Garden Notes

We had a frost last week, after I stupidly planted out a few of the tender plants I bought last weekend. Lesson learned there. So the rest of the plants I bought are jammed in with my seedlings under the grow lights, until at least Memorial Day.

The exception to that are a few flats that came in cardboard containers. I’m not comfortable leaving those in them, since they dry out so much more quickly. So those have been planted in their intended containers, and will hang out with the dahlias until it’s reliably warmed up.


Garden Notes

Tragically, going to Wolfes Neck practically forces us by Estabrook’s in Yarmouth, so here’s today’s haul from there. We got three of the red verbena that did so well up front last summer, a red nicotiana (that looks more robust than the ones I grew last year), a Rozanne geranium, some supplemental Swiss chard, a sungold tomato and oregano.

The front bed really is the worst for taking pictures, because there’s always some sort of sun line, but here’s Rozanne and the verbena in their new home.

The kniphofia, sea holly and delphiniums have all come back. The violet and wild strawberries are doing really well this year as well. I hate cutting them back – I don’t really consider them weeds, so I’ll let them go as long as they don’t completely get in the way.

I also planted a sedum that had found its way to the back of the shed up in this bed. I’m in the process of redoing the compost pile back there, so it needed to be moved. It’s red, so I figured might as well put it up front – that fits the theme. We’ll see if it’s ok with the sun situation in this bed.

We are on the lookout for another yellow dahlia to put up here, but for reasons that’ll be clearer later, I have a little less plant shopping time this May than I usually do.

Garden Notes

So remember how proud I was of myself for resisting the siren call of dahlia tubers? It didn’t last. I got four more colors. I’m thinking I may try storing half of them in my mother’s basement, to insure better winter survival.

In other news, I have most of the rest of the seedlings planted up to larger pots, so the third grow light is now engaged. The only ones I didn’t plant up were the epazote. I think I remember that they were better for direct sowing anyway, so that was a gamble. (They sprouted, but they’re just tiny.)

Garden Notes

We’ve had a stretch of really blah weather for a bit now, so while there are definite signs of Spring (all of the above pictures are from my backyard), I have not been out doing as much yardwork as I would like. I have plans, but not enough dry hours to accomplish all of them.

The seed starting is coming along well – these are the peppers and dahlias from planting up round one, and round two has joined them. I should be able to do a round three soon. This weekend is my anniversary of getting Covid, and the contrast in where I was last year is interesting. I ended up very behind because of the timing of that interruption. It’s been nice to be on the ball this year.

Hilariously, it would appear I have managed to kill mint. Or rather, I think being in pots in the shed on that weekend when it got down close to -20 (F) killed the mint. The ginger mint on the right looks like it might still have a little life in the extremities, so we’ll see there. It was new last year. But the spearmint (which I’ve replanted in that same pot several times over the years) isn’t showing any signs of life. So it is possible to kill mint. I’m sure they would have been fine in the ground – you can see my chives just to the left, and the sage next to that, as well as the thyme on the right came back just fine.

I am pleased to report that one of the dahlias I saved in the garage over the winter has survived. It sprouted just in the nick of time, too. I was planning to put the pot out in the shed this weekend because it hadn’t been doing anything. You can see it’s far less robust than its cousins from the store that I bought and planted that same weekend. (I was pretty proud of myself – I resisted the worst of the siren lure, and only bought my bag of tubers.)

I did bring these inside for the 20 below weekend, which was when I discovered the other one I’d saved had started to mold. I also discovered my labelling methods were not adequate. So I don’t know if this is the bedding dahlia, or the taller pink one.

I have them in pots for now, but they’ll go in the ground once it’s warm enough, assuming they’re both the larger sized dahlia. If this is the bedding dahlia, I started some others from seed this year, and it’ll join them in pots on the deck.

Garden Notes

It doesn’t look like I did much, but there was a fair amount of garden work done yesterday. I’ve set up the trellis (minus the netting) and moved out the old totes of soil that had brassicas last year, and didn’t get into the shed in time for winter. (The soil is in those two pots on the right – waiting for warmer weather, and deck plants.) The other two pots are bulbs that still looked like they had some life in them, so I’d left them out under the magnolia for the winter. I’ve moved them out into the sun.

