February 2010
Home Grown Tomatoes

Last Minute Garden Plans


Happy Groundhog Day!

It’s February and winter is half over! If you did as I did, your garden was planned, measured, sketched, and magazine pictures were cut out and placed in your "Garden 2010" scrapbook and logged more than a month ago. Even though careful plans were well-documented, I always find more flowers and herbs I want to add to my already-bulging planting beds. I say, "No problem!"

From Thanksgiving weekend until Groundhog Day, the seed catalogs are dog-eared, book-marked, folded, creased, highlighted and notated upon! A packet of seeds for everything I want to plant still makes too many plants for my garden beds. I always overgrow. I overgrow and I share with my neighbors and friends. It helps the neighborhood look colorful and good, and it gives my bees something extra to eat! Some of my friends and neighbors ask me what I am growing this year so they will know what to plant and share with me.

Springtime at the Tomato Tower is a weekend social event! Jerome and Jason, my sanitation and recycle friends, like the extra eggplant and tomato plants I grow. Last year they had a bumper crop and brought me a few baskets to share with the neighbors. Postman Bill’s wife loves roses and he sees to it she gets cuttings from all of mine when I prune them.

This time of year is when I do most of my spring-blooming bulb shopping. The flowers are starting to show their faces and the nurseries are full of boxes of bulbs from Holland. I know, I know. Spring-blooming bulbs aren’t supposed to be planted in the spring, but in the fall. No matter! This is the time of year to buy them, chill them in the refrigerator for about six weeks and plant them. When they bloom next year, they will have matured another year and they should be spectacular!

Besides buying the premium bulbs from the local nurseries, I like to go on rescue missions in "big box" stores. That’s what I call it anyway. A lot of times they will mark down their bulbs after a certain number of packages from the display are sold and the season ends. I have gotten some good deals on bulbs that way.

Always be on the lookout for something new for your gardens because it’s experimenting with new varieties that keep gardening exciting.

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