January: Sleeping under the snow are carrots, parsnips, garlic, asparagus and potatoes.
Time to get out the seed catalogs and plan the garden for next spring. Last fall, my friend Linda and I, planted some some of our potato crop to see if we could get a jump on our spring planting. Every year we get volunteer potato sprouts from the potatoes we missed when harvesting. Since potatoes are native to the Andes mountains, we thought we would give it a try.
If you are new to gardening, it’s time to do some really serious planning to get the most out of your efforts, to get the soil ready for planting, and to decide what you are going to plant. It can be a challenge to garden in a short season but with a little planning you can have a really good vegetable, fruit harvest, or flower garden. You won’t be able to grow everything you want. Don’t believe those seed catalogs that tempt you with things like sub-zero peaches or other plants that normally grow in zone 5 or higher. In my 40 years of gardening in the short season, zone 3-4, I have found that they are not worth the time, hard work or energy. If you live in a river valley or near a lake you will have 6 weeks more season, 3 in spring and 3 in fall, and you could try to grow some of those sub-zero plants. The closer you are to a lake the more protection you will have from a frost.