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A New Leaf

Spring is in the air! I know that winter hasn’t let up for everyone just yet, but here in Central Texas, the trees are budding out, the wildflowers are popping up, and the April showers have come very early indeed. The gardening bug is biting every person with even a single terra cotta pot to sow. Of course, here in Waco we are not unaccustomed to weather’s tricks. In the past, such false seasons have spurred us to plant row after row early on, only to have our work rendered null by sudden frost that sticks around for a few weeks. But as I’m sure you understand, that working knowledge does not discourage an excited garden enthusiast from springing headfirst into a boxful of seed packets.

Luckily, this is my second year with my front yard garden fully set up, and I learned a lot last year. I know which spots need extra protection, and I’ve discovered a lot of plants that thrive in the extremely variable weather we see here in Waco. Armed with this information and an enthusiasm that won’t be curbed by any setback, I’m preparing for an awesome season.

For me, getting ready for a new gardening year starts in winter, when I take inventory and restock. I sort through my seed packets, count and clean all of my starter pots, check that my sprayer is still in good working order, and check the levels in my bottles of Spray-N-Grow, Bill’s Perfect Fertilizer, and Coco-Wet, as well as any other all-natural and organic products I may need. Once I know what I have, it’s time for the fun part. That’s when I dig into my Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and Spray-N-Grow catalogues to reorder my old favorites and find new fun things to try. While I wait for my orders to roll in, I gather my seed starting supplies, and on mild weather days I start to weed and prepare the soil. During colder days, I peruse my garden books, reminisce about last year’s garden, and dreaming up new ideas for this year. These are good distractions for me while I wait for the UPS man to arrive at my door.

Fast-forward to today; my boxes of goodies have arrived, their contents have been organized, and tiny seedlings in flats line my potting table. It’s sunny outside and the afternoon temperature will be 73 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though right now the only green I see out front consists of a few stalks of Brussels sprouts and some baby lettuces, I know that I have a lot to look forward to for the year, and I’m sure that you do too. In the meantime, I’ll just have to look through some of last year’s photos and get excited for what’s to come.

Happy Gardening!

Allyson Ray

2/27/2017    Starting Out