Monday, March 7, 2016
Step outside and you can feel it: the air is lighter, the breezes blow warmer, the ground is that curious mixture of partially frozen and sloppy mud. Spring. Is. Coming.
It's a near weekly event now. Every weekend, I break out my seed compost, my little trays and tiny cups. I make a rummage through my seed drawer and consult my seed starting list. What to start now? Is it time for cabbage, or tomatoes? How about those tricky dahlias? And when to do the leeks, I wonder? When in doubt, I consult my reference books and read back through my garden diary. That diary is a lifesaver. Even though the climate has shifted slowly over the past ten years, its a great reference for what's been started when, and which did well and which failed. It's stopped me from making mistakes and growing things that I absolutely hated (or were pest magnets).
There's nothing like a good diary to help keep the gardening year on track. My preferred version is a week at a glance calendar, spiral bound with plenty of space to write. I must, of course, have one of my perfect gel pens (I buy them in bulk for fear that one day, they'll stop making them) firmly slipped into the spiral binding, ready to jot down notes and observations. I think this year I will start making a note of the daily high and low temperatures. I always forget to do that, and it would be good information to track. Because, at the rate things are changing, who knows where we'll be in the next ten years? Perhaps I'll be sowing hardy banana seeds instead of sea kale...