Half the fun of gardening in Eagle County is planning | VailDaily.com

Half the fun of gardening in Eagle County is planning

Tom Glass
Vail CO, Colorado
Tom Glass

Call me daft, but it’s getting close to planting time. Can you feel it? There are just 15 weeks remaining until our normal last frost date of the year. You can feel the anticipation growing. OK. Maybe not so much, but I can feel it.

We’re putting the last spin on labor strategies. We’re sizing up the appropriate sizes of products. To avoid diseases we’re determining the best timing of flowering. We’re looking at substitutes for flowers that are in short supply. We’re thinking good thoughts about working in the soil filling pots. Master plans for growing have been drawn up, modified, thrown out, and re-drawn again. We’re pumped, stoked ” we’re out of our minds.

It feels like springtime to me. We’re fixing to get into the thick of planting season. It’s an ag geek’s favorite time of the year. It would be nice if I could share that with you here. Come to think of it, you can join in.

I know what you’re thinking, “You can’t plant this time of year.”

You can if you have a greenhouse.

I’ve always thought it would be fun to lease out space in greenhouses during winter for green-thumb hobby types, black belt master gardeners, and the seasonally affected dis-orderlies of the world to putter around in. I’m thinking we franchise Quonset huts covered in two layers of plastic sheeting anywhere the sun doesn’t shine much for 90 days straight and the temperature rides for months near frozen.

One catch, greenhouses are really impractical things to own. The idea makes about as much sense as wrapping plastic with an R value of 2 around a need for 70 degrees and then turning on the burners to a small fortune in natural gas when it’s 10 degrees at night.

Might as well burn dollars.

Nonetheless, dollars aside, working inside a greenhouse remains a practical thing to do for oneself. This time of year, trapped inside these plastic bubbles is a small quantity of that humid, warm soil plant mojo that requires a trip way down south in order to get it in wholesale quantities. Dosing oneself weekly inside a greenhouse with that horticultural funk will fix anything a spa and a vapor cave can’t touch.

Short of that, you have an alternative. You can sit down and plan your garden, your pots, your window boxes. Pull out the crayons and pick your favorite colors and then see if they work together. If they don’t, throw out the rules.

In fact, do throw out the rules. Grab anything that possesses the colors you want to see bursting forth from the planters at your house and hang onto to it for reference. Walk the aisles of the grocery store and grab a box of something packaged in your color scheme.

Search the Internet. Buy a magazine or six. Then, call your property manager, your gardener, your nursery, your Mom, and your kids and ask them to help you to get it right. The timing is right. What you want can still be found, as long as it doesn’t defy the laws of nature, and, more importantly, it can still be ordered and delivered on time.

It’s not a vacation, but gardening shares one thing with vacations ” half the fun is in the planning.

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