I mean, really? It's a bit hard to dig through that! But you can garden!
Even in frozen Pennsylvania, January is a perfect month to get started. All you have to do is answer a few questions:
What do you want to grow?
This is the fun part! It’s tempting to go for something you’ve seen it in the grocery store, maybe something exotic or expensive.
But maybe you should start by growing the veggies that you like the very best. The chances are you can grow it in your backyard.
For most people, the easiest (and most forgiving) plants are tomatoes and peppers.
Cucumbers and zucchini are also pretty easy to grow and you get fruit, fast from these two.
Next question: Do you want to start from seeds or buy your plants?
If it’s your first garden, you might just want to pick up plants that are ready to go in the ground. It’s easier on you and probably easier on your transplants.
If you want to start from seed, you can buy packets a whole lot of places but I only buy from 4 sources. NOTE: The following companies are also organic and non GMO. And oddly enough, seeds that are not organic often carry herbicides and fungicides in them, both of which will show up in your vegetables.
Territorial Seeds This company lives, breathes and grows organic crops on its 75 acre farm at the foot of the Cascade Mountains. It also researches and trials seeds with an aim of helping family gardeners and farmers grow healthy food in healthy soil
Seed Saver’s Exchange This is a a network of gardeners interested in preserving heirloom varieties and sharing seeds. Today, with 13,000 members and 20,000 plant varieties, maintaining a collection of over 20,000 different varieties of heirloom and open-pollinated plants, the seeds they save have the ability to regenerate themselves year after year. These seeds can withstand unforeseen pestilence and plant disease, climate change, and limited habitat.
High Mowing Seeds This company believes that re-built food systems can support health on all levels – healthy environments, healthy economies, healthy communities and healthy bodies, focusing on re-building of healthy food systems through the seeds they source and grow.
Baker’s Seeds At Baker’s Seeds, they aim to provide the seeds of a sustainable food supply for everyone and keep heirloom varieties alive for future generations. Their drive is to preserve seed diversity and food security in an age of corporate agriculture and patented, hybridized or genetically modified seeds.
These four companies works in its own way to try to save heritage breeds. But they also work hard to put the power of the food supply back where it belongs – in our hands and the hands of local farmers.
If you aren’t convinced yet, think about this:
The average distance any supermarket vegetable or fruit travels to the store is 800 miles. But a gardener’s own fruits and vegetables move from the garden to the table within minutes, with every ounce of nutritional value intact
Gardening is easy – soil, seeds, sun and water and you have fruits and vegetables galore. Nxt week – tools you need.
PS – this is my first time trying to edit in the new “improved” WordPress editor. UGH! It will get better, I promise.
January and the rest of winter is actually a busy time in the garden. It is when all the fruit trees get pruned. That was major work when the Santa Clara Valley was still occupied by orchards!
Pruning has always been a bit of a mystery for me! In the past, I have hacked, chopped and finally arrived at trim but it took years. In “Grow A Small Tree” I finally learned a bit about how and when to prune. That’s not to say that our shrubs and trees don’t start to shiver when they see me heading their way with my fmall bow saw and loppers! I have been successful with blueberries, blackberries, elderberries, cherries and figs but not much luck with my pear, apple and peach trees. Definitely better luck with veg!
Peach trees are not easy. They need aggressive pruning, but tend to grow awkwardly anyway. I know how to work with trees, and even I find peach trees to be frustrating.
January is the perfect time for gardening. You just have to get near the south pole 🙂
Maybe if I just wait, the South Pole will come to me! Ah, global warming!! But at my age, 72 and spiraling to 73, I think I better just adapt! Happy gardening Robert!