The first seed catalog of the season arrived yesterday, and I sure am ready to plan this year’s vegetable garden (above you see least year’s in late May, full of nothing but promise). In fact, I already have planned for the coming season. Because I grow vegetables in a community garden that was overrun with pests and diseases last year, I’m going to avoid crops that need to stay in the ground for a long time and concentrate instead on quick harvests. That way, I can get the plants out of the ground before the pests take hold. So I’ll grow lots of salad greens and bitter greens that pests tend to avoid, peas, one early crop of beans, and herbs like parsley and dill that the rabbits devour in my home garden (and I’ll have a nice crop of swallowtails as well). And lots of basil, of course. Beets and carrots should also do fine. But no squashes, cucumbers, or tomatoes, although I may try tomatoes in large pots at home, or devote a small patch of ground to them just off the patio.
In the meantime, this is the season for pruning woody plants–from now until mid-February is the best time to do it. There’s no excuse for staying out of the garden in winter! Photograph the birds, screen compost, and prune. There’s lots to do!