Monday, February 27, 2012

Preparing For Spring Part One

As we begin to wrap up the month of February, it seems about everyone is ready for Spring to bloom. That is, except me. March normally brings a mixture of emotions for me. While I'm ready to get outside & enjoy longer days, I normally have to spend the first few weeks of spring miserable and inside.

You see, tree pollen and I don't get along so well... in fact, we are mortal enemies. Every year, I dread the month of April because my days are full of sneezing, itchy eyes, and short breath. And it gets really awful some years. When I lived in college dorms with open windows, spring would get so hazy that I would have to go home during the weekends just so I could sleep.  In 2008, my allergies lead to a sinus infection that was so bad, it turned to pneumonia. But since I assumed it was just allergies, I let it get to a point where I was hospitalized for a few days. I'm thankful that I don't have allergies all year, but every spring is full of allegra, eye drops, inhalers & normally a dose of steroids for a week.

As I learn more about my allergies, it gets a little better every year, mostly because we know how to avoid it as best we can. Our windows & doors stay shut until May, I start on meds in February, and I try to be outside as little as possible. By no means is any of that fun, but it's better than the alternative.

So with all that being said, I never really "look forward" to Spring. Mostly because I know the next month or so will be agonizing. I also know I'm one of the very few people that feel this way. My coworkers give me glares every time I say anything in relation to my conditioned hatred toward spring blooming from winter.

But this year adds a new concern. Winter was really mild this year. In our little city, it only snowed three times all winter. An none of it stuck around for long. And while I enjoyed the warmer temperatures as much as the next person, it isn't right for winter to be so mild. Especially when this same area was hit by a dramatic ice storm just three years ago. Where we live, there's supposed to be a time for life to sleep then re-awaken. I'm truly afraid bugs & pollen will be a disaster this spring. And while I'm not a meteorologist, I'm interested to see what summer will be like this year.
I was so excited that it finally snowed at the end of November, I took a photo
But I'll get off my soap box and get back to the fun stuff. Spring does mean at least one, very fun thing: gardening. Each year the husband & I do more gardening than the year before. And last year was pretty fun. We grew tomatoes, lavender, onions, peppers, mint, oregano, rosemary, and some mutant basil. I documented a bit of our journey, including in uncharted territory.
Last year's garden on the first day. It all grew so fast
But this year will be even better. After reading into herbalism, I'm already planning the herbs I want in my garden. In fact, we just bought some seeds & a cell kit to start a few of our main herbs.
I'll finally have some calendula at my disposal
And while I'll have every herb from mint to oregano, we are also planning on some strawberries, peppers, tomatoes & maybe even a pumpkin. But my dreams of a big batch of chamomile, echinacea & calendula will have to wait for things to warm up more. And it will all depend on when we finish up closing on this home we want to buy. But that doesn't mean we can't all start preparing for a great growing season. Thanks to the cell system we bought, we already started on germinating seeds.

 So here's a few things you can start doing now.

- Like I did, make a list of what you want to grow this year.
- Take a look at your yard & map out the space. Be sure to include how much sun a certain spot is getting.
- If you plan on growing plants from seeds, go ahead and start them in your home.
-  You don't have to get a cell kit like we did. You can save money & use things like margarine tubs, tuperware or egg cartons.
- Slowly start purchasing what you'll need for your outside garden. A couple bags of soil here or there is a lot better then buying 20 when you need it.
- Don't forget to compost.

If you are ever looking for some gardening inspiration, I am constantly updating my secret garden board. There are so many cool things on there that I'm not really at liberty to post here.

Well, March is just a few days away, which means Women's History Month will begin. And you can bet your bottom dollar that I have a theme planned. Want to guess what it is? I'm sure you have an idea. See you then.

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