Here in Michigan, March is when I start to think about my garden. I start planning any changes I want to make to beds. I clean them up and get the containers ready for my herb garden. I start to get excited about shopping at the garden center for supplies and transplants. This year, however, everything is different, and that’s ok.
Garden Planning During a Pandemic
Shutting down and holing up as gardening season begins is certainly no picnic, but it’s still doable. I just need to tweak my garden planning strategy a bit.
My first problem is how to plan. One of the most frightening things about the current situation in the world is the unknown. We don’t know how long this will last, how long it will be bad, and when we will be able to go back to doing “non-essential” things again.
So how do I plan my garden? I don’t know when the garden centers will be open. Will I miss the best times to get certain plants in the ground? There is a lot of uncertainty right now, but one thing is always true: the garden will continue to grow. Maybe some of the gardening plans I made over the winter won’t come to fruition, but my garden is still there and will still be there. I’ll just have to make the most of it.
How I’m “Pandemic” Gardening Now
The outdoors has always been my sanctuary, now more than ever. The first thing I’m doing now to cope is simply getting outside. I’m enjoying more walks and runs, and trying new routes as road traffic is less of a danger. I’m looking out for the telltale signs of spring, which are only just appearing here: crocuses are blooming and daffodil leaves are emerging.
In my garden, I’m doing all the preparatory tasks I can. I’m cleaning out the leftover leaves from fall, checking on mulch coverage and filling in holes, pruning shrubs, and trimming back perennials I neglected last season.
In addition to prepping the garden, I’m starting seeds indoors. I wanted to get to the store to buy some new seeds, but I’ll work with what I have. Simply being able to grow something is healing. My little seedlings are sprouting and I check on them daily.
I always work from home, so at least this hasn’t changed. But I do have more time allotted now since I can’t go out to restaurants, go shopping or hang out with friends. Instead, I’m spending every bit of that extra time working outside, being outside, and getting refreshed and renewed by the warming spring air. If there’s a plus side to all of this, I suppose gardening during a pandemic would be at the top of the list.
Planning the garden and visiting garden centers might not be an option, but prepping the garden and tending what’s already there or just getting outside is enough to keep me busy through the days to come. I guess that’s something.