Although it's still winter, for some gardeners the growing season started about a month ago, when seed catalogs started filling their mailboxes. These compendiums contain much more than seductive pictures plump, red tomatoes, crisp salad greens; and a plethora of brightly colored flowers. They provide a wealth of information perfectly suited for the lifelong learner in every gardener.
Before purchasing through mail order, compare several catalogs. Some offer only seeds, while others include tools and gardening supplies. A few provide cooking instructions and recipes. Watch for new and improve varieties that offer increased disease resistance, more hardiness, or better flavor. It's fun to order a few novelties, such as 'All Blue' potatoes with purple skin and purple-blue flesh; limit these types to a couple per year, until you are sure that they will work for you.
It's a common mistake to order too many seeds or not enough. Most catalogs list the numbers of seeds of per packet and how far apart to space them. with this data, and a to-scale sketch of your garden, it's easy to calculate how much to buy.
So, on a cold, blustery, February afternoon, settle down to peruse your seed catalogs. They're guaranteed to brighten even the greyest of winter days and bring you that much closer to spring.
SKY WATCH ☆ The Moon rises below Saturn, soon after midnight, on the 3rd; the pair remains well-placed until dawn. Mercury, Mars, and Neptune stand very close together from the 3rd to the 7th but are extremely low as they closely follow the setting Sun. The Moon hovers to the right of Jupiter. The Moon passes very close to Virgo's bright blue star Spica on the 28th. The pair rises around 10:00 P.M. and is nicely clear and is nicely clear of obstructions after 11:00 P.M. By month's end, such successive day is 3 to 4 minutes longer in most of the lower United States, 4 to 5 minutes longer in most of Canada, and 6 or 7 minutes longer in Alaska.