I just want to plant stuff…what is all this planning for?

I’m planting a garden.

Such a simple phrase, but yet so complex. When we bought our house last summer it was too late in the season to plant anything so we left the garden. Then the weeds came. Oh, the weeds! Vicious thorny things that snagged our clothes and dug into our flesh when we tried to remove them. The heinous melding of thistles, brambles, stinging nettle, and the man eating plant from Little Shop of Horrors (or at least that was our best guess).

After many hours of googling I came up with a plan. The Plan. Feeling very accomplished, and dreading the work that would be involved after the snow melts, I set about starting some seeds for the part I like the most PLANTING!

When I was a child my mother had the best garden ever. It was filled with all sorts of swipable nibbles. Raspberries, carrots, peas, strawberries, and rhubarb all flourished in her garden along with staples like corn, beans, chives, radishes, lettuce, and cucumbers. We even had a few fruit trees: cherry, plum, apple, and crabapple. From mid spring to early fall I feasted on my stolen treats.

She made it look so simple. Till, make rows, plant, water, weed, and harvest.

My babysitter had an even larger garden (that I was not allowed to enter, but toured carefully anyways).

Now that I have a large yard, and a home that I will be staying in for the rest of my life (knock on wood) I want a garden my children and grandchildren will enjoy, sneaking peas, feasting on berries, and generally having fun.

I had visions of spending a lazy afternoon weeding my garden while my toddler rambled around eating baby carrots and playing in the sprinklers. My daughter grabbing some fresh herbs for her legendary pesto sauce. Casually asking for a few potatoes and chives for breakfast.

Loving to cook and bake means a love of fresh ingredients. It seemed like a match made in culinary utopia. A large yard. Time to dig, and plant, and putter. Poof. Access to the quality of ingredients not available from my local grocers.

Then I started looking into seeds. At first I just bought seeds for my favourite plants that I knew I could keep in pots: tomatoes, basil, rosemary, and chives. While some sprouted almost immediately, others haven’t peaked their heads out yet (days after their last estimated germination date). So I returned to google to see why my seeds weren’t sprouting..and received a lesson in biology and soil chemistry. Turns out plants are not so simple.

So after a flurry of e-mails to every avid gardener I know, and a lazy afternoon snowed in with a copy of The Year Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour, I have determined that yes. Planting requires planning.

So with 3-4 feet of snow on my garden, and several months before I can actually dig, I am planning where and how to grow all my favourite things, and dreaming of a walk-in green house.

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