Spring is here and in my house that means it’s time to redecorate, albeit temporarily. Soil, heat mats, seed trays, little black pots, and seed packets make up my garden motif.  It’s time to take advantage of the warming weather and extra sunlight hours.

Next to flinging open the bedroom windows and having the peepers serenade me to sleep, one of the best things about spring is seeing the first seedlings popping out of the soil and reaching for the sky. I always start too many, but that is part of the fun. You aren’t limited to your choices and sharing the bounty with family and friend is always a bonus.

Seed catalogues and gardening magazines make up a good part of my winter reading and now I’ve been going through my stash of seed packets and planning this year’s crops. My big plan for this year is to try straw or hay bale gardening. It looks interesting and should cut down on the weeding and watering. Of course there are lots of different options, your conventional garden, containers, raised beds, cold frames, and more. 

Flower, fruit, or vegetable, watching your gardens come to life with plants you nurtured from seed is well worth the effort. If you need some tips check out the gardening section at your local library, that’s 635 in the non-fiction section. You’ll find plenty of great books with lots of helpful tips, like these ones: Mini farming: self-sufficiency on a ¼ acre by Brett Markham, Plants for Atlantic Gardens by Jodi DeLong, Gardening in Miniature by Janit Calno, or Seed Sowing and Saving by Carole Turner. Do a search for “gardening” in our catalogue online or visit a branch for plenty of great books.

Look for our Seed Library in two locations in May. Preserving and sharing seeds is also part of the fun and challenge. Plus you get to enjoy the fruit of your labour during those long winter months.

Let’s get at’er! 

Tim Jackson, Community Engagement Assistant, and minor league gardener.

Links to the mentioned books in the AVRL catalogue:

Mini farming: self-sufficiency on a ¼ acre

Plants for Atlantic Gardens

Gardening in Miniature

Seed Sowing and Saving