It's supposed to be 50 for the next two days, but then back to cold and snow again. Just in time for Sprouts visit to the ortho guy. (Sprout discovered that he cannot fly off the bunk bed ladder and spiral fractured his tibia about a month ago. It's been lots of fun.) The snow has melted and while it doesn't smell like spring, I have spring fever. This has been a very mild winter so far and it's not helping that spring fever one little bit. I've had my pot of seeds (see that yellow pot off to the side? That's what I keep everything in at the moment. I'm so organized...) sitting in the kitchen waiting for a chance to sort through and see what I have and what I "need". Need being a relative term. Garden catalogs suck me and I "need" *everything*. I do not have enough garden space to plant everything I want to, so I guess I'm going to have to get creative. There is a difference of opinions amongst the adults of the house regarding gardens and I'm not pushy enough to argue. But if I had my way, I would have separate gardens devoted entirely to pumpkins, squash, garlic, onions, and different types of beans. And I feel like a perennial garden is going to be a must this year. My herb garden is mostly established, just a few changes need to be made here and there.
I'm starting seeds for my raised bed tomorrow so that once it's warm enough for cold weather crops, I can put in plants instead of seeds. They may have a fighting chance then. The weeds in that bed come up so thick and so fast that everything gets choked out before it has a chance. This is the last year I'm trying it. If I can't keep the weeds down with mulch and paper this year, I'm taking it out. It's not worth my time.
Which brings me to: what have been your most creative and successful garden beds? Has anyone tried hay bale gardening and if so, what gardening zone are you and how did it work? What about potato towers? Vertical gardening? Hugelkulture and permaculture sound interesting, but I think we have too much other stuff in the way. Our land slopes and holds water and we have to be careful of where we dig and till because of underground drainage pipes and drain tile. Plus I don't completely understand it. I need layman terms and everything I'm finding is technical. Attractive and raised is probably going to be where I need to go. Oh, and we're zone 5, but I tend to incorporate zone 4 stuff too.
Hit me with your garden wisdom folks, I'm in need!