Sunday, March 20, 2016

Happy Spring!

Altho we are expecting cold, rain and perhaps snow today to celebrate the first day of spring, it does not appear that the temperatures will fall to freezing, so most of the things that are blooming too early will be fine.  And, perhaps more importantly, the too-early-spring will continue.

I continue to be a Doubting Thomas, so am working on "infrastructure" and avoiding the desire to start sticking plants into the ground.  Have raked, raked, raked and cleaned the beds so that i can order a big delivery of summer mulch in the next couple of weeks. Am replacing rotted borders and have finished "restoration pruning" on several shrubs that were in bad condition. 

Am re-setting all the paving stones in the garden walk.  Over the years the soil builds up and they "bury themselves".  A few bags of paving sand and a lot of lifting and shifting later and the whole walk will "rise" from the dirt!
With its hole filled with sand, the paver (under gloves) can go back in place and be above ground again.
But, i am having fun in the greenhouse at "school", where I volunteer in the Horticulture department on Thursday mornings.  In the fall it was mainly cleaning up the outdoor beds and mulching - a lot like what i was doing at home.  

But planting time for the greenhouses is a whole different story.

The college grows plants for one of the local historical sites and holds a spring plant sale in late April, so we have been planting seeds and transplanting from starter cell packs to plastic four-packs and hanging pots for weeks now.  It's all planned out by the head of the greenhouse and i just follow orders, but it has shown me a whole different side of the growing industry.

Everything is timed to be ready to go into the ground on May 1st.

The historical site will pick up many, many flats of summer annuals ready to go into their oh-so-lovely gardens.  We will sell flowers and veggies to local gardeners to kick off the local growing season.  And, we will plant both annuals and veggies in our demonstration gardens on campus.  And, then the maintenance will start! 

Here, is literally what i have been doing for the past few weeks.  

In mid-February (weeks 6 and 7) I planted seeds in starter cell packs. Two weeks ago (week 10) i transplanted them  to four-packs.... the ones below.  All of these plants will be going to the historic site ... and i planted them.  Remarkably, they are all thriving.  
 I realize that has more to do with greenhouse conditions than with my good work, but for the first couple of weeks i did live in fear that i had done them all wrong and none would germinate. 

All of the white tags below are mine, too, and will either go in the plant sale or into the demo gardens.

I've never had any real interest in growing from seed, but if someone would give me a greenhouse, i think i could do it!

Hope your spring will get off to a good start this week!  Happy Spring!


  1. When I got back into gardening several a few years ago, I started plants from seed under fluorescent lights in our basement. It was a little too much work for me and I never did it again. I did see a plant show a couple of weeks about growing an indoor winter herb garden under fluorescent lights and I am considering doing it next year. It is cold here today only like 30 degrees.I just took a walk around the yard and do see a few signs of spring, but in only a few weeks it will be time to put up the purple martin houses.

    I absolutely love that you discovered the horticulture classes and finally have the time to work with your passion so frequently. I hope the sale goes well.

  2. Growing from seed is magic! Like you I always wonder if it is going too work: did I plant too shallow, too deep? The satisfaction of having some tiny green leaves poke their heads out is enormous. And seriously, you do not need a greenhouse for that, although I admit that sun and warmth make it easier.

    What great satisfaction in growing plants for the historical site: it is will be lovely between you and Mom.