Gardening is Around the Corner

Our yard in winter.
Our yard in winter.

Winter is just officially beginning, and the new year is approaching. It’s an exciting time of year for us. There’s hoar frost on the trees and snow falling gently. It’s a winter wonderland, and I’m starting to think about the garden this year.

In the fall I turned up some more dirt and expanded some of the old beds that had fallen into disuse over this past summer as the tenant who had occupied our house moved out mid-July without contacting us. That’s another story, but it culminated in us moving back to Alberta from New Brunswick. With the initial digging of the beds done, the spring prep will be much easier.

The old trellising and poles are still in the ground from when I put them in a couple of years ago. The herb bed had reseeded itself with some of the herbs from the year before, so I’m interested to see what comes up again. In Alberta we have a shorter season, leaving little time for herbs to seed down. We have a smaller selection of herbs if we want to grow outside. That’s one reason we got ourselves the Tower Garden.

I’ve learned quite a bit in years past about what not to plant in my area. Peppers are a no-go, as are brassicas unless I want to buy row covers. With all the canola around here the cabbage moth population is high and they are voracious.

I’ve also never had luck getting a good harvest of radishes here. They grow well enough, but then some sort of wormy thing gets into the root and it’s not fun biting into a radish to find a wiggly worm looking back at you.

With my Tower Garden going by then, I probably won’t need to plant lettuces.

I’m excited to see if my strawberries and asparagus come back. They were severely neglected this past year as well. The asparagus bed is completely overgrown with grass and weeds, so I don’t know what’s to be done there. Either I’ll dig it up and start again, or lay down a think layer of topsoil and pull any weeds that come up. Topsoil may be the faster option.

My mind is starting to go on now about what I’m going to put where, what model of gardening I’ll go for, etc. I like the theory concerning inter-planting and companion planting, but I also like long rows of single vegetables that makes harvesting easier. I’ll probably end up going with a combination.

Whatever my plans are and whatever the outcome, my kids will be there helping out. They have always loved being in the garden with us digging, pulling, and picking. Their favourites to harvest are carrots, potatoes, beans, and peas. Having young bodies out there to help is a blessing to us, because all that bending and crouching is beginning to take it’s toll on us.

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Published by jrdobbin

I am a father of four, married for eight years. I live and play in Alberta, Canada.

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