It’s almost the end of January. Not sure how THAT happened so quickly, but I’ll take it! January can be a rough month out here in Seattle. Cold. Dark. Rainy. Yep, that’s what it’s been aside from the side order of snow we got early on in the month.
That said, this is always the the month when I start dreaming about tomatoes, zinnias, and petunias and ultimately start springing ahead to well….Spring ! My kitchen garden is pretty much dormant but I do have a crop of hardy kale that has been producing nicely so that’s a bonus. But this is the month when I really try to get organized. I take a seed inventory, gather my seed starting supplies, order some seeds, think about what I want to grow, and start planning as such.
So, for green thumbs itching to get started, I’m sharing a few things to do during this month or in the early days of February. It will get you psyched and ready to launch for the season.
Pull out the seed box and ditch any packets that are more than a few years old. Determine what needs to be replenished this year and find a way to organize them so you can quickly and easily pull what you want at seed sowing time! For really nifty results, try a photo storage box like the one shown here and which I purchased at Hobby Lobby last week. It’s incredibly compact and well made and seed packets fit perfectly in each little 4 by 6 inch box. Label each box with the vegetable variety at hand and your seed system is streamlined. Plus, rely on the nifty handle to cart your “seed briefcase” to convenient locations when planting and planning!
Once your seeds are organized, grab the seed catalogs and read up. My favorite purveyors are Territorial Seeds, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Burpee, and Botanical Interests. Over the years, I’ve had the best results from these folks. I find that their selections really help me bring a lot of diversity into my little kitchen garden and ultimately to my dinner table.
Planning anything can sound ridiculously boring but planning when it comes to gardening can definitely create a make or break situation. One of my favorite tools? The Ed Hume Garden Almanac. In my opinion, this pocket side resource, which sells for $1.79, flies under the radar for sure. Ed Hume Seeds, located in Puyallup WA, has been updating and printing this little gem for over 55 years and it’s a true gold mine. The booklet gives tips and action advice for every day of the year and those tidbits are offered based on the cycles and phases of the moon. I know it sounds crazy, but I definitely have better results when I plant certain seeds during certain phases of the month. Check it out and keep it handy. I am now keeping mine in my Seed Briefcase!
So, that’s a quick set of tips for now. Enjoy and count the days til Spring!