25 January, 2013


Montreal is under a cold spell.  Mercury dips to -16 and -20 and meteorologists suggest that it feels even cooler.  To keep myself warm I make a batch of my favorite lemon tea and sift through seed catalogues.  Even if I have to wait several months before actually planting anything, the seed starting time is just around the corner.

This will be my third year gardening.  Back in 2011 I decided to clear up our backyard.  I spent one very long weekend weeding the oval flowerbed (the only one we had at that time) and fighting stubborn lilies of the valley that took over most of it.
Once the flowerbed got cleaned I bought some annual and perennial plants, several herb seedlings, and 6 tomato plants.  Tomatoes got planted in containers while the rest of the plants went straight into the flowerbed.  I also tried starting several varieties of herbs and flowers from seeds but my experiments were not very successful.

Planting spring bulbs, on the other hand, turned out to be much more rewarding and spring of 2012 welcomed us  with crocuses, tulips, hyacinths, chianadoxa, and muscari.

The goal for 2012 was to get the garden going. After hours days of weeding the space was ready.  Eric made a nice wooden border, the soil got ordered, shoveled in, mixed with manure, and we were ready for planting!  And planting we did: tomatoes, eggplants, zucchinis, chives, ground cherries, even asparagus and rhubarb.  Not everything was successful but I learned a lot from the process and my garden will definitely keep growing!
Later in May we also made 2 flowerbeds: one next to the house and another one in a corner of the backyard.  I got a chance to make several containers and ended up getting lots of new plants.

But the biggest success of 2012 was my seed starting endeavor.  Eric made an amazing light fixture for me and with proper lighting I was able to start over 50 seedlings: herbs, annuals, perennials.  Watching tiny seeds turn into seedlings, and later on into big flowering plants was truly amazing!

What are my gardening plans for this year?
1. I want to experiment with vegetable seeds.  I will be starting most of my garden plants from seeds and I will try to grow a lot of heirloom varieties.
2. I will need to reorganize my garden space and turn the long rectangular patch into several square ones.  I am waiting impatiently to get the new Square Foot gardening book and begin planning.  I want to learn more about companion planting and try succeessive planting this year.
3. My last plan is to document my gardening adventures and to share them here.  I also would like to share knowledge and information I've athered over the years of gardening.  If you are planning to start a garden this year I will try to guide you through the process, answer your questions, and share my own successes and failures in the new gardening series: GARDENING ADVENTURES.
We'll begin next week with things to consider for your first year of gardenings.  Stay tuned!


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