Garden Planning When It’s Needed
Planning? What’s that? I tend to act on instinct, making decisions as I go along. This tendency to fly by the seat of my pants has probably caused me problems that a little planning would have prevented.
My husband, on the other hand, is a planner. He likes to have his days, and his things, laid out in an orderly fashion. He likes knowing what to expect and when to expect it. This is a man that rotates his socks so they wear out evenly. Seriously.
I’m from a rural farming family on the west coast. He’s from an urban military family on the east coast. We drive one another crazy at times, but it all works out. We’ve learned to be patient and tolerant with one another, and we play to our strengths. Somehow, everything gets done and the things that don’t get done can wait.
For the two of us, garden planning involves sitting down every so often to make a mental list of what we hope to accomplish. We prioritize various projects—paint the back deck, seal the front deck, put edging around flower beds, plant a few more evergreens, plant prairie grass, buy new pots. There’s never enough time or money, but gradually, things fall into place.
Advance Planning for Summer Annuals
One project requires careful planning and I look forward to it every year. Around January, when the days are cold and foggy, I pull out the seed catalogs and pick what annuals I want to grow on my indoor-seed starting shelves.
Certain annuals require more planning than others. For instance, I love a collection of bright colors, except for geraniums—only true red geraniums will do. Not reddish orange, burgundy, or pinkish red.
It seems odd that bright red geranium seeds are hard to find. ‘Calliope’ dark red, ‘Maverick,’ and ‘Bullseye’ scarlet come close. Geraniums need to be planted earlier than other annuals, preferably by late February.
I’ve been waiting for the day when calibrachoa and wave petunias are no longer copyright-protected and last year it finally happened. Wave petunia seeds, along with lobelia and zinnias, can wait until early April, but calibrachoa seeds need to be planted early, with the red geraniums.
This is definitely more planning than I’m accustomed to, but it’s critical to get the seeds up and growing so I can plant them out on June 1st, which I consider the first safe frost-free day of spring.