Garden surprises in bloom
Updated: Mar 10
The forsythia branches I cut a few weeks ago have been forced into bloom. Their bright yellow is a reminder that spring is just a few weeks away now. With that in mind I take a trip to my local nursery to make a few key purchases before the mad rush of the season.
Source Image: Canva
I stock up on my favorite slow release fertilizer for my fescue lawn and raised bed gardens and then head into the store to check out a few more things. This is a great place to get those garden trellises for vertical growing I am always talking about in my posts!
The camellias always grab my attention this time of year and the pure white double flowered are my favorites. Fountains and planters delightfully distract me yet again. Among these color choices, I tend to feel that white is the best backdrop color for potted plants. This is a good time of year to plant perennial herbs like rosemary and thyme. Now I get to the cool weather annuals and am in awe of the colors and textures available to grow in our region for 6-8 months of the year like Pansies, Kale, and Mustard.
Did you know that beets make for beautiful edible landscaping? One pot can be divided into many beet plants and then be harvested in spring. The seed packet wall is a work of art.
Here's the variety of beets that I just saw growing in a pot. This company is one of the only ones to offer the beloved Sungold tomato variety. On my way home I spy one of the first blooming trees and of course, stop to take a closer look at the star magnolia. On my way home, I stopped by a large open field for a brief walk in the sunshine. I take advantage of these spring-like days in winter and allow myself time in the open air to move and think.
Today I am checking in with my raised bed crops. The carrots seem to be holding their breath, neither growing nor dying. This tells me to feed them once temps get consistently above freezing day and night. The Bloomsdale spinach seed I sowed a few months ago also seems to be in a holding pattern. It can take the cold better than carrots so I decided to divide the ones that are growing too closely and space them out about 6 inches apart.
I came across a composting shishito pepper from last summer, and noticed its seeds are still intact. I gather some of these to start indoors and leave the rest in the bed. I began watering in the spinach seedlings to lessen transplant shock. It is also a good time to remove weeds while the soil is soft. The lettuce I sowed a few weeks ago will also be ready to thin and transplant when it gets a bit warmer. The violas look the most cheerful of all the plants in the raised beds, and I love how dependable they are.
The cilantro is also holding tight but will take off once temps get above 50 degrees consistently.I also compare the lettuce seed sowing methods from about 10 days ago. The seed sown directly into the garden bed is not showing any signs of germination. By contrast, the seed sown in the outdoor mini greenhouses is showing consistent germination. The size and height of these seedlings tell me that they get just the right amount of sunlight. The ones grown indoors are receiving direct light 24 hours a day and much more heat but are looking for more light. Their leggy habit is not ideal for healthy transplants and I am happiest with the stout seedlings emerging in the outdoor mini greenhouse.
February is the gardener’s month of planning and preparation for the fast and furious month of March garden growth. The earth’s will to grow is a wave that cannot be held back but must be ridden with a gardener’s ability to adapt, fail, and try again. By this process we grow and become strengthened as a steward of the earth and in our own journey as human beings.
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