From the farm: Time to start seeds

By Eve Springwood Minson

The long, cold nights of winter are a great time to pour a cup of tea and be­gin your 2017 garden plan. Seed catalogs abound with every kind of plant imagin­able and you will fall in love with what is offered. Here’s a way to manage your seed cravings:

MAKE A LIST of the plants you love, and some new things you’d like to try. If you are a beginner, try things that are easier to grow so you can be successful and feel good about your garden­ing efforts!

LEARN. Seed catalogs and gardening websites are loaded with information about growing conditions, flavor, yields, disease resis­tance, and more, so take time and make a list. Do the plants prefer cool weather or warm? How long do the seeds take to germinate? Should they be started ahead of time indoors on a warm sunny window, or can you plant the seeds directly into the garden once it’s warm outside? Before you plant know what sort of conditions the seeds need to thrive.

SKETCH IT OUT. Even if you have a tiny plot or just a few containers, sketch things out before you start planting. You can find online garden planners to help you with this fun activity. You might also consider keeping a garden journal that will help for next year.

PLAN WELL. Remem­ber that our first approximate frost-free date is May 15th, according to Cornell Coop­erative Extension. Garden centers have plants available long before they should be put in the ground, so hold them over in a protected place until it warms up. Often you can plant warm-season crops a week or two earlier, if you are willing to protect seedlings from threat of frost. You don’t want to lose your tender babies.

HAVE FUN!! Cornell Coop Extension, websites, books, garden centers and fellow gardeners are your “go-tos” for gardening suc­cess! Most importantly, enjoy your journey bringing Spring a few steps closer!