Well folks, I am all recovered and ready to rumble!
Got all of my cool weather starts planted February 19th. Onions, lettuces, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, Swiss chard, basil, dill, cilantro, and leeks. A few garlic survived the winter nicely, which is a good thing since I didn't manage to get more planted in the fall. As soon as the sun starts hitting the beds I'll be direct sowing peas, beets, and carrots in them.
This year we're really going to need the garden at maximum production! With the medical bills from my surgery and my husband learning he has diabetes our diet has changed to involve many more organic veggies and our costs have risen as well. All the more reason to save on our grocery bill by growing our own food.
Since I don't have to buy the equipment for a grow room this year, or many seeds the garden costs should be especially low. I bought beet seeds, potato sets, and some new onion seeds so far. I also picked up a Patriot blueberry bush to plant near the strawberries. Other than perhaps a few flowers that should be all the plant costs for this year. Of course, I know better! I will likely still end up buying a bunch more plants because I just can't resist.
Last year the garden had a lot of trouble with aphids, my best guess is that the malnutrition of the starts combined with my desire for them to grow faster in a cool, cloudy Spring and Summer were major contributors in the aphid problem. I will try this year to be more patient and cut back on my use of fish emulsion. ;)
I'm also hoping that this year I'll see some actual growth in the cherry tree, it lived through the summer and winter just fine, but didn't do much growing last year. So my fingers are crossed that with the warming weather I'll start to see it taking off and putting on some healthy growth to let me know it's doing well. I'll probably hit it with a foliar feeding of compost tea once it shows signs of life to give it a little boost and some protection against disease and pests. Though I highly doubt I will actually see any fruits off it this year.
I'm getting more excited for the garden season every day, so far this year is looking like a major improvement over last year. The weather has been warmer and drier than last February, and looks like it will be continuing on into March that way.