Ready or Not #203: Gardening Readiness

I was driving by our local gardening nursery the other day when I noticed that they were open for business already.  It is still mostly below freezing during the warmest part of the day right now, but when you have a green thumb, that is just the way it goes – you tend to get a little antsy.

Serious gardeners probably already have their garden and yard all planned out.  As for me, I still have my snow shovel in an easy accessible place and haven’t even given a thought to my garden.  Shame on me.

Later that day as I was driving home from work with my son, out of the middle of nowhere he said, “I think that it is time for cutie-pie (not her given name) to start learning how to weed.”  Weed?  Weed what?  I was still navigating the ice on the roads.

Between the two of us, my son is the more responsible one when it comes to gardening and he was thinking about his friend’s little six-year-old daughter and how now would be a good time to start teaching her the love of gardening (a.k.a. the sweat of weeding).  Of course the first thing I thought of was the fun part, growing a little playhouse with sunflowers or corn and trellising peas.  Maybe even some cherry tomatoes.  Yum.

I have never enjoyed gardening as much as my husband or son, but I am so glad that he is starting to plan ahead and think about it now.  This year we are going to sow heirloom seeds and see what we come up with.

I’m sure that you have noticed that gas prices are continuing to rise when historically they should be lower during this time of year.  The experts are predicting record-breaking costs at the pumps this summer.  Just keep in mind that the farmers and truckers can’t afford to absorb the increased cost of production and transportation of your food and so you will be paying higher prices at the grocery store this year.

Another FYI: This morning on the news they were talking about a killing freeze in Mexico and how many of the fresh fruit and vegetable crops have been ruined.  The restaurants were complaining about having a difficult time procuring fresh produce.  If they are having a hard time, imagine what it will be like for us.  It sounds like a good year to plant a garden

Storing seeds is an integral part of being prepared, especially if you want to eat well and feed your family healthy foods during any economy.  Try to store at least a year’s worth of seeds, but make sure that you rotate them because they can go bad if not stored correctly, or if the seed quality isn’t very good.

If you have a garden plot and you use it wisely, you will save a lot of money.  Actually, even if you don’t have a traditional gardening area, you still have the option to grow a very productive garden and eat well – and much cheaper.  The first thing that comes to mind is the “Three Sisters” style of gardening: planting three compatible plants in the same area and getting three times the yield in a smaller plot.  You might also consider throwing in some edible plants in your traditional flowerbed with your usual flowers.  Another option is container gardening – indoor or outdoors, depending on your exposure.

One advantage that we have today is that we have the Internet and we don’t have to know how to grow a non-traditional garden because experts are there to help teach us how to avoid mistakes and create a higher yielding and tasty garden.

I think I’m going to have the grandkids plant a delectable playhouse (that will eventually be colored green, yellow and red) for them, and me, to eat from.

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