It’s not easy to imagine planting your garden when temps surge below zero and snow whirls around the sky. For most gardeners though, January is the time of year when planning occurs, and the inspiration starts flowing when all those seed catalogs start coming in the mail. Seed companies such as Johnny’s Select, Fedco, Seed Savers Exchange and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds offer many different crops and unique varieties to choose from. In the Garden Program we are busy in a two-week long intensive garden planning session to make plans and place orders for seeds and plants for the upcoming 2014 garden season!
In the first session we reviewed crop families and common garden terminology. Then we discussed a plan of execution to achieve our objectives including:
– Reviewing last years crops and develop criteria to evaluate crops
– Picking out old/new crops based on reviews
– Planning the seeding/transplanting dates for crops
– Laying out crops in garden maps
– Ordering seeds/transplants from suppliers
Once we had our plan, we started working towards our goal. Courtney Tchida, Student Program Coordinator for the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture at the U of M, met with our Garden Youth Interns to talk about ways to look at seed selections and how to know what to look for when picking our crop varieties. Everyone learned something new and many were surprised at the fun and interest we had just by looking at colorful and interesting varieties of unusual and common vegetable varieties.
We’re almost ready for spring!