Whew, the Christmas season is exhausting! The tree is still up, suitcases sit full of dirty laundry, and new toys are strewn from one end of the house to the other. There will be time to reclaim the house, but right now, I sit and reflect on 2013 and make a few resolutions for 2014.
I learned so much about gardening this past year; perhaps, my thumb turned a darker shade of green. However, I know that no two garden seasons are the same; the weather and seasons will continue to put my gardening skills to the test, which is part of the reason I like gardening. It’s always a challenge and one can never know it all.
My 2013 garden was the largest, most productive that I have grown. As a result, I had to quickly expand my food preservation skills. The long, hot, sweaty hours in the garden and kitchen were so very worth it. In these sub zero temperatures, cooking up a hearty tasty meal from last year’s garden is completely satisfying.
I live in garden zone 5 (brrr) and our frost-free date is April 15th, which gives me approximately one hundred days to plan and prepare for the 2014 season. I have grand ideas and high expectations, and so here are my garden resolutions for 2014.
- I resolve to keep a weed free garden. Ha! Wouldn’t that be great? I will stay on top of the weeding and will recruit all willing and unwilling hands to help my cause.
- I resolve to send in soil samples for analysis. Last year, I neglected to have a soil test completed and I regret not knowing the fertility of the soil. I know that my garden success relies on the fertility and health of the garden soil. It deserves more attention than any other garden input.
- I resolve to maintain my garden journal. I will document successes, failures, planting dates, harvest dates, pounds harvested, etc. (and share them here- stay tuned!).
- I resolve to expand the variety of vegetables I plant. I will try some heirlooms and decide for myself if they really do taste better.
- I resolve to go vertical. Last year, my peas and cucumbers laid on the ground and I know that they would have done better if they were able to climb up a trellis.
- I resolve to plant a cover crop called green manure. It improves soil fertility. It will take some planning and I need to expand my knowledge but if it improves my yields, it will be worth it.
- I resolve to share my enthusiasm for gardening. A garden is a great place to “grow my children.” There are lessons to be harvested, memories to cultivate, fertile minds to nurture, and mouths to feed.
I’m curious, what are your garden resolutions for this year? Enough reflection, I must address my current reality and reclaim our house from Christmas chaos.