Alright folks, it’s official. Spring is just around the corner – we’ve made it to March, and the Equinox is just a few weeks away. The coming of the Spring Equinox is always a bit surreal for me – I swear it sneaks up on me every year. St. Patties day is less than two weeks way (that post was so embarrassing), Colorado is doing its typical spring flip-flop with the weather, and I’m just itchin’ to start some seed flats.
In a typical year, I start my seeds in early February. This year has been anything but typical, and as such I’ll be starting my seeds this coming weekend. I like to get a solid running start on my warm season plants (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants), and I always start a flat of cool season greens so I can start enjoying the lettuces and such as soon as possible. Cool season transplants can go out in mid-April, with direct sowing of cool season seeds happening a couple of weeks before that. If a cold snap and/or snow wipes out your young seedlings that you sowed directly into the soil, just plant another row when the weather clears. As for your indoor starts, I always start more than I need in case those little plants get wiped out in a cold/snow event late in the spring; I can transplant more later if need be. If you garden in Colorado, always have a Plan B.
If you are getting bees this year or need to replace bees this year (like Ben and I do), the time to order bees is fast approaching. Orders go in this month, and delivery usually takes place in April. Chicks are in at Buckley’s Homestead Supply, so if you’re getting chicks this year and don’t want to order your own the little cutie-pies are ready to go. The fruit trees and shrubs are getting ready to break bud. If you haven’t already pruned your grape vines now is the time – grapes prune best when the weather is still cold.
Spring is always such a ramp-up every year, but once you hit your stride production just keeps coming until the snow returns in the fall. Think about what you want to accomplish this year, make some concrete plans to achieve those items, and then go play in your yard. The beauty and mystery that unfolds in backyard farming is worth the price of admission, and the bonus is we get fresh produce, lots of fresh air and hard work, and a sense of accomplishment. Happy farming folks – the season is upon us.