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Getting ready for gardening season

As I look toward the grove of trees, in my mind I can see and hear the red winged blackbirds and hear the sound of the return of Canada geese once more on the marshy prairie that now surrounds our farm. The beautiful sun shining days of Minnesota are only in their purist form during these cold Minnesota January days. There are no days like these in very many places anymore. Anticipation always makes spring all the sweeter and as every day goes by, even when we have some terrible winter weather, we are now advancing toward spring. The days are gaining daylength and it is only a matter of time now that those of us who have to rise early in the morning to go to work, will no longer be getting up in the dark and coming home in the dark.

It’s these days that gardeners start to think about their plants and what new plants we can start to raise for our gardens in the coming months. We can afford to sit and daydream a little bit about what we wish our gardens to look like this growing season. We can think a little bit about what we want to do in our gardens in the upcoming growing season.

It could be as simple as looking at our garden size and determining if it is too small or too large for us. Just like anything in life, our needs change, family sizes change, and soon you may find that you no longer need a large garden or maybe you would like to invest in raised gardens instead.

We can also review what space we have to see if there is a possible way to use our garden space smarter too. Gardeners can use many strategies for using their given space such as having a regular garden space (i.e. garden bed) to adding in raised beds along with potted plants. There are many vegetable varieties that can grow quite well in larger flower pots and these can be added into any given garden space quite easily.

Another challenge is to write down all of the perennial plants you have from flowers, to shrubs and trees, then do a little research to find out how pollinator friendly your garden space really is. You may be surprised to find out what you think are pollinator friendly plants may not be as friendly. You can simply start to add in these plants to your garden. You can also invest in allowing a certain amount of your space to become a bee friendly lawn. Residents can check into bee friendly lawns by going to the Minnesota Soil and water website for bee friendly lawns. The website is https://bwsr.state.mn.us/l2l.

There is another fun thing to do is to check into your equipment this winter to make sure it is ready for spring and maybe see if you may be missing something that could help you be more successful in your garden setting this growing season. Gloves, small tools, a good LED flashlight, wire cutters and so on placed into a container of your choice such as a 5-gallon bucket would work well. I have seen some 5-gallon buckets where the gardener has fitted the top lid with a cushion and thus had a seat when they needed while working out in the garden.

And last but not least, consider becoming a master gardener. The classes are online so there isn’t any traveling with the program. If you would like to learn more about the program, please contact myself and the Lyon County Master Gardeners will reach out to you. You can even check out one of our monthly meetings or assist a Master Gardener with one of the many programs that we will be offering this spring and summer. This way, you can see firsthand what the program is all about. For more information on gardening, you can email me at s.dejaeghere@me.com.

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