The average final frost date, which is the last day in spring that it’s likely we (in Zone 7) will get a really cold frost, is April 15. Starting then, my farm work will accelerate til mid-summer, when I will be a whirlwind of seeding-weeding-harvesting.
Before any of that happens, there are all kinds of little tasks to be completed in preparation for the season. Soil samples are sent to the lab for testing of nutrient levels; fluorescent lights are suspended from shelving in my bedroom for growing seedlings; soil amendments like worm castings and lime are bought and stashed in the trunk of my trusty Toyota Avalon.
For months, I’ve been planning the season in Excel, making charts that detail what varieties I’m planting, when, how, and what yield I expect. Here’s the chart that shows what I’ll harvest over the span of the season:
Here’s one of several charts that helps me to forecast the amount of seeds I need to reach my minimum harvest goals:
I actually really enjoy this stage of planning and dreaming and imagining. Sometimes I get a little stuck in the world of numbers, and then I just imagine sweet peas unfurling their curling stems, and Bachelor’s Buttons popping up from the cold spring ground, and my favorite: dahlias regally lifting their many-petalled heads, despite the summer heat.
You can never plan enough, and there are surprises no matter how many Excel sheets you make! I am definitely ready to just do it already, to start seeding and cultivating in earth. One day, if/when I have a hoop house or a greenhouse, I’ll be able to continue work outside into the winter; but for now, I have to wait until mid-February to start sowing seeds under the shop lights in my apartment. Ahhhh waiting! Why is it so hard!? (My future self will read this post and sigh over the good old days, when I had time off from farm work in the winter.)
If you’d like to share what it’s like to be YOU in late January, post away! And of course, questions and comments are welcomed.
I wish you all the memory of your favorite flower.