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  • Writer's pictureBecky Fifield

The Gardening Itch

At this point during the winter, I start to get the itch for digging in the dirt. Alas, it’s a rather pointless itch as I must confine my green thumb activities to a few boxes hanging from the windows of my Manhattan apartment. But as I pointed out in my post on 18th century year-round gardening, seasonal gardening is a luxury. In the past, each month had purpose in tending the supply of vegetables to the family, whether tending to wintering crops, fostering seed, or getting a jump on the growing season so that green would return to the table as soon as possible.

A Treatise on Gardening was published in Richmond, VA in 1793. I imagine northern neighbors would have to rely on dried goods all the longer. Here are gardening tasks for the month of February:

“So Asparagus, make your beds and fork up the old ones, sow Sugar Loaf Cabbages, latter end transplant Cauliflowers, sow Carrots and trasnfplant for seed, prick out endive for seed, sow Lettuce, Melons in hot beds, sow Parsnips, take up the old roots and prick out for seed, sow Peas and prick them into your hot beds, sow Radishes twice, plant Strawberries, plant out Turnips for seed, spade deep and make it fine, plant Beans.” (p.56)

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