54February 11, 2015

Boredom. Housebound. Too much snow. When is Spring coming? Ah yes, the tribulation of a winters’ worth of snow in 2 weeks. What is a gardener to do to keep their sanity?

In the winter, many people want to start a few plants from seed. Maybe a few tomato plants may be a few impatiens. The problem is if you start your plants too early, they are overgrown before you can set the plants into the garden. If cabin fever has you in its grip, here are a few things you can start indoors now. You don’t have to grow a lot of any one variety. The whole idea is to allow you to have something that will nourish your green thumb for about another month. Mid to late March is when you would start the vast majority of your plants from seed. However, there are plants that you would set into the garden in April that you can start now. There are also a few plants that you start now because they take a long time to grow from seed. Let me give you a few suggestions.
Geraniums can take a long time to grow from seeding to having a good size plant to put outside in May. Many of you may not think of geraniums as a plant that you can grow from seed. Sure, you may not get all the unusual colors in a packet of seed, but red, pink and white varieties are usually found in a packet of mixed geranium seed. If you have a sunny window and a warm house, you can grow a few geranium plants from seed.
Pansies are a sure sign of spring whenever you see the plants in your local garden center. A packet of seed may not give you all the colors that you usually find in a greenhouse, but you can easily grow them from seed. Again, a sunny window and an average household temperature will give you a crop in time to plant whenever the snow decides to melt.
Snapdragons are another early spring flower that you can plant outdoors in April. If you start some seed now, you will have a great companion plant for your pansies.

Your vegetable garden does not have to be jealous of your seed-starting prowess. Onions are one of the first plants that you can put into the vegetable garden. Onions started from seed now should give you some nice sized plants that you can set out into the garden in April. If you can wait another few weeks, you can start peas from seed. Plants will generally be large enough to put into the garden in a little over a month from when you start them indoors. Some years you can get your peas into the ground on or about St. Patrick’s Day. This year it may be difficult to find the ground in mid March, but this is New England so you never know.

Winter can be a miserable time if gardening courses through your veins. However, there are things you can start early, from seed that you can put out into your gardens when those warm days of early spring approach.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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