From the Desk of Ed Hume: What About This Year’s Garden?

February 6, 2012 at 10:42 AM Leave a comment

This is a wonderful time to begin thinking about and planning this year’s garden. Right now, while the weather is still cold, rainy, and windy, you have the time to really give some serious thought to what you want to include in your spring garden. What vegetables do you want to grow this year? Which flowers do best in your garden? Do you want to add some new trees or shrubs? Is it time to design a new walkway, patio, or trellis? These are only a few of the changes or additions you might want to consider as you wait for the weather to improve.

I hope you have a list of vegetables and flowers that you had wonderful success with in the past few years. Or perhaps you saw some outstanding flowers or vegetables in other people’s gardens. If you haven’t already made a list of plants you’d like to include in your garden, do it now! This way you’ll know what to grow and/or buy later, when the gardening season starts.

For example, in our garden we’ve had wonderful success growing and enjoying carrots, beets, winter lettuce and other fall and winter vegetables. It has been so nice to go into the garden and enjoy the fresh flavor of these vegetables in the winter months. So, of course, we are already planning on expanding our winter vegetable garden this coming season. We also just like to have organically grown, fresh vegetables all year round, so we’re going to expand spring and summer vegetable space as well.

In our annual beds the dwarf marigolds, wax begonias, and patients were outstanding. So we’re going to use more of them this season. Some of the geranium varieties were only mediocre, so we made a list and decided not to waste our time with those varieties this year. The dahlias, gladiolas, and crocosmia were beautiful and my wife enjoyed using them in arrangements. We’ve also decided it is time to add more peonies, dwarf Shasta daisies, and penstemons.

I’ve also added some shrubs this winter. My favorites are winter flowering heather. These, of course, are evergreen, and some varieties flower almost six months during the late fall, winter, and early spring.

Now I’ve been telling you about some of the changes and additions that we’re going to make to our garden – but what about your garden?

Garden magazines, books, catalogs, gardening programs, internet and newspaper articles are ideal sources for new gardening ideas. For a minor fee, the extension service offers some outstanding information bulletins on various phases of gardening. You can contact you local office by getting their number from the white pages of a telephone book. Simply turn to the “country government listing,” and there will be a listing for your state university, Extension Service. For example, in Washington it is WSU Extension: Oregon, OSU Extension; and Idaho, ISU Extension.

If you’re really puzzled where to start or when to begin, you may want to enlist the services of a professional landscape architect, designer, or contractor.

Also, check out our gardening information at and in my book. “Gardening With Ed Hume: Northwest Gardening Made Easy.” ($19.95 on our website)


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