Yep, already. The very first bit of planting has started in the form of planting a bunch of Amaranth seeds to germinate before we put them in the ground in somewhere around two months after our last frost date which should be around May 15th.
The Lady of the House has been the primary force behind getting ready to do planting, and was the one who got all of the Amaranth in the seed starting tray. There is a lot going in to gardening in terms of skill, preparation, and staggering amounts of knowledge. fortunately for us, a lot of that knowledge is now available on line which gives us a great leg up on doing research. The ability to put "How to grow Amaranth" in the search bar, and come up with This and this among others just casually is an amazing resource. In the recent past you'd have to have the correct book to look information up in, and while we do have books on gardening finding the basics online is really helpful. In the distant past you better hope you know what you are doing, or know someone who does! Above Left is a photo of some of the ever so sophisticated winnowing trays we have for separating the seeds from the chaff.
We are actually very fortunate in a lot of ways for getting started with gardening. As I think we've made clear the Lady of the House and I know not a thing about gardening other than, plants go in soil, need water, and sunlight. Fortunately we have a local seed saving group and while their primary focus isn't teaching people how to garden, they have been very helpful to us. And as you can see Right we were able to get more seeds than we will be able to handle planting and caring for in our first year at their seed saving meeting last November! We made ourselves a spread sheet of all of our seeds that we have, how long they last before they lose viability, when they should be planted, what their soil needs, and how much sun they need. We have actually been increasing our seed stock in a casual sort of way. We found a squash we liked, so when we scooped it out, we saved the seeds. Right is a photo of them finishing drying. It's occurred to us that we probably literally don't have space to plant all of the seeds we have. Over all that's actually a better problem to have than no seeds.
We actually haven't been idle over the winter. If you recall the Lady of the House's outdoor herb garden from the summer. Above is its current status. She just kept it going inside over the winter. The plants are a bit sad about the low amount of sun they have been getting, but it works well enough. I'd love to say the cement mixing tub was a brilliant idea we had months ago that helped keep the plants alive, but it's nothing of the sort. We have the cement mixing tub around to use as a litter tray for our foster rats, but weren't using at the moment. The Lady of the House just last weekend said "I wish we had something to help keep the plants hydrated without water running on the floor. I agreed, completely missing the tub sitting in the room with us, and went on with my day. Sunday the Lady of the House had set up what you see Above and the plants have actually been noticeably happier. Above Left is just the rest of our indoor window garden. that seems to have been doing alright. the plant on the right has had aphid trouble since last fall, and despite regular use of home made pyrethin we haven't managed to totally exterminate the infestation. While we'd like to minimize pesticide use, having a home made one in reserve is useful. At some point we'll do a post on pyrethrin and how to make it.
Here's hoping that our far early preparations work out, and that we have a great set of sprouts to plant come final frost. This planting two months ahead of time thing is way outside of my expectations and knowledge, so this will be an adventure.