by Chelsie Anderson
I saw a ladybug crawling around my backyard yesterday. I enjoyed the sound of an intense bird yelling; yes, it sounded like it was yelling its song. I smiled at the soft drip, drip sound of the snow converting into valuable moisture for my garden.
It’s official! Spring is here, both technically and physically!
I turned my compost and was amazed that it was loose enough and not still frozen in a heap. This is surely a sign of active biology in my pile, which is always my goal.
I then emptied some bags of leaves onto my vegetable patch that I had saved from last fall for just this purpose. These leaves will keep the ladybugs snug until they move out in earnest. They will also feed and protect the microbes and worms I am so intent on protecting and growing in my soil.
I then tried to dig in, as the soil looked damp and loose. Spring in Calgary can be a slow process however, and I came up with a “thunk” sound and a sore wrist instead. The ground is still frozen. So, what to do when spring is in the air, but you can’t yet plant in your backyard bed?
Start some seeds indoors. If you have already started your tomatoes, they may even be ready for a pot upgrade.
Once seedlings get their “true” leaves they are ready to transplant. If you haven’t already started , now is the time to seed some leafy greens to give them a head start. By seeding them indoors now, you will be ready to eat them by May.
By stretching the season you certainly provide yourself and those early spring critters, such as ladybugs, a boost until the soil is ready to dig.
Get that Pro Mix potting soil out of the garage, or go purchase some from the nearest garden centre and get that kale, chard, parsley or lettuce started!
If you’d like to learn more about starting seeds, sign up for Grow Food Calgary’s program. Register.