Monday, February 22, 2021

Worst winter weather in 5 years finally ends

 Iceageddon is now officially over. For two weeks it was near impossible to work in the garden. The picture above shows the worst of it. Water from the roof flowing over frozen gutters refroze each night in front of our backdoor which meant I had to chisel the ice away just so we could let our dog out. We can finally get back to garden work just as soon as the ground dries a little more. The next job will be to work on the deer netting that the ice and snow pulled down.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Icy weather brings outdoor work and even nature to a standstill


Our area received just over a quarter inch of ice last week making work outside almost impossible. Even part of the local group of black vultures found the icy conditions challenging. As I type this, a mixture of snow and sleet are falling which will then be followed by frigid temperatures. The only positive I can think of with the accumulating precipitation is that it will give protection to the flowering bulbs from the extreme cold that will be arriving soon.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Mulching Time

 Hi everyone. Just a quick update this week. We are in the middle of winter like everyone else in the northern hemisphere and sure enough bitterly cold temperatures are on their way. Since this the first year we've grown dutch irises, I wanted to give them just a little extra protection in case the temperature forecast gets revised lower at the last moment. One inch of mulch isn't very much but when spread out evenly could give the ground (and the bulbs in it) protection from the well below freezing winds and help maintain the soil temperature closer to the freezing point where no plant damage will occur. The daffodils, crocuses, and grape hyacinths should be fine with no extra protection here in zone 6b. I hope everybody out there stays warm wherever you call home.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Leggy Plants: How to stop seedlings from stretching


Anyone who has started seeds inside can tell what I did wrong in the first picture: I placed the seedlings in a sunny windowsill far too late. You can see in the second picture that I learned my lesson and put the seedlings in a sunny spot much earlier. This leads me to my best tip for preventing leggy plants: Have a perfect place for your seedlings to grow before you start them. Sounds like common sense right? Well, sometimes we get ahead of ourselves. I'm a gardener with a moderate amount of experience but even still I got excited about starting seeds and did that first. It is the middle of winter where I live so who could blame me for wanting to do a little indoor gardening? The point is that I didn't plan properly. When I saw my first seedlings, I had to scramble to create a good place for the plants to get some sun. Once you have set up a good location in a sunny area, you can start your seeds there and then you won't even need to move them once they germinate.