If you want to grow your own vegetables this year, start your plans now. In many locations, it is appropriate to start seeds indoors as early as mid-January, though there are plenty of things you can start indoors or outdoors in February and March. This is just for (primarily) vegetables…we will start an herb garden later this year. But now is a good time to think about what you’ll want to plant in the ground, and where. In addition to herbs and veggies, you may want to plant flowers as well. Any weddings coming up? You may want to grow your own flowers for the occasion.

As you are browsing seed and nursery catalogs, notice the availability of plants that have a Christmas theme! Yerba Santa, evergreens of any type, Candy Cane verbena, Christmas rose, Santa Claus fuschia, Santa Claus dahlia, hosta Santa Claus, and my favorite, Candy Cane Oxalis aka Candy Cane Sorrel. Those are pictured above and I’m already planning to order some for the area next to my driveway that could use some love. 

If you are an established gardener, I’m sure you already have a plan. But if you’ve never grown your own vegetables before, make it fun for yourself and just choose one type of seed to start with. They will be your little babies and you can look forward to nurturing them every day.  Start here, on the Old Farmers Almanac website, to get a free custom planting calendar for your area. https://www.almanac.com/gardening/planting-calendar

Note that if the veggie name is in blue text, you can click on it to get to more information about the plant. In my case, I initially thought that onions would be a good choice for me, because my custom calendar indicated that I should start them outdoors, and I thought that would be less fussy than starting something indoors. But when I clicked the Onions link, the resulting article made it sound a bit more complicated than I would have liked.

I really like the Farmers Almanac website as I have found it to be much more informative than just reading the back of the seed packet in the store.

Think about either: what you or your family actually like to eat, OR, what you might like to grow and give as gifts. As @Santa_J_Claus says, the holidays aren’t over, we’re just working on Christmas 2020! Maybe you’d like to grow tomatoes and can your own salsa for gifts. Once you’ve decided on a veggie to start, mark your calendar for the planting date. Then order your seeds and determine what other supplies you will need to gather before planting day.

I live in the north, where we have a short growing season and more clouds than sun. After reviewing the Farmers Almanac website, I decided vegetable seeds are more stressful than magical for me. If you are of the same opinion, then you might do what I do and grow alfalfa seeds indoors instead. These are very easy to grow. I use a product called Easy Sprout (affiliate link) which I have had for a couple of years now. Having sprouts on hand encourages me to eat more salads and sandwiches.

I do still like to grow tomatoes, but I don’t start them from seed. I buy starts in the summer. I always intend to can salsa for gifts but then I eat it all. I guess this tells me I need to get twice as many tomato plants this year.

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