I’m starting to get excited. It’s been a strange winter here in Lithuania as global warming takes its toll on the weather. We missed out on deep snow and crisp, clear blue skies and instead had only a sprinkling of snow and almost perpetual greyness. While the gloomy skies have done nothing for my mood, the change in the weather does mean I can get started earlier than expected on my spring planting.
There is something ataractic about planting vegetables that’s hard to explain. The peace and quiet, the neat rows and symmetrical lines, the tiny seeds that will spring into life providing both beauty and bounty. Despite the fact that it is sometimes hard work it is a process I enjoy immensely.
Last year was our first growing our own vegetables and we were very happy with results. We had a constant supply of fresh lettuce and herbs for the whole summer. We had a bumper crop of beans and grew enough onions to see us through the winter. And we had a late zucchini glut that had me scrambling for recipes to put them to good use.
This year we plan to grow a much wider range of fruit & vegetables. Our chillies and tomatoes did not do well in the porch last year. Now that construction on the house is out of the way and the garden has been cleared we plan on adding a polytunnel to grow chillies, tomatoes and cucumbers. Our sunny conservatory is perfect for growing herbs. We plan on a much larger vegetable plot to include all of last year’s veg plus carrots, beetroot, cabbage and many more. We will also plant a number of fruit trees, but we know it is likely to be a few years before these bear any fruit.
Yesterday I got started on my tomatoes and chillies. I have read that they need about 6-8 weeks indoors before planting out after the last frost. Unfortunately no one knows exactly when the last frost will come and the ground will have thawed enough for planting, so I’m winging it to a certain degree. I expect a certain amount of trial and error in my planting over the first few years until I figure out what grows well in our soil and the ideal times for planting. The only thing I know for sure is that if I plant nothing, nothing will grow. As such, I have a stack of seeds at the ready. I will plant thoughtfully and tend carefully and keep my fingers crossed that at least some items will grow well.