Posted in Behind the Scenes, Indoor Musings, Progress

Narrowing down a pile of dreams.

Courtesy Notice: This is another of my long rambling posts.

I don’t know about other folks, but in winter when I can do little on the grounds outside, my imagination runs wild with plans and ideas for our gardens.  This has been especially true as the first year here falls further into the past, and my brain is harried by all we didn’t get done the year before.

For folks of that mindset, even though we might not be totally green in the experience sense, it’s still very easy to both overburden ourselves as well as set ourselves up for disaster in the not so distant future.

What I’m trying to do this winter each time I get the urge to let my plans run amuck is go back and reread my entries (published or unfinished drafts) to try to remember the lessons within them as well as intents I had/have.

I never had thought to ask my Nana why she kept her garden journal when she was still among the living, so I can’t really speak to what she hoped to gain by it, if anything.  It may have been a pleasant pastime for her, or it may have been done with the intent to learn from her past experiences.

For me, one of the reasons I started this blog was to share what I learn, but another was to remind myself short term about whatever.  I also noted things to simply not forget what will help my efforts in the future.  Together, I hope this will help adjust when I was a bit off, bring about an attempt at something different where nothing seemed to work, or just repeat something I’d learned worked well.

Something else I continue to work towards is try to set realistic time frame goals, and to not beat myself up too much when one isn’t met.  I try to at least appreciate what I’ve done, or how far I did manage to get with any one given item on my To Do list.  For the latter, one item still not completely checked off my To Do list is regrading around the house.  Still, each year I have managed to chip away at that, and fortunately the less often our sump pump runs in lengthy rains or snowmelts, the more evident each bit of progress becomes.

One thing I have no regrets about whatsoever is how few seeds we planted last year.  Knowing that we were more green in the newbie sense than experienced, I anticipated difficulties.  It also didn’t help that we honestly:

  • started the kitchen garden very late
  • did not have the funds to test any soil
  • did not have the funds for much additional amendments aside from our compost and leaf mould gathers prior
  • didn’t keep very good records of sun and shade exposure
  • hadn’t amended any of the beds much if at all
  • failed spectacularly to plan and properly build our first hugle culture bed,
  • didn’t even consider various critters where seeds were concerned

All of the above, and possibly more resulted in a lot of failures that I hope to learn from this year, so I can plant more seeds with confidence.

A first for me this year will be seed starting indoors prior to the last frost (as opposed to last year when I started some indoors when my direct sows in late spring had failed to whatever degree).  I’m going to take the terrarium I used last year for my Monarch Guardianship project, and try to start some of what we had the least success with last year, despite placement, so they will at least be seedlings rather than defenseless seeds waiting to be found by dustbowling birds, squirrels, and all the rest that enjoy such fare.  I also hope to convert the doghouse that came with our house into a cold frame as well with some free windows I got last year.  I might make a secondary for shorter plants that will be more of a traditional lower to the ground cold frame, but only time will tell how either progresses or not.

I am currently looking into getting a grow light to replace the standard tube the terrarium has, as I read what I have won’t be as full a spectrum to help my seedlings best.  I am planning a step tiering system inside for my egg cartons, since it’s just one small tank, so I can grow more than I would just covering the base of it with cartons.  Yes, it’s very small scale to start with, but as with anything in my garden, I am trying to start small with new attempts at whatever, learn from the experience, and then keep moving forward with what knowledge I gather.

As to the rest of the wild plans running amuck in my mind?  I’m still whittling them down.  *soft smile*  I haven’t even finished our seed order list yet, but at least we started it much earlier this year, which I hope means we’ll be buying them this winter instead of spring.  I’m also going to try to continue with The 2 Hour Garden book plans, though we skipped a lot of it last year, whether due to funds or not having enough time.

How are your winter plans coming along?  Feel free to share below.


0 thoughts on “Narrowing down a pile of dreams.

  1. I feel my garden journal is my most valuable tool…well, that and my rolling stool. I’ve just written a post on my plan for carrots this coming season, using my notes in the journal to hopefully correct last year’s issues. I’ll be posting it on Monday, and you may find it helpful. Best of luck as you continue to grow.

Care to share thoughts on this?