Middle of February in Central Florida: time to think about gardening! I attended a wonderful discussion group where we listened to Joann Allen talk about the basics: soil testing, improving the soil, companion planting, ways to deal with pests. She says the time to plant is the week after Easter; that’s when (most of the time) plants will be safe from frost. Of course, you can start plants from seed now, and keep them indoors until then. And you could be working on preparing the seed beds, and getting a compost bin started. It’s easy to think about gardening with the 80-degree days we’ve been having, but what about that night last week when it was below freezing? We’re really still in the pondering stage.Meanwhile, Joann sent me over a Vicks Vaporizer and this magnificent bunch of collard greens from her garden. Earlier in the week, she had given me a dozen green eggs, from her Ameraucana, AKA Easter Egg chickens. We had green eggs and bacon for breakfast, and the eggs were delicious, as Joann said they would be! Add to that some free grapefruit from the Langfords’ tree, and we felt very blessed with nourishment!
Now, Joann has a huge garden, and when she’s in the planning stages, she’s looking at seed catalogs for some new and novel seeds to try, and going with the heirloom seeds that are tried and true for our region. Our garden may simply be a few very short rows. Last year we started out great but didn’t keep up very well. Now is the critical time, the pondering stage. What will we do for a garden this year?