Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring is springing!

Thursday I was walking to the parking garage after work and saw some bulbs starting to emerge from the soil. They were up about an inch- I'm not sure what is emerging, maybe daffodils. I'm moving to a new office next weekend so I probably won't be able to keep track of that little garden going forward. New building is across the street from a church that has a beautiful garden-I need to get a seat by a window! Friday morning I noticed that my Irises on the north side of the garage are poking up 1-2"! After work I went outside to check the Irises that I planted May 10 last year -they are coming up too-YAY!!!! I got a great deal on those (14 rhizomes and 4 Alliums for $8) and was worried that they were planted at the wrong time-I guess nature always tries to find a way.
On a sad note: my 94 year old grandmother passed away this winter. She was a wonderful gardener-lilacs, peonies, irises and incredible dahlias. Her favorite she told me once was the irses; so it cheered me up a bit more than usual to see them coming up. I ordered some dahlia's last week and will try those again(I only got 1 wacky looking flower last year and I'm worried I didn't store them properly this winter-I can't remember where I put them!). I found out my cousin (who bought my grandmother's house) has the dahlia gene so I will try to get some tips from her. My grandmother wasn't very good at giving gardening tips. She always said she just planted things and kept them watered. She didn't think growing things was hard or required any special knowledge-I think she just did it for so long it was second nature to her.
Today I have attached a picture of my ghetto BigLots plant stand and Home Depot shoplights that I have set up in the spare bedroom. Everything seems to be chugging along just fine. I got CRAZY good germination rates out of my tomatoes. Horitculture magazine had an article about starting tomatoes early and altering the microclimate of the garden in the spring to get them in the ground & bearing fruit sooner. I'm trying that. This is what I have going so far 3 of each: Tomatoes (Stupice, Super Sioux, Black Krim, Hillbilly, Cherokee Purple, Boxcar Willie, 2 diff. Brandywine 2 of each(from Cooks Garden and Seeds of Change), Green Zebra, Garden Peach. I also have 6 "mystery tomatoes" from seed I saved from heirloom tomatoes I got at the farmers market. I was just goofing around to see if I could save seed & have it be viable and it worked! They had the best germination rate and have sturdier stems than the "official seed". Unfortunatley my computer crashed this winter and I lost the "control" pictures that I took of the the tomatoes that the seeds originated from. I'm not very scientific. I also have Cherry/Salad tomatoes: Peacevine, Jellybean, Silvery Fir, and Jaune Flamee. Obviously I am going to have way too many tomatoes-I sow too many and then give away the plants to friends and co-workers. Peppers: Anaheim Chili and Mulato Isleno (I should plant some Sweet Peppers too). Eggplant:Rosa Bianca & Violetta di Firenze. I started dill (but it's all floppy), foxgloves from seed I saved from last year-germinated really well too! Coleus and Cilantro are in the guest room. I have butterfly weed and delphinium in the refrigerator, echinacea in the sunroom. I have a spread sheet going (my nod to scientificness) to track what/when/how much I'm planting, etc. DH is very patient!

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