No, that’s not a typo. I did not mean Impatiens. I am watching the snow blow about, after several days of temperatures in the icebox, and wondering whether I should start my seeds or give up and find a new hobby. Quilting seems appropriate today.
I actually enjoy snow – deviant behavior, I know. March and April snowstorms are never a real surprise here, so I take them in stride. Spring snow doesn’t last, the way early winter storms settle in. We may be getting dumped with 2 feet of snow today, but the days are getting longer and sunnier and, as we’ve seen, the temperature can flip without warning. Today’s snow will be in the watershed before you notice it’s missing. Forget the snow and let’s start thinking about what you can do for your garden today.
Start Seed Indoors
No it’s not too early. Tomorrow is the mid-point of March. That means in 6 weeks time it will be late April. Yikes! If you haven’t started these seeds yet, it’s time to get moving.
|Vegetable||# Weeks||Flowers||# Weeks||Herbs||# Weeks|
|Chinese Cabbage||5-7||Dahlia||4-6||Lemon Balm||6-8|
Start Seed Outdoors
Okay, I’m pushing it today, but as soon as you start to see patches of soil again, scatter some seeds that need a winter chill to break dormancy. Plants like poppies and nigella do best when they are direct seeded in early spring. (Remember, spring starts next Monday, the 20th – at 6:29 AM!)
You can also scatter seed of hardy greens, in the vegetable garden. Spinach, corn salad, and arugula will thank you with your first fresh salad of the year.
Pot Up Summer Bulbs
If you’ve been storing things like canna, caladiums, and dahlias, get a head start on the season by planting the tubers in pots. They’ll be ready to go outside, as soon as the weather warms. You won’t have to mark the spot and be patient for sprout, the way you would if you planted the tubers directly in the ground.
Review Your Garden Photos
You did take lots of pictures of your garden last year, right? Looking at old garden photos is great for inspiration and it reminds you of what you wanted to try differently this year.
❦ Consider old container combinations you might want to repeat.
❦ Look for times of the year when there wasn’t that much color in the garden. Sometimes you can deduce this by that gap of space where you didn’t take any photos… because there was nothing to photograph.
❦ Are there spots that need more plants to fill in?
❦ Spots that need some contrast in leaf texture, plant shape, or height?
❦ How’s the color cohesion? Need more contrast? Less?
❦ Don’t forget to look at photos of the gardens you visited What plants did you lust for?
Taking a little time to refresh your memory of last season’s garden can prevent you from making the same bad impulse buys this year. (Of course, there will be new bad impulse buys this year, but we’ll address that in 2018.)
If you’re suffering from cabin fever and need to gets your hands in damp soil, let this be your start. One last suggestion, as soon as you can get your shovel in the soil, consider getting a soil test done, so that you can amend your soil, if needed, asap.
Hang in there!