Author J.Q. Rose’s Quick Tips on Vegetable Gardening: Getting Ready for Spring

It’s a great pleasure to welcome American author J.Q. Rose to my blog today for the launch of her memoir, Arranging a Dream. J.Q. Rose has been a friend ever since we were at the same publishing house, and our friendship has grown over our love of gardens. (You can read my first interview with J.Q. here.)

Thanks for coming to my blog, J.Q. Good to have you here!

Getting Ready for Spring: Nine Gardening Tips, by J.Q. Rose

Thank you, Helena, for hosting Ted and me during the Arranging a Dream: A Memoir Virtual Winter Book Tour. My book is about the first year my husband, Gardener Ted, and I were in the flower business.

Lettuce in Ted’s Garden

Ted grew up on a farm and the farmer side of him was deeply-rooted. He loved growing plants.That’s why we purchased a greenhouse operation in 1975. He figured he wasn’t at the mercy of the weather by growing crops indoors. To this day he continues to live his dream to garden twelve months out of the year because we spend summers in Michigan and winters in Florida. We put together some tips on gardening in a guide, Quick Tips on Vegetable Gardening: Starting Your Vegetable Garden.

During the stop at Helena’s blog, a lucky commenter will win an eBook of the Gardening guide and another lucky commenter will win an eBook of Arranging a Dream: A Memoir.

Today, Ted is sharing some tips on getting ready for spring gardening.

Get Ready for Spring Gardening: Excerpt from Quick Tips on Vegetable Gardening: Starting Your Vegetable Garden by J.Q. Rose with Gardener Ted

You’re ready to get outside and dig in your garden and get some dirt under your nails after thumbing  through those colorful seed catalogs. Alas, after looking out the window or walking outdoors, you realize there is no way that spring is close.

So, what do you do to chase away those can’t-garden blues? Get up and get going. Use this time to get ready for spring gardening.

1. Clean out pots/containers that you will need for transplanting.

2. Inventory for transplanting–such as seed-starting soil, ingredients for mixing soil, cell packs, warming mats, lights.

Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

3. Clean and sharpen tools.

4. Find your soil test report from the extension office. Make a list of suggested amendments to improve your garden soil.

5. Inventory seeds left from last year (and pitch the way out-of-date seeds.) Make a list of the ones you will need for the garden you are planning this year.

6. Look over your journal from last year and make notes for improving this year’s garden. If you didn’t keep a journal, look into ways of keeping one for this coming year. It can be a spiral book for jotting notes or something you use online. Decide what will work best for you.

7. Go through photos from last year and organize them into digital folders that make sense. Group photos of the tomatoes in one, beans in another, etc. You may even want to play with making a movie of your garden using PowerPoint or other programs.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

8. Look for and organize recipes you want to try this year using your fresh garden produce

9. The last option is to watch YouTube gardeners to discover new plants, new technology and innovative methods in growing vegetables.

Before you know it you will be out in the dirt again. Oh, maybe you should add to the list–buy some Ben Gay and a hot pad for your aching back!


More about J.Q. Rose

 Whether the story is fiction or non-fiction, J.Q. Rose is “focused on story.”  She offers readers chills, giggles and quirky characters woven within the pages of her mystery novels. Her published mysteries are Deadly Undertaking, Terror on Sunshine Boulevard and Dangerous Sanctuary released by Books We Love Publishing. Using her storytelling skills, she provides entertainment and information with articles featured in books, magazines, newspapers, and online magazines. 

J.Q. Rose and Gardener Ted

J.Q. taught elementary school for several years and never lost the love for teaching passed down from her teacher grandmother and mother. She satisfies that aspect of her character by presenting workshops on Writing Your Life Story.

 Based on the lessons taught in her workshops, JQ created a book, Your Words, Your Life Story: a Journal for Sharing Memories to help life storytellers write, publish and market their stories. She decided to take her advice and pen her memoir, Arranging a Dream: A Memoir. 

If you would like to write or record your life story/memoir, check out the Facebook Group, Telling Your Life Story and Memoirs Circle for encouragement and ways to spark memoriesClick here to join. 

 Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games and travel are the things that keep JQ out of trouble. She and her husband spend winters in Florida and summers up north with their two daughters, two sons-in-law,  four grandsons, one granddaughter, two grand dogs, four grand cats, and one great-grand bearded dragon.

