It’s only January but planning is already underway for our Maine garden this year.
Spring — and especially planting season — feels so distant right now. It’s January. We haven’t even hit the stride of winter in Maine yet, and the last frost won’t come for months.
It was 1 degree when I heated up my car this morning. Just one single degree. Frost stretched across the windshield and I could see my breath inside the car. That’s not weather for growing.
But in living rooms and dining rooms and wherever else folks do their planning and thinking ahead, the base work is already being laid for the next growing season. We have a garden journal waiting to be filled with information about our seeds and plantings and their outcomes. I’m eagerly awaiting registering for our spot in the local community garden — and keeping my fingers crossed we might have two more beds available to us this season.
And we’re also working on choosing the seed varieties we’ll order and grow. There’s so much more variety to what you can choose when you grow from seed, so many hues of beans and types of carrots and varieties of peppers. It’s hard narrowing it down to a few to grow.
This will be our second year growing from seed. Last year, we spent about $30 on seeds at a chain hardware and landscaping store, not really spending too much time selecting varieties (more the bigger concepts like “hey, get some lettuce!). This year, we are ordering from a local (to Maine) seed seller that’s highly respected here. I love that they sell seeds in smaller quantities and plan to spend about the same as last year.
Meanwhile, I want to revisit growing on our property too. Last year was a complete bust. I started too late, was ill-prepared to deal with the rocky soil. This year, if I want to plant, I will have to cultivate the soil as soon as the ground thaws, tilling it, adding compost and removing any plants from last year that I want to replace. The trick will be locating spots with enough sun to make it worthwhile. I wonder if my landlord would mind me using the front lawn?
Are you thinking ahead to the growing season yet? What will you plant this year?
Also, I am thrilled to be guest posting on Beanpost Farmstead today as part of a gardening collaborative series. My post is about how to grow a garden you’ll want to cook from. I do hope you’ll check it out!
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.