Thanks for reading my blog. I will be talking about gardening in and around Northern Virginia. Specifically in the Falls Church-Arlington area, but also in the general region including D.C. and Maryland. While there are micro-climates everywhere (including in my garden and probably yours too), we can make some generalizations about this area; its soil, weather, and gardening resources. We are in frost zone 7a and our soil tends to be acidic with lots of clay. There are many resources in this area, including the local cooperative extension offices that provide great help for gardeners and local businesses that provide sources for everything from seed to landscaping expertise.
I hope you have started ordering seeds for spring planting! But if you have not, don't worry too much because seed sellers all seem to have websites. The only reason to order earlier is too make sure popular or limited items are still available. I really enjoy ordering seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (rareseeds.com), where everything is heirloom. Last year I had great success with all of their seeds, in spite of rotten soil and hot dry conditions. I believe they have run out of their printed catalog already, but if you have a chance to order it next year it is beautiful and very inspirational. Of course you will want to buy a small farm after you read it but curb yourself! Remember you will have to find room for everything and find people to eat the vegetables! Besides veggies they also sell flower seeds. This year I have also ordered from Territorial Seed Company (territorialseed.com), which I have heard good things about. Also ordered from some old standbys such as Park Seeds and Burpees. I have purchased seed packets from Merriefield Garden Center as well, some from a company in Italy called Franchi. I am looking forward to seeing how that works out. This is the first year I have actually planned ahead with a list of what I like, think will grow and amounts that I can handle. Also, this is the first year I am actually using a plan/map of what goes where when. It gets complicated when you try to incorporate crop rotation, companion planting and planting by the phases of the moon! I don't sweat it though, last year I had a few things work out and I just dug up (or I should say had my dad dig up) a part of the yard where there wasn't much grass and threw in some lime, compost and manure and hoped for the best. (Okay, maybe I did a bit more than that but not much more!) Gardening can be approached in a very scientific way, or an artistic way; I am trying for a bit of both.
(well at this time of year, happy dreaming about gardening!)