January 2008
Home Grown Tomatoes


Getting Ready for the Big Celebration!

With only a few more shopping days left until Groundhog Day, I have been frantically trying to make the perfect gifts for the true gardeners I know. You know the type? The ones who don’t mind getting their fingernails dirty; the ones who’d rather read a seed catalog than a novel; the ones who’d rather watch Paul James, the Gardener Guy, than Judge Judy!

Few folks can appreciate the true meaning of the holiday. I’m including all who dig out the rodents for show and celebrations on February 2nd. Groundhog Day is about half way between the Winter Solstice and Vernal Equinox. (Six more weeks until spring…Get it?) It marks the beginning of spring preparations in the nursery.

I always start preparing for Groundhog Day season in January. From January 1st there are only 32 days until the big day! Right now I am scrubbing pots, planters and disinfecting plug flats for the seed-sowing season which begins in a couple of weeks. I’m making sure all of my seed and plug orders are running on schedule so I can plant them in a timely manner rather than letting them sit and wait. It’s better to have only the amount you can process coming in every other day or so.

January is also the time to look through all of your old magazines for ideas on garden decorating and outdoor living trends. It doesn’t hurt to make notes of the container plantings either. See what you would like to plant in yours this spring and order the seeds or plugs now to get them started.

Get ready for that big gardener’s holiday by walking through your favorite nursery. Go into the greenhouses and enjoy the life in those plants! Talk to the nursery owners and helpers. I’ll just bet they will be pleased you stopped by to see them! Stop by and visit your local Co-op store to see what they have for the upcoming spring growing season.

January is also my favorite time to go to the botanical gardens around the state. When the lawns are tan and the trees and sky are grey, you can always find some green signs of life there.

If you want more reasons to celebrate Groundhog Day then email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

I’ll see you in February!

If your local radio station isn’t carrying the gardening radio show Home Grown Tomatoes yet, call them and request it!

Kenn Alan offers gardening tips at http://HGTradio.net. Log onto Home Grown Tomatoes.