The last remnants of snow have dripped from the gutters and there is only a woolen scarf and hat resting on the ground, where a little over a week ago, a robust snowman stood guard over our front yard. While temperatures are certainly warming, it really is still winter here in southeast Nebraska, and it will be for some time, still. It will be weeks past Easter, before we can confidently shrug off the dangers of snow and frost and proclaim the official return of spring to our gardens. Accepting that reality does not ward off the daydreams of what’s to come, however. After all, the seed catalogs have arrived, and it’s time to line the windowsills with tender seedlings in anticipation of spring planting. We always seem to have one week in January or February where the weather mocks us with gorgeous sunny days and seventy degree temperatures, inspiring an intense desire to turn the soil and plant vegetables and flowers, even though it will be weeks before it it’s safe to do so. This year is no different and I fight the same inclinations as in other years.
I’m excited to be making preparations and plans, though, and look forward with great anticipation to seeing the plans become reality as we redesign, repurpose and continue to turn our backyard into a place where we can enjoy beauty and bounty. In addition to the mountain of seed catalogs, I have pinned so many great gardening plans, tips and information on Pinterest, this year. My goal is to incorporate many of them into our outdoor living space, as time and finances permit. I will be working with several of my favorite companies to help make my garden and outdoor spaces as successful and beautiful as they can be and I’ll be sharing my favorite products with you, as I work to achieve it. There will be reviews, tutorials, ideas and instructions, along with some extraordinary giveaways to help you make the most of your gardens and outdoor living spaces!
It’s even more important, these days, to do all we can to stretch the grocery budget and get the greatest nutrition and quality for the dollars we do spend. A vegetable garden is the best way I know to do that and be assured of exactly where your food has come from. Initially, you will have to spend some money to get started gardening, but averaged over the years of healthy delicious produce you will gain, your annual costs will become slight and out of pocket expenses will be less each year. You can start simple or elaborate, as your budget allows, and each year simply add and expand your knowledgebase, as well as your garden and grocery savings. There is something so satisfying about starting with a seed in the dirt and watching the plant grow, flourish and then produce an abundance of veggies for your family. I’m anxious to get started and I hope you’ll join me, whether you have a small patio or balcony garden, or a large backyard space. There will be something for everyone and I can’t wait to see all that you grow!
Here’s a sneak peek at one of the newest additions to our gardening tools–a Mantis ComposT-Twin dual chamber composter!
Spending money for rich garden soil and fertilizers adds up over time and if you invest the same money in an excellent composting system, garden waste, kitchen waste, fireplace ashes, newspaper and more household items than you may realize, that normally end up in your garbage, can be recycled to create your own nutrient-dense soil for vegetable and flower gardens. It’s better for the environment, cuts down on your waste, eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers and saves money when you don’t have to purchase soil or soil enhancers to keep your plants strong and healthy. There are so many fantastic and unique features about this compost tumbler. I’m anxious to share all of them with you, show you how easy it was for us to assemble and how we started our first batch of compost. Plus, I have an exciting secret! Mantis is sponsoring a giveaway, in which one lucky Busy-at-Home gardening reader will win a ComposT-Twin Dual Chamber Composter of their own. Keep checking back, next week, so you can enter this fabulous giveaway, that will kick off our gardening series for 2012!
Do you compost, now? Do you want to learn more about it? What are your plans for a garden, this summer? Do you have a big space or will you garden in a few pots on the deck? What are your favorite things to grow? What do you want to learn more about growing? I can’t wait to hear all your plans and kick off our new series with this exciting review and giveaway!