I also moved a lot around in the shed. Some items are now up on the deck, where we could use them. (We got into the 80s on Friday, but that should not happen again soon.) I got the rain barrels and deck planter out, but need a little help to get them to their final destinations. I also got a few pots of herbs out to their respective homes, though they don’t look like much yet.

This morning, I planted up the first batch of the first round of seedlings – peppers and dahlias. The second round is nearly all sprouted, but I’m still in that interesting spot of having both the seed starters and regular trays competing for room on the shelves.

Garden Notes

This was a pleasant sight a couple mornings ago. I planted these in Fall of 2021, but nothing came up last Spring. I figured our heavy clay soil had gotten the better of them, so I was pleasantly surprised to see them one morning before work.

I did my second round of seeds this morning, after doing a little light work outside. The snow is finally gone from the entire backyard, so I went out and de-scatted the back corner. Based on volume, it must have been a deer highway over the winter.

I also took the leaf mulch off the front bed, so the perennials there can find the sun. It’s still not really warm enough to move most of the yard detritus (I don’t want to disturb anything that’s still sleeping), but I made an exception for that bed.

Garden Notes

This is the time of year where it doesn’t seem like much is going on – you can definitely tell where the winter shady bits of the yard are, by the lingering snowpack.

But I actually do have a few things going on – I did my first round of planting last week. (In the picture of which you can see this year’s seedling experiment – capillary matting.) And the garlic survived the winter outside, and is up!

Garden and House Notes

It was in the 70s the weekend before last. So of course, I was away, and therefore had to put the garden to bed in 30’s November weather yesterday. I suppose it could have been worse – I did see the forecast, so avoided doing it today in the 20 degree wind chill and snow showers.

But in much more interesting news, after signing up for it in April, we finally got our solar panels installed! We’re not hooked to the grid quite yet, but we’ve powered ourselves during the day for the past two days. (We have an app where we can track our usage vs what we’re generating – that thing is addictive to watch.) I’m so excited to be using a local energy source, and to be on our way to not having to pay anything out to the electric company.

Garden Notes

We have had frost the last two mornings, so today’s gardening was done in the afternoon, after things warmed up. (It’s gorgeous right now – we have all the south facing windows open to take advantage of the 60-degree temps.)

The big thing for today – the trellis is down. This was mostly done so I could easily plant garlic to the right of it. (There are green stakes around the corners of that part of the bed, just so I can tell where it is before things start coming up in the Spring.) I’ve put the cloves from two locally grown heads in there, so we’ll see how that goes.

The trellis is not fully put away yet because of the runner beans. Today’s note to self: if I grown beans against the trellis again next year, string that side with twine that I can cut away. I like to store the green netting inside, so I’m having to unwind all the bean stems before I can do that. I got about half of them done, but I just do not have that much patience. Fortunately, I guess, this year’s bean crop wasn’t really that good. I don’t want to picture unwinding a whole side of beans.

I also pulled out the marigolds – they were looking pretty ratty. The brassicas and calendula are still going strong.

And finally, here we have the two dahlias I’m going to try and overwinter in the garage. The one on the right is the seed grown larger one – the tubers are not the biggest. The left is a red bedding dahlia I also grew from seed. I figure if it survives, it’ll look good out front.

Garden Notes

Well, it happened. There was a frost last night. I spent a good chunk of time today pulling out the zinnias, zucchini, peppers, basil, tomatoes and some of the tender annuals.

I had been planning on pulling out the tomatoes this weekend anyway – the ones that weren’t splitting just weren’t very nice anymore. But man, does sit look empty.

Here’s the final zucchini harvest – pulled from the carcasses.

The front bed doesn’t look too different – I pulled out the smaller bedding dahlias and one of the low growing blue flowers. I also brought the fuchsia out back. It’s not totally dead yet, but definitely not something I want in the front bed anymore.

The large dahlia actually came through pretty well. The flowers that were fully in bloom blasted, but it must not have been a very hard frost, because the partially open flowers seem to be fine. I’m still going to start the clock on curing this to dig it out, but I’m impressed.