“Garden fever”; is that state of mind that is the results from being cooped up all winter in the house planning your spring vegetable garden. Generally occurring in late January to late February when it is still too cold to get out and actually start doing some of the things you’ve been planning all winter. It is to be noted this condition is closely related to another malady commonly known as “ cabin fever”, and the cure for both conditions is the same; warm weather.
Many of us plan from year to year what we want to do with our vegetable gardens the next season. After a vegetable garden is planted and growing in the summer we can see better ways we might have done one thing or another. Rather than tear up what we have already spent time and effort getting going and starting over we will postpone the changes until the next growing season.
We spend all winter sitting in the warmth of our homes planning what we’re going to do with our vegetable garden this year and how we’re going to do it, but somehow we always find different things we could have done a little better or differently. As the wintry months start to give way to a little warmer weather we are anxious to get out and get started with our grand plan for this year’s vegetable garden. We have to be patient and not jump the gun, so to speak, and get stuff planted too early only to have it come up and get frozen back in a last wintry blast of cold weather.
Sure, there are things we can do during the pre planting season such as mixing compost into our soil and tilling up new ground but, although necessary, that just doesn’t give the satisfaction of actually putting seeds in the ground.
If you use cold frames, like we do, you can get an early start on many of your vegetable plants. We usually start such things as tomatoes, peppers, and other cold sensitive plants 6 weeks or so before our expected last frost and get a little bit of a head start on the growing season. It must be understood though, that this is no substitute for actually putting seeds in the ground.
Some root crops, like potatoes, carrots, beets, onions, and others can be planted earlier and have a good survival rate, but the majority of garden vegetables need warm days and nights that are not too cold. These warm weather vegetables are he ones we long to see flourishing in our vegetable gardens.
Now is the time to put a few finishing touches on your vegetable gardening plans and get everything ready to go. Even though the temptation is great for all of us to get out there and start planting, it is not time yet, and will not be time for a few weeks yet. There is no sense in getting stuff planted, watching it come up, only to see it frozen back with that last cold snap that we all know (from experience ) is coming.