Monday March 10, 2014
I was looking at some of my old gardening notes and 2 years ago today, my daffodils were starting to bloom. This year I'll be lucky if I see them at all, in March. Oh, well.
Compounding my dismay, my local nursery put the summer bulbs out for sale this weekend. Usually I can't resist buy a few, but I can't even imagine when it will be warm enough to get them in the ground. The rule of thumb is to plant summer flowering bulbs when it's warm enough to move the tomato plants outside, I know that time is here, for some of you. Enjoy. The rest of us can get a head start by potting some up indoors. At the very least, check on any tender bulbs you stored for the winter and make sure they're not rotting or sprouting in their containers.
Sunday March 9, 2014
There are so many fruits that masquerade as vegetables, like tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers and melons, but only a few vegetables that do the reverse. Rhubarb is almost always used in sweet dishes. It's one of the first sweet treats of spring. Since it's a perennial, it takes very little care. Until you need to divide it. Dividing an established clump of rhubarb is a shovel breaking, herculean task. Don't wait until your plants are begging to be lifted. Try and divide them every couple of years and do it in the spring, while the plants are just coming out of dormancy and have time to recover. (Great, another thing to add to the To Do list.)
It's worth the effort. Fresh rhubarb is much juicier than stems left sitting on store shelves. If you haven't tried growing rhubarb, keep an eye out for crowns and try a plant or two yourself. You don't need a lot. Although rhubarb needs a chilling period, gardeners in milder climates can easily grow rhubarb as an annual (without the backbreaking effort of trying to divide an established plant.)
Saturday March 8, 2014
Isn't it wonderful when a great plant pops up in your yard and you have no idea how it got there? I have no memory of planting snowdrops (Galanthus), but I'm always awfully glad to see them. I know they can even push their way through snow, so I've been keeping an eye out for signs of their arrival. Maybe pushing through a foot of snow is asking too much of a 4 inch plant.
It's too late to plant snowdrops for this season, but if you notice them at a friends house, ask if they'll share a few bulbs with you after they flower. If only takes a few to be hooked.
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Still can't decide what flowers to add to the garden this year? Make sure you have at least a few easy care, low maintenance perennials in your border. Let's face it, as much as we love working in the garden, there's a lot to be said for the pleasure brought by plants that are undemanding and able to perform well on their own. Yes, they do exist. You just have to be selective.