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Under the Arbor, Issue 13
February 18, 2021

February 2021 Issue 13

In this issue:

~ On the Hummingbird ~

~ Planning a Vegetable Garden ~

~ When to Start Seeds Indoors ~

On the Hummingbird

So why is there a hummingbird on my header instead of, say, a basket of luscious tomatoes? Because hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and yes, even wasps are vital partners in the vegetable garden.The hummer in the photo is sipping from a Scarlet Runner Bean flower in the Hawthorne Community Garden in Boulder, Colorado.

Insects in general are often seen as pests to be eliminated, but each species has its role to play in the balance of the overall garden ecosystem.

A wonderful book that I read many years ago entitled "One Straw Revolution" by Masanobu Fukuoku beautifully demonstrated this. When Masanobu restored the ecological balance on his small farm, the "pest" species cohabited with the "beneficials" in a way that eliminated the need for pesticides, and brought harmony to all the life on the farm. An older but classic book, it's probably available from your local library and is well worth the read - it's very inspiring!

When to Start Seeds Indoors

It's finally that time of year! We twiddle our thumbs most of the winter with little to do gardening-wise, and then all of a sudden it's off to the races and there's not enough time to do it all.

I'm not complaining though.

But knowing exactlywhen to start seeds indoors can be a bit tricky, because different seeds have different germination times and preferred plant-out temperatures, and you don't want them to get spindly or have potbound roots.

For those of us who live where it gets below freezing in the winter, when to start seeds indoors is determined by both the germination time on the seed packet AND our average last frost date.

Find out exactly when to start each crop indoors so that it will be the the perfect size at transplant time.

Planning a Vegetable Garden

This is a great time of year to sit at your kitchen table with a cup of coffee, your seed catalogs, a sheet of paper and a pencil and plan out your garden.

Carefully planning a vegetable garden makes everything that unfolds throughout the season much smoother and more rewarding. Planning will avert many problems, maximize yield, and minimize effort down the road.

A lot of folks just jump in and learn as they go (and that's fine too), but planning lets us envision exactly what we want to create, which then gives us an easy blueprint to follow, step by step.

So grab that cup of coffee and start getting your vision on paper...

And I'll leave you with this...

A Metallic Green Sweat Bee on a Cosmos Flower

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