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Did you know there is a 5th season? Catalog Season! If you reside in USDA Zone 7 (or Sunset 12ish) your ground is likely frozen, the days are remarkably short and the holiday season has come to a close. In the mail (or via email sometimes) arrives beautiful photos accompanied by descriptions that make your mouth water. Case in point:  who wouldn’t want to grow Hale’s Best Jumbo heirloom muskmelon that has “firm, sweet, aromatic, salmon colored flesh”? Or a Maniac dahlia with “12” blooms that are a beautiful, soft orange that are wildly and randomly splashed with red”? That is me, circling both items with a resounding yes, please!

I will gently suggest to put your credit card down while you take inventory and create a plan. Inventory what you already have:

  • what seeds do you have from previous years?
  • are they still viable? Here is a one guide from Clear Creek Seeds.
  • what bulbs are stored (or buried)?
  • what do you want to start from seed (be realistic!)?  Consider getting advice from Georgia Cooperative Extension or a one page guide from Cornell
  • was there a standout from last year’s garden you want more of? Buy this!

More planning during these months will translate to creating even more beautiful spaces and growing delicious food in the coming season. And, on a side note, we all might need to have a Maniac in our gardens this summer.

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