Archive for March, 2009

Bloom Another Day

Friday, March 27th, 2009

We put up the 4th week of our spring Exhibit at the Gardens.  My volunteers look forward to doing it even though it is chaotic.  We have to take out the past weeks old faded bulb flowers and put in new fresh ones.  Seeing  the cheery  daffodils, beautiful tulips, elegant bleeding hearts and vibrant  hyacinths that one of the other horticulturists grows for the exhibit, is so refreshing at this time of year.  Especially on a gray darkish day like we sometimes have in March.  It really gets our hopes up for spring!

If you receive or buy a potted tulip or hyacinth or daffodil for Easter, you can save it and plant it outside to bloom another year.  The simplest way is to plant the whole pot in the ground after danger of frost is passed.  Another way is to care for the bulb foliage in the pot, giving it light fertilizer and partial sun.  Once the foliage has turned yellow , cut the leaves off and take the bulbs out of the soil and store in a mesh bag, hanging it in a dry place like the garage.  Tulip bulbs are especially prone to rooting  if they stay too moist all summer.

Then replant the bulbs in the fall. Bulbs that have been forced used up a lot of energy so they will not flower again the next year.  It may take 2 or 3 years of growing and storing energy from the sunshine before they have enough energy to bloom again.

A lot of tulips actually don’t come back well.  Species tulips and old varieties are more likely to come back again.  Hyacinths usually come back and bloom again and daffodils come back very well.  You can even get daffodils to naturalize very well.

Enjoy your beautiful flowers this Easter and then enjoy them for years to come!

Happy spring,

Judy

Countdown!

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Eleven weeks to go til Memorial Day.

The race is on for me at work. I received most of my seeds during the past few days. That’s always exciting… better than a birthday present even!

All my seeds are annual flowers and vegetables.  I ordered 99 different varieties of seeds!   I went through all of the seed packets that I received and highlighted information such as when to start the seeds and at what temperature. Many of the seeds can be started at around 6 weeks before the last frost. I use Memorial Day as my “Blast Off” date and count down my calendar marking each week.  So, this  week is 11 weeks before Memorial Day.  April 5th Sunday would be 7 weeks before and so on.

A few seeds like petunias, impatiens, and alpine strawberries are planted at 10-12 weeks before the planting out date  so I’ve done most of those already.

The  first 2 full weeks in April will be when the most seeds are started including marigold, phlox, tomatoes, verbena, ageratum and some zinnias.

Four weeks before the Holiday some zinnias and nasturtiums are planted.

Of course lots of veggies are planted outside, such as carrots, lettuce, beans, pumpkins, and squash. Some plants just don’t do well when started inside.

The cool weather seeds such as peas, beets, carrots, radishes, and spinach can be planted outside even before all chance of frost  is finished.  They can  tolerate some frost. And in fact, they like cooler temperatures to germinate and grow in.

Other seeds such as squash, pumpkin, corn, and cucumber like to have warm temperatures to germinate and grow in.  Those seeds we will plant  after Memorial day.

By the way, the Red Wing Blackbirds are back, the Turkey Vultures have returned and the Spring Peepers are peeping in my back yard!  Those are true signs  that spring is coming soon!

Bye for now,

Judy