Monday, March 23, 2009

Let the Seeding Begin

The gardening pace quickens with official arrival of spring. Crocus are blooming in the yard and the naturalized daffodils have shown themselves, and the species tulips are up so its time to protect them all. Dried blood and Cayenne pepper are my solutions to bunnies lunching on my spring bulbs. Yes, I do treat after a rain but I buy the pepper in big shakers and liberally use it. I will even shake some in the bird feeders (the birds can not taste it but the pesky squirrels don't like it) for this remedy is much cheaper than the commercial products that are basically the same thing. Don't shake Cayenne pepper on a windy day!!!

Also the greenhouse heat is officially turned on. Even though this is a week earlier than last year, I have several plants that will need to be seeded now to be productive. Susan and I sat and went through the seed packets again and arranged them by groups like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and lettuce. Then I grouped them by maturity so the late ones will get seeded first and the early ones seeded last.

Nicotiana (Saratoga Lime), coleus (Giant Exhibition Limelight), blue fescue, parsley (Double and Giant of Italy), and the some peppers (Pasilla Bajio, Yummy, Blushing Beauty Hyb.) will be the first seed to be started. The greenhouse is expensive to run, so five to six weeks is about all I can afford in heat, but that seems to be good enough to start all the plants I want or need. Geraniums are out from under the fluorescent lights in the basement and up in the greenhouse to get accustomed to full sun and harden up before I make this year's cuttings. I usually do the same with spider plants that have been inside all winter and are a bit sad looking. I will make new plants and the old ones will filler in containers or end up as compost.

The excitement builds as many migratory birds have returned and most of the yard is snow free. Just a small amount on the north side of the house remains. I want to get the rain barrels started but will wait until the waters of Green Bay are ice free. That is my signal that I can set the barrels up and wait for rain to fill them.

Happy Gardening

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