Thursday, January 21, 2010

Not Quite Seed Starting Time

As we're in the depths of winter here in Massachusetts, my yearning for gardening seems to be inversely proportional to the mercury level. I troll my favorite seed and plant sellers (Bluestone, Antique Rose Emporium, and Pinetree Gardens), compulsively loading up my cart, then leaving the site, swearing I'm only going to buy plants from Kane's Flower World on May 1st.

I did, of course, order some seeds from Pinetree. I'm obsessed with Nasturtiums, several neighbors mentioned that they missed the giant sunflowers I had planted the year before, but opted against last year, and I've decided that I can't have enough basil.

Thinking about the rest of the seeds I'm going to start , I stumbled across this story on MSN, "Five Foods it's Cheaper to Grow." And usually, I'm a bit dubious about gardening advice from the major media, but I actually agreed with what they said. With limited time, space (heat and light too), and money, I had to think hard about what I really enjoying growing and eating, and if any newbie gardeners are thinking about making a stab at it, it's a good article for some general advice.

After my own first attempts with the veggie patch last summer, I've whittled down my list of plants significantly. This year, I'm going to focus mainly on tomatoes, basil, lettuce, and try to get by with just one cucumber and zucchini plant each (way too many cukes last year from just two plants), and then maybe buy a couple pepper plants (the Massachusetts growing season is really too short to start them from seed).

Now I have to try and hold myself back from starting up my seed operation, and count the days until March. I'm sort of satisfying myself with indoor plants and forced bulbs, but man, winters are tough on a gardener in New England.

A cutting from the oft-cloned family Pothos.

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