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January, Time to Plan for This Year's Gardens
January 09, 2012

Add some greenery to your home.

Plant a small pot or two of Cat Grass (pet grass).

It's quick to germinate and grow, wheat and or rye seeds are up and ready for munching in less than two weeks.

The picture to your right is 10 days old from planting.

Keet (Akita) and Ziggy chew on it more than the cats do.

Grass is a natural aid for animal digestion.

I use two pots.

When one pot is close to its end, I will plant another as a quick replacement.

If you haven't started a pot for the fur kids, I highly recommend it.

The cold and first decent snow fall of winter has finally brought more bird activity to my yard and feeders.

Woodpeckers enjoy the suet log and peanut feeders.

Blue jays are every where.

Cardinals, nuthatches, titmice and chickadees are more plentiful.

Juncos, Goldfinches, House finches and of course, the ever present House sparrows are plentiful.

Even a few Tree sparrows visit.

In case you didn't know this, "Creation" has provided birds with a bit of help.

Birds will stake out winter feeding grounds in the Autumn or upon their migration arrival.

Even if you don't see them all the time, they know where the food is when they need to come calling.

Keep feeders filled and offer a quality feed and they will come calling, eventually.

Christmas decorations are all packed and stored for another 11 months.

It is time to relax.

Not for long, however.

Seed and Garden Catalogs are coming in the mail just about everyday now, and this gets the gardening juices flowing.

Though it is relaxing to me, as I get a chance to sit down and thumb through all of the catalogs.

Especially the ones with color pictures.

I will thumb through many of them time and time again, before I start making out wish lists and reality lists.

You Too?

Those of us that live in the more temperate regions hopefully have more time to do this (unless the honey do list is a big one).

Our friends in the Deep South, South West and Pacific regions may already be planting seeds for this years gardens.

Some northern gardeners are also planting certain seeds as well.

Lisianthus needs a big head start of 3 months or more, if you want summer blooms.

Petunias and Impatiens also need a jump start of about 12 weeks before planting in your gardens.

If you are blessed enough to have your own greenhouse, you have it made.

You may turn a den or spare bedroom into a makeshift greenhouse or plant growing room.

Grow lights, converted shop lights and shelving units fill the free space.

I do this in a limited amount of space.

With age and wisdom, I have cut back.

I have found that some things are cheaper to buy than grow, or I simply don't have the space and time.

Still, I do grow when I can.

There is something about the challenge and the idea I can say "I grew that".

More often than not, it is the challenge and the very fact that I like to watch things grow.

If I can grow from seed to fruition..................... what a satisfied feeling that is for me and any gardener.

Often I will pay more for a product, but save on shipping fees (some companies really stick it to you on this one).

Sometimes it is out of principle, as I refuse to be held hostage by shipping fees.

January is also a good time to make plans for this spring and summer's gardens.

If you haven't done so by now, go over last year's gardening.

Maybe you kept a journal.

What worked and what didn't.

Draw out some plans and designs.

Make a workable (doable) list on what you want to plant.

It could be a vegetable garden, a flowers garden, or maybe a wildlife garden (I do a bit of all three).

I've been in a garden of some kind for most of my 57 years, and I can tell you this..............

The eyes, desires and dreams are always bigger than your budget, your time, or the space you really have to plant in.

Take this time you have now and carefully plan and design wisely.

Even if it means scaling down or removing certain plants.

Plan it now.

I continue to replant and remove items as I make my yard more attractive to the wildlife around here.

You can do the same.

Many of you are experienced gardeners and may ignore this letter from the get go.


I would like to take advantage of you, if I may.

I would like to share your expert advice and experience with readers that are new to gardening or simply haven't been blessed by anyone with sage advice.

You may have ideas on how to grow a certain seed or plant.

Not all seeds are created equal, and not all plants have the same requirements.

Readership at 'Gardening For Wildlife' is always changing and growing.

Many readers are novice gardeners and I repeat this again, Some veterans may need your help too.

I know that I am always looking for new ideas and fresh tips, and many of you have taught me a thing or two along the way.

I also know that 'True Gardeners', (like 'Birders') are always willing to share ideas and offer advice.

It may be a tip on germination, watering, planting mix, heat or light requirements, etc.

I know you have a tip to share.

So, if you would like to share some of your ideas, right here over the next few weeks, please reply with this letter.


First Name (Last is optional).

Your city (region), state or province.

And your tip or suggestions.

I'll use what I can fit in over the next month or so.

Remember, not everyone is a 'Master Gardener', 'State Certified Nurseryman', or has the decades of knowledge that you may have.

There are readers from all of the lower 48 and many friends in the Canadian provinces that stretch from ocean to ocean.

Let's make this fun and helpful for everyone.

Thank You in Advance.

Winter doesn't have to be a boring time of year.

Ideed, it is often what we make it out to be.

Here is to a bountiful garden and wildlife experience for all of you.

Well, it is time to ly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

Man has never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.

Bernard Williams (1929-) English Philosopher

Could it be, because God created the human spirit and after his own image?

This is the word of the Lord concerning Israel. The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him.

Zechariah 12:1

Still not convinced?

God is spirit.

John 4:24

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."

Gennnnnnesis 1:27

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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