It’s that time of year, to start setting to action the plans for the garden!
All in all, I’m still pretty new to gardening. Sure, I grew up with a garden and often helped out with it. But when I was very young, I had my head too far in the clouds to really pay attention to what my Dad was trying to show me. Then when I was a teen, I resented having to work in the garden, it was hot and boring and all I wanted to do was curl up with my Sony discman and pad of graph paper and draw up floor plans for dream homes. But in the last few years, I’ve found a great passion in gardening. I’m still defining what kind of gardener I want to be and I’m lucky to both live with some experienced green thumbs as well as get advice and support from so many of you here.
Some plans, goals and dreams for the 2014 garden:
- attempt growing ginger (third times the charm, right?)
- save more seeds
- try growing onions
- plant and grow things specifically for dyeing, such as: dahlia, hollyhock, zinnia, bronze fennel, purple basil
- and forage for dye friendly plants like poke berries, goldenrod, black walnuts
- as well as forage for other useful and edible plants, like staghorn sumac, dandelion greens, mulberries, wineberries and black locust blossoms (I just learned they are edible!)
- plant some elderberry bushes
- and maybe add another fruit tree to our little orchard, like quince or crab apple
- or at least take better care of the two we have (peach and apple)
- start a medicinal herb garden with things like: mint, calendula, lavender, yarrow, lemon balm
- expand the garden a bit : my Dad won’t like this idea but I think we should till up patches elsewhere (especially to plant winter squashes since they spread) as well as commandeer flower beds for edible plants
- build a cold frame before fall
- learn more about preserving the harvest
- and finally, keep realistic (overly ambitious plans are tempting in the lull of winter)
If you any suggestions, like which herbs are essential to a medicinal garden, plants good for dyeing with, things that are easy to forage for in the Mid-Atlantic/North East region, what to do with the bounties, how to prevent pests (specifically on cauliflower and broccoli plants!) or other advice to offer, it’d be greatly appreciated.
And I’d love to hear if you have any specific plans for your 2014 garden!