Although monochromatic in outward appearance, the Jan winter landscape is preparing to refashion itself into the color and life we’ll start to see in about 45 days. So, this month is the time to prepare, to create a foundation, for the garden we’re anticipating in the spring.
Over the weekend, I attended a vegetable garden planning class at the Cincinnati Civic Garden Center, along with about 60 others. The instructor, Charles Griffin, is the coordinator for the Enright Ridge Urban Eco-Village CSA. Charles was trained as a plant physiologist at U.C.-Davis.
The two-hour class went by, seemingly, in a heart-beat. Charles discussed annual and biennial plant categories, how plants cycle themselves within a given season and soil temperatures. He supplied a spring planting calendar to help us understand 3-season growing, and explained seasonal changes in “day-length” and their impact on what plants perceive they should be doing within a given growth cycle. Fascinating, yes?
There’s a lot here, and we’ll be taking it one step at a time. It’s paradoxical, really, because the depth of Charles’ knowledge about plants was offset with the simplicity of knowing that anyone, all of us, can create successful gardens.
So, take heart in today’s Kansas-like palette. Life under the surface abounds, and we’re about to discover it.