Here’s where to connect online with J.Q:

Blog / Facebook / Amazon Author Page / Goodreads / Pinterest / Books We Love

And here’s some more about Arranging a Dream: A Memoir

In 1975, budding entrepreneurs Ted and Janet purchase a floral shop and greenhouses where they plan to grow their dream. Leaving friends and family behind in Illinois and losing the security of two paychecks, they transplant themselves, their one-year-old daughter, and all their belongings to Fremont, Michigan, where they know no one. 

Will the retiring business owners nurture Ted and Janet as they struggle to develop a blooming business, or will they desert the inexperienced young couple to wither and die in their new environment?

Most of all, can Ted and Janet grow together as they cultivate a loving marriage, juggle parenting with work, and root a thriving business?

Follow this couple’s inspiring story, filled with the joy and triumphs and the obstacles and failures experienced as they travel along the turbulent path of turning dreams into reality.

Arranging a Dream Buy link

J.Q. Rose flower shop business, first visit, 1975


Thanks so much for your visit and your useful gardening tips, J.Q, and many congratulations on release of your memoir. It sounds a fascinating and uplifting account, and I’m really looking forward to reading it.

Do you enjoy gardening? What do you do while waiting for spring to arrive? If you’ve enjoyed JQ’s post, or have any gardening questions for her, please let us know. (And don’t forget two lucky commenters will receive copies of J.Q. Rose’s memoir or her handy book of gardening tips!)

25 thoughts on “Author J.Q. Rose’s Quick Tips on Vegetable Gardening: Getting Ready for Spring

  1. Adore gardening with a passion, and love to read, especially books that have something to do with gardening, plants, or small business. Maybe J.Q. and I could trade books…my first novel was romance/mystery woven around a former teacher who starts an herb farm!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Carolee, I love gardening, too, almost as much as I love reading! I love the idea behind your first novel. Please do post a link in the comments so we can check it out. Thanks very much for dropping in, and for you comment!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much for the great post, JQ. Your tips have certainly helped me look forward to spring. There are already bulbs pushing through, so we can’t be far off. Many congratulations on your new release!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m reading J.Q.’s memoir presently. Fascinating stuff. J.Q. and Gardener Ted are amazing people.
    It’s so interesting that Gardener Ted is living his dream, gardening 12 months of the year. Wow!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hey, Helena and JQ. Not much for gardening, though I do putter with pot plants. Will be starting over entireyl this spring, It was just too hard to keep them covered up this year. Love the memoir and how fun to have GT share pointers with everyone. I’ve shared. :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe puttering with potted plants could be classified as gardening. It’ll be fun to start fresh this spring with new ones. You must have had a cold TX this winter. Thanks so much for sharing, Marsha!!


    2. I agree with JQ, puttering (or pottering when you cross the pond!) classes as gardening in my book. I love my containers. Thanks so much for dropping in, Marsha, and for sharing. I appreciate it x


    1. That’s okay, James. You can be the taster of the delicious veggies. (I hope you like vegetables and herbs!) The ultimate goal and satisfaction of gardening is sharing the goodies with friends and family. Thank you for stopping by.


  4. Hard exhausting work helps in lockdown…
    Last year’s strange summer of drought succeeded by weeks of torrential rain produced the most wonderful raspberries and pale golden gooseberries we’ve ever tasted.
    We would have given pounds to the visitors who weren’t allowed to come. .
    This January, I planned to terrace a steep slope in our North facing garden, but .
    like Christmas, the promised mild interlude was reduced to one day.
    ..Frozen too hard again. Instead, hoping for spring, I’ve just ordered
    five packets of sweet peas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your garden sounds lovely, Esther. I’d love to grow gooseberries. I love gooseberry crumble and jam. Your comment has inspired me to plant a bush this spring.
      JQ lives in Michigan and winters in Florida. Gooseberries always seem like an English or Scottish plant to grow. Do you grow them, too, JQ?
      Thanks very much for dropping in, Esther, and for your lovely comment. I hope you’re surviving this present lockdown.


      1. Yes, we have gooseberries and raspberries in the US. Gooseberry pie was my dad’s favorite. We don’t grow them. I love raspberries. Blueberries are a big crop in West Michigan and fun to pick. I love blueberry muffins.
        Not sure what a crumble and jam would be. Like what we call cobbler?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Jam is what you would call jelly. And just to be confusing, our jelly is what you would call jello! And a crumble is basically a fruit filling topped with flour, sugar and butter that have been crumbled together. I’m not sure what you would call this. I find it really interesting how we use different words. Two nations divided by a common language!


  5. Thanks again, JQ, for the interesting post, and for your kind offer to give two commenters a copy of your books. My husband helped out by drawing the names out of a hat. Congratulations to Esther and Carolee, who are the winners :)


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