Good Ol' Punxsutawney Phil says we have an early spring coming! And while I don't want to get my hopes up too high, I should probably start planning this summer's garden. The dream begins in January, and usually for me the planning begins in February.
I've used many different methods for garden planning usually something involving graph paper and colored pencils. Planning each year's garden brings me through the long dreary months of February and March, and sometimes April. Sorting seeds and browsing seed catalogs can sustain me until I can smell the rich mud of spring.
I'll be honest, I'm not great at starting seeds indoors. Or rather, I'm good at starting seeds, but not keeping them alive long enough to transplant outdoors. As with all the rest, it has been a learning curve. The first few years we tried the starting trays grew mold. Turns out you need a fan to circulate the air. We added a fan but didn't water quite enough and our seeds dried out. Last year we had the water and the fan, but had placed the trays in a new spot which didn't get as much sunlight as we thought it did. We had long leggy seedlings that didn't produce a thing. Then I hopped on a plane for the summer and we decided to forget the garden for that season.
Thankfully we have plenty of seeds left over from last year. I've been listening to podcasts and reading up more on how to germinate seeds. We're going to give it another go. Early spring or not, we'll still use the recommended plant dates from Almanac.com. On this site you can enter your zip code and get personalized planting dates for your area based on the average last frost date and/or the moon phase. I was even able to sign up and get planting reminders sent right to my email weekly during planting season. Moon phase gardening is something I've only heard of more recently. I first heard talk of it on Episode #51 of the We Drink and we Farm Things podcast. I haven't decided if that's the method we'll use this year, but we just might.
For now I'll keep plenty busy figuring out how much of which varieties of what we want to grow this year. Let me know how your garden plans are coming along!