Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year Around the Garden

Happy New Year! This is the off season in the garden and you can see my garden lies cold and bare, filled with potential for coming seasons.

Obviously we don't have any snow right now, but the temperatures are hovering around 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Our strawberries have some green still showing and it looks like this sage is still alive.

The blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry bushes are bare and will be trimmed back in the spring.

Even our compost bin has slowed down its work. It is full to the top and, as you can see, our one maple tree in the front yard supplied more leaves than we could fit into the bin. I'm saving them to add to the compost bin whenever there is room.

In the meantime, I am inside and starting to think about next summer's garden. I've decided there are some things I will definitely plant again: sweet potatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes (hopefully adding a few new varieties). There are some that I don't want to plant again: pumpkin, spaghetti squash, and potatoes. I'm on the fence about zucchini. I can't decide if it was worth the effort. The bugs were a pain to deal with, but I did get a good harvest before the squash vine borer destroyed my plants. I'll probably do the salad veggies again although I've tried spinach twice and just can't get it to grow. I probably won't try it again. I also don't know if I'm up to the challenge of onions yet.

New things I want to try this year include sweet corn, pole beans, and beets. I've considered growing one Brussels sprout plant. I grew one about 13 years ago when we were young and had a community garden plot. I'm the only one in my family who likes them and they take up so much space. But they are my favorite veggie so I am undecided. I also plan to incorporate some flowers in the garden this year. I want to attract the beneficial insects and pollinators that I've learned I need for a successful garden.

Now is the time to browse catalogs and read gardening info online. I still rave about Garden Web. I'm browsing online catalogs like Seeds of Change and, of course, Burpee. And since the paper magazines don't come out often enough to suit me, I look at their websites. For example, there is Mother Earth News and Organic Gardening.

So many plants to consider...

Local weather:
High temp: 36 F (feels like 26 F)
Low temp: 26 F (feels like 19 F)
50% chance of snow showers