Saturday, February 22, 2014

Getting the North bed ready for spring!

It is still February, but the days are getting a bit warmer.  Natural Gardener keeps telling us that the average last day of frost is tomorrow (February 23rd)

I spent some time this week getting my north porch bed ready for spring.

I pruned back my Knockout Rose.  I didn't quite make the Valentine's Day deadline, but I did make it out there on February 17th, so I was pretty close!

I am getting bolder and bolder with this plant, since I have pruned him back many times, and it only seems to make him prettier.

I wish I had taken a before picture, because I pruned him back to at least a third the size he was before. I have two goals, one to keep him from getting too big from the bed, but also I want the other two rose bushes to catch up in size with him.

I also cut the ruellia back, removing all the dead leaves. In past warmer years, these plants have weathered through the winter (I think?), but with multiple days with a low of 27 or so, they just couldn't hang on.  I'm curious to see if they are dead, or just dormant.

Speaking of the other two rose bushes, I pruned back the middle, miniature rose bush as well, but the far one I was hesitant to prune.  I wasn't really even sure it was alive, and it only had one branch with a few leaves clinging to it.  I decided maybe now wasn't the time to prune.


I came out just a few days later and found every branch bursting to life with leaves!

I also pruned back my salvia.  I pruned it back for the first time last year, and it seemed to make the plant bloom more, and make it prettier in the bed.  Reading online, I read that February is the right year to prune this guy, so I gave it a pretty heavy pruning, cutting it back about a third in size (2/3 of the previous size), and removing what looked like deadwood.  We'll see how it does in a few months.

You can also see my dwarf pomegranate in the back.  I have always pruned this guy back after the first freeze.  But i have always wondered if I didn't prune it back, if those branches might bloom.  So I've left it au natural, and we'll see in the next few months where the new growth comes.

And in cleaning up the bed, I found that my day lily is just starting to put up new shoots.  How exciting!  I've never worked on the beds this early in spring, so it has been fun to discover these brand new growths!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Everything is coming up green!

With the two warm days, it seems like everything is sprouting!  Not only did I find an asparagus shoot, but there also seem to be some tiny radishes.  They took a bit longer than expected, but I'm thinking that is because of the super cold weather.

No sign of the carrots.  Sadly, I can't remember where I even planted them.  Right next to the radishes, maybe?

I have an asparagus shoot!

I was pretty sure those twenty degree days were going to kill my baby asparagus crowns.  

In fact, it has been so cold and miserable, that I haven't even gone out to the garden for a few days.

Today I went out to plant the potatoes, and to water the lettuce, and lo and behold - a teeny tiny asparagus shoot.  It may be my only one, but how exciting!

Now I am hoping a few more pop up their heads!

I am also curious to see how fast this one grows...  I hear they get tall pretty quick!

Trying potatoes

Today, I finally planted the seed potatoes that I bought over a month ago.  I purchased them early, as potatoes are supposed to go in the ground around president's day.  But the Natural Gardener said they could go in now.

Well, then followed twenty degree days.  A few each week.  So, I decided to wait until the deep freezes seemed to be letting up.

Unfortunately, I cut the potatoes a few weeks ago -- and then the cold came.  I was only supposed to cut them a few days before planting them, so I'm not sure what that will mean. 

Many of the rat tail potatoes have small buds on them (I planted ten - two rows of 5), but very few of the red potatoes do.  We'll just have to wait and see.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Trying radishes and carrots

I purchased some radish seeds and carrots seeds a week or so ago.  But the temperatures have been so cold, that I held off until today to plant them.  Radishes are supposed to be super easy -- we'll see!
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