Saturday, January 24, 2009

It's almost February - where has the long dark winter gone?

I know that the northern readers are wanting to come down here and give me a talking to about my thinking that winter is almost over. My tongue is planted firmly in my cheek, because I know the worst is yet to come. I like to think about spring though. It makes winter more bearable.

To be honest, I'm not much of a seed starter. Lancaster County is awash with greenhouses, herb farms, and the month of May (and parts of April and June) is crammed with herb festivals and herb farm open houses. It is a gardener's dream, and when I read of the people in other parts of the country who have nothing much except a hardware store or big-box store selection, I appreciate it even more.
So mostly, that is how my garden comes to life. Mostly I transplant what others have started and nurtured to a point that it might actually survive me.
What manages to survive my forgetfulness usually falls victim to the roving gangs of bunnies or the insatiably gnawing hunger of the unstoppable groundhog. Then there are the giant deer hoof prints I find in the garden, and the birds that sit waiting for the berries to ripen. But never mind that. If I think about that too much I might give up - and gardeners NEVER give up. So where was I?Oh. Right. We were talking about seed starting. There are parts of the country (and thriftier people than I) where seeds are the way to begin the garden. Many people wouldn't think of purchasing adolescent plants, and if they are vigilant, seeds will pay them back many times over.

We were talking on the Yahoo Group for The Essential Herbal Magazine, and some of the favorite seed sources can be found below:

They all have lots of great information, and I could spend several days just visiting seed websites. I DO grow most of my vegetables from seed. Things like eggplant, where I only need one or two plants, and melon, which takes forever to grow, I will buy the plants. Everything else in the veggie garden is from seed. Come to think of it, this should be a post about PLANTS! Maybe later.

While you're thinking about gardening, consider our book, The Essential Herbal ~ Under the Sun. There are several articles on different types of gardens, how to create good soil, how to care for seedlings, and get rid of pests.
We also have the CobraHead tool available on our website. This is one tool you don't want to be without when you are out there doing battle with the dandelion, the sour dock, and the bladderwort. This baby is ergonomically designed to help you get more bang for your buck. Less wasted energy, more effect. And it is one of the few tools that can take me through season after season without rusting, bending, or breaking.

And before the season gets started and you need something for those tired muscles, head over and get your supply of Gardener's Soap, Arnica Rub and Gardener's Tub Tea from our sister site: The Sibling Group!
Credit for the pansy picture goes to Deborah Stiffler. Deborah, of Scent-sational submitted this photo for the cover of the May/June '07 issue of The Essential Herbal.

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