I guarantee enjoyment.
While I like to order my seeds, you can always find a good selection at local hardware stores and garden centres. And if you are patient, you can scout the seed offerings but purchase seedlings from local garden centres. Some of my favourites in this area are Southview Growers for veggies & herbs, Botanix for perennials and annuals (flowers & shrubs), Canadian Tire for a cross section (but go soon after they open). Those are all around Sudbury. In North Bay, I love LaPorte’s for perennials, and closer to home, Noelville Garden Centre for baskets and annuals. Even if you don’t have lots of space, there are plants that will thrive for you.
It’s still too soon, but dreams are fun.
Until next time.