January Ramblings - The New Year 2015!

The start of a fresh new year and brand new gardening ideas, plans, aspirations, and dreams.

My daytimer with seeding dates, the planner for this years thoughts and ideas, 
plus last years planner (to check on my notes, thoughts and customer requests.)
Then hubby went out and bought me another one ....  

I am already making plans for this year's new and fresh summertime colour combinations.

This year I am drawn towards both crisp and muted lime/acid greens, mixed with loads of blue and purple, plus something bright to make them pop, like maybe orange and/or red.

Will be incorporating these fabulous hues everywhere in the yard, through potted roses, hanging begonia baskets, sunny moss baskets and mixed planters galore.

For retail, I build baskets and planters of all kinds and colours, though, so have no fear if this is not your colour scheme this year! I love best the special orders and requests, so bring me your ideas and I will run with them! : )   

 A collage of colour inspiration for my decks and baskets for Summer 2015!
... from Pinterest.


Besides dreaming this month, what else can one do? ...Here are some ideas...

INDOORS!

Go through your seeds, inventory what you have, and make a list of what you need. Review your notes of what worked well and what didn't as you make that list, decide if you want to try the misses again one more time, or give them a pass.

Browse through seed catalogues, try some new seed suppliers to shake things up, you never know, you may find a new favourite.

Here are some of my favourite seed suppliers, in no particular order ...
- Renee's Garden Seeds (US)
- Baker's Creek Rare Seeds (US)
- Heritage Harvest Seeds  (Can)
- Two Wings Farm (Can)
- Cottage Gardener Seedhouse (Can)
- Hawthorn Farm Organic Seeds (Can)

Make your garden veggie plan. I generally make one and then change it as I plant ... but I love making them!



Order your seeds, and get ready to hit all the local Seedy Saturdays ... plus the Nitty Gritty Greenhouse, of course ; )



** Most importantly, store your seeds in the order that they will be sown, month by month, so that you are organized and do not miss out on a seeding date.
On each seed package write down the date that you are going to start them (don't forget the year!) and pop them standing upright into a box or tin. 
At the start of each month, have a look at the seeding you need to do, and pick up your supplies accordingly.
As you sow, move any leftover seeds to the back of the pile, so that they are ready to inventory and plant again next year. This is why the year is really important. Sometimes you have 30 seeds in each package but only plant 5! So, you can potentially sow those same seeds for the next 5 years.   
You can also make a chart of the dates, if you want, so that you have a list to refer to week by week.  

 
IN THE GARDEN AND YARD!

Prune your fruit trees and spray with  a Dormant Spray kit, a mix of horticultural oil and lime sulpher, to prevent pests and diseases.   

Pinch back your stretched out or going to seed pansies for fresh blooms in 6 to 8 weeks time.

At the end of the month, as days begin to get a wee bit longer, you can start to plant the following in your low tunnels, hoophouses or coldframes..

- Kale, spinach, lettuce, mustards, chard, arugula, Oriental greens
- Scallions and radishes
- Beets, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and cabbage  


IN THE GREENHOUSE!

Remove all bits of dead plant material, spent blooms, yellowing  leaves, etc... to prevent the growth of mould and rot.

Keep plants on the dry side as too much moisture will bring in more bugs and cause mould and root rot issues.
 
Take cuttings of your geraniums, fuchsias ....

Do NOT sow seeds too early! This newbie mistake causes stretched out plants and garden failures... here is a list of what you can start this month....

- Leeks, onions from seeds, shallots
- Hot peppers, at the end of the month
- Eggplants, at the end of the month
- Artichokes
- Flowers, most perennials and some of the early spring bloomers like Sweet Peas and Calendula.

Shallots are coming along nicely!
 
OUT AND ABOUT IN THE POTAGER...

The garlic and shallots are up about 6 inches, thriving and doing well in this mild and easy winter that we have had ...so far ; )

Tango mandarins in the greenhouse

The citrus fruits are ripening, look and taste amazing....


The Eureka Variegated Pink Lemons are being inspected by Ruby Tuesday. 
She says that they are nearly ready to go! 


The hyacinths are coming up nicely, 
as is the lemongrass.


In the garden, am running pretty low on carrots this year. Thought I had plenty, so we were generous with them in December ...
Am out of beets, running low on Brussels sprouts, but still okay on both lettuce and kale...



Leeks I have plenty of, oh dear!
I could eat potato and leek soup each week till spring and still likely have some left ; ) Nothing wrong with that though, as I love leeks!

Ruby Tuesday enjoys a carrot ... in a raised garden bed.

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