February 22nd is a big day in a farmer’s timeline. It is the beginning of the 11 hour day and the threshold of when plants seem to wake up and begin to grow. To celebrate, we get to work sowing spring crops (kale, chard, parsley, celery, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce) in flats in our greenhouse. Not everyone has access to a greenhouse, so we are planning a spring plug sale, featuring our cool weather favorites ready to plant the first week of April.
There are plenty of things a gardener can do in preparation for the growing season so that when the weather settles and the conditions are right you can hit your planting windows. I’ll be sharing some ideas for making your garden experience fruitful. If you have specific questions call me at 913-775-3711 for some advice and if you really want to create a plan, I’d be happy to schedule a visit to your garden in March.
This month find time to make homemade compost and cut back you perennial herbs and grasses. There is no wrong way to make compost. I would encourage any gardener to look around for appropriate ingredients and use a sunny afternoon to mix up a homemade batch. One easy place to find some bulk is in annually mulched beds. Many folks just layer wood chips on each spring, creating a mound of well-aged compost just underneath. So before you freshen up your mulch around the house this season, rake back the top layer and shovel out the carbon-rich soil that has accumulated around trees and shrubs. You will be sure to find lots of soil life and great ingredients for homemade compost. Add old shredded leaves, last season’s grass clippings, last year’s potting soil, and maybe your neighbor’s old lawn maintenance byproducts. A pile just 3ft x 3ft is a large enough to make a big difference. Assemble this in your garden now and in a month it will be ready to spread.