It is January, and in Ohio we experienced our usual January thaw… so everything is quite soggy at this point. Most of the gardeners here realize that we have several more months until we can garden and at least one more month to expect winter weather, but right now our thoughts turn to plants -the way a young man’s thoughts in spring turn to love. Oh, right, maybe that is all the time.
Lots of people are buying their seeds now. I’m an old gardener and I have to think about it more before I start buying seed packets off the racks or ordering a slew from the catalogs. My life continues to change, and my gardening is part of that change.
To start seeds or not to start seeds? That is the question for me.
Should I Start Seeds?
The answer to that is beyond whether I want to… starting your own plants from seed is fun, and can be economical money-wise. The question arises when I think in terms of time and attention, both while growing them, but more importantly when planting time comes.
Some of the points in my thinking process:
- Might I be willing to prepare the ground and do the work of planting lots of little plants?
- Or will I want larger sized plants ready to pop into the soil?
- Am I planning to go out of town during growing or planting time?
- How physically capable am I of preparing the garden (the digging, the hoeing, the raking,…etc) for baby plants?
- Do I want more perennials, or do I want annuals? Do I want vegetables or shrubs or roses?
If, as in former years, many of my answers indicate that I have less time and energy for the kind of plants I would start from seeds, then I will choose to wait and buy my plants from the nursery.
My Trends Or Garden Trends
In past years I have relied on making containers filled with plants for my garden color.
The garden has increasingly turned into a more natural, less maintenance intensive, space.
As the garden matures, it has needed more pruning and less planting. Dividing and culling has been more important then making new beds.
The thing that bucks the trend for me is my vegetable gardening. I have a space to clear and till, the need for more seeds, and the desire for more of my own produce each year.
I join many others in that last trend. Everyone benefits from growing a few of their own foodstuffs even if it is just some herbs on the windowsill. One necessity in my diet that the grocery stores just can’t get right (even Whole Foods Market!) is a homegrown tomato. That is always on my list of plants to grow every season.
I haven’t made my mind up about whether to start my own seeds, but there is still time. It is actually better to wait for a month for most plants, so that the seedlings aren’t too spindly at the planting time for Ohio, which is early May.
However it is time to watch videos and read up on gardening. One good thing about Ohio January weather is the occupation of being an armchair gardener.
I liked this video filled with garden/plant facts and ideas. It is smooth and it is well done -enjoy it 🙂
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© 2013 written for Ilona’s Garden Journal by Ilona E. An excellent blog.
Thomas Mickey says
Thank you for a thoughful post on seeds. I too love to look at the catalogs. Just received one yesterday. You dream of the better weather on the way.