Tuesday, January 22, 2013

January Garden Prep in Montana- Is there anything to do?

If you live in an area that gets a decent winter you know what it's like to start seeing posts on facebook or by other bloggers about how they are starting seeds and preparing gardens and know that you still have a bit before you can get started.  Even if I start seeds indoors right now, by the time they are big enough to go out it will still be too cold.( Unless you have a greenhouse or coldframes.  Hey, I think I need a greenhouse and coldframes...)  So what are you to do when spring fever hits and it's still cold and frozen in your garden?
Our Garden in Winter

1. Check Germination on Your Leftover Seeds.
Frosted Colorado Blue Spruce in Our Yard
I found this idea at Old Farmer's AlmanacYou take 5-10 of your leftover seeds and lay them out on damp paper towels spread on a glass baking pan.  Then you cover it with plastic wrap and monitor for a week to check germination rates.  There are more details available at the above link.  I'll be trying this and will post some pictures.

2. Browse Seed Catalogues and Compare.
I received 8-10 seed catalogues this year and have enjoyed going through them to compare prices and variety of seeds/plants available.  I have previously always ordered from Gurney's but received a catalogue from a company called Pine Tree Garden Seeds & Accessories.  I like the small-business feel they have and I'm impressed with the large amount of Heirloom seeds they have available.  So I think I will be trying their seeds this year.

3. Consider Joining a Garden Club
I have been wanting to join but waited to join due to having an infant and not having the extra time to go to meetings and such.  I'm hoping to join this year though.  I'd also like to take some classes from our local Extension Office.  You can read my post about how to better utilize your local Extension Office HERE.
You can find a local Garden Club HERE

4. Plan For Classes & Events
You might also find some other classes or events you want to go to and you can map them out on your calendar so that you don't forget when you are crazily trying to keep up with the garden that you longed for all winter :)
Something I'm marking on my calendar is going to be the deadline for entering items into our local fair.  I missed it by one day last year!  And I really wanted to enter my jelly!  It was beautiful... 

Well, those are some of the steps I will be taking until I get a chance to get started on my gardening.  What are you doing in your garden now?

The Matriarch of Our Yard. 

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