Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ah, Spring!

A near perfect parsnip
I have had these orchids for seveal years and they are consistant repeat bloomers.
The last of the amarylis - these too are bulbs that we have had for multiple years.

We have officially made it to Spring. What a great feeling even if we could get snow still. With the garden clear of snow, we are digging parsnips and enjoying the fruits of last May's planting. We are getting some beauties and some duds, but they all taste great. Today's picture is what I would like to find for each plant - long, straight, and no blemishes.

I got the apple trees pruned and saved the larger water sprouts for the pea vines to climb on. One of the grafts from last season does not look as healthy as the others so only time will tell on that branch, but the rest of the branches look to have a nice potential bloom based on the number of flower buds per branch. Google some pictures to help you tell the difference between fruit flower buds and vegetative buds and that should help in your pruning.

I planted spinach, arugula, and radish this week in the hoop house. The soil in there was much more ready to plant than the soil in my cold frames. I opened their lids and let them dry out for a few days and hope to plant in them next week. One patch of lettuce, sure wish I remembered what variety it is, survived under the snow and I hope that it will take off in these warmer days.

The bees were hungry last week, and with little or no food available, I found them harvesting corn dust in the bird feeder. I watched in amazement. I called the bee expert at University of Wisconsin Green Bay, Dr. Amy Wolf, and we talked about the phenomena. I even tried to feed them some sugar water but they were most determined to collect corn dust for the hive. What I like the most is that I probably have a natural colony of honey bees someplace close and that is something we have not had in a long time. Too many lawn chemicals have caused natural hives problems and the pre-bloom cutting alfalfa by farmers has also caused bees to loose a valuable food source.

The last of the amaryllis are blooming and the fig tree is back in the greenhouse and new leaves are appearing. I planted two trays of micro greens and I will be using the greenhouse for seed starting and for growing my sunflower spouts. I had some radish sprouts today on a sandwich at The Urban Frog, and radish sprouts are the next sprouting seeds we hope to try growing.
Happy Gardening

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