Every year I have illusions of grandeur for my garden.
I pictured myself sitting at our farmer’s market behind display baskets overflowing with a bounty of tomatoes, peppers and fresh herbs.
In reality, I sold leftover handmade jewelry, some divided perennials and enough herbs to season one big kettle of soup. I selfishly hoarded what little came out of my garden for my dinner table.
I still regret selling those precious bundles of lemon thyme.
Despite a couple inches of snow two weeks ago, this fall has been relatively mild. Right up until that snow fell, I was still grabbing mint, kale, lettuce and parsley from my yard.
On a few 60 degree days, I wandered about the yard and actually pondered extending the growing season by creating hoop houses over my raised beds or converting them into cold frames.
I wondered (out loud) if my husband could start on that cool tiered step container idea I saw.
He pretended not to hear me. I pretended I didn’t say anything out loud.
Call me lazy. Call me an amateur gardening fool who is completely missing this extended-gardening season boat. But if I strive to be a seasonal eater, why not a seasonal gardener? I don’t buy raspberries in February. I don’t start gardening projects in November. Zone 4b says, “I’m getting cold. Your plants are tired. Quit poking the ground and go inside.”
Some of you live in a milder climate than Zone 4b. Your gardening enthusiasm remains strong. Go for it. Some of you dwelling on the Frozen Tundra with me might be eager for a challenge. You are stronger than I.
Check out a few ways to extend your growing season. (aka, what Amy won’t be doing this season):
I might rake some leaves to use as mulch and add to my wet compost. I might grab a little manure from some horses I know and spread it on a patch of particularly sad soil.
But I will listen to Zone 4b and go inside. I will curl up with some chocolate mint tea and grab a good read to start scheming next year’s illusions of grandeur.
What are your winter gardening plans?