Garden Daybook 4/3/14

In my last Daybook I talked about signs of spring in the gardens. This week’s Daybook is all about signs of spring inside the house –  where all are safe from vicious spring winds, cold, and rain.

I planted my Sweet Peas on March 28. I soaked the seeds over night because they have hard seed coats which makes for difficult germination. I take the time to  label them carefully because then, when they bloom, I know the proper variety name and can pick my favorites for next year.

sweet peas soaking400

The next morning I drained the seeds through a small sieve . . . . .sweetpeas drained 400and planted two flats of paper pots. Learn how to make paper pots here: http://thekitchencousins.com/growit/get-your-stuff-together-seed-starting-basics/  scroll down until you see the picture of the wooden Pot Maker. I put two seeds into each pot and, if both germinate, I will save the healthiest seedling.

sweetpeas sown 400I know that two flats seems like a LOT of sweet peas but many of the seeds were several years old so I planted all of them in hopes of getting some to germinate. Besides, I LOVE SWEET PEAS! I like to have enough flowers to fill vase after vase and with plenty to share. I put the trays on bottom heat and covered them with plastic domes. Germination started four days later on April 1!  Yay! We are  one step closer to inhaling Sweet Pea perfume.

sweet peas germinating400

I remove each individual pot from the bottom heat unit as soon as it germinates and put it under lights. Each plant will stay in its paper pot until it is planted into the garden – probably in mid to late April.

It is also time to think about this summer’s Dahlias.

dahlia tubers and greg 400

Greg has begun to unpack his over-wintered Dahlia tubers.  They have been layered  in  bins of wood chips  and stored in my Mom’s basement since they were dug and last fall.

ahlia tubers out of storage 400
The tubers stored beautifully and look solid and healthy. Each tuber had a tag with its name and description attached before storage. Here are some of the tubers lined up for their spring inspection.

dahlia tubers in spring 400

What Greg hopes to see, when the tubers come out of winter storage, are “eyes” or new growth. The eyes are proof that the tuber is alive and well and ready to grow. Soon he will cut the tubers apart and plant them into flats where they can send down roots and send up new growth. When the weather settles into warm days he will plant the tubers into the garden. Stay tuned for updates on how the Dahlias are growing and how to  properly plant them.

dahlia tubers eyes 2 400

When I see Greg checking his Dahlias I know for certain that spring is close by. We won’t see bloom until late summer but what you see on that table is POTENTIAL! Speaking of potential  . . . the basement light shelves are filling up with flats of transplanted seedlings. As seedlings begin to push their true leaves I transplant them into individual pots, or in the case of onions and leeks, into rows in deep flats. To date, I have transplanted onions, leeks, celery, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, cabbage, broccoli, Italian cauliflower, flat leaf parsley, two kinds of Digitalis, Marigolds, Zinnias, and a few other flowers I cannot think of off the top of my head.  Come on Spring!!

seedlings under lights 400

Potential is all around! Let’s all pray for an end to the cold weather, for warm spring soils, for just enough rain and yet just enough wind to dry out the wet spots, and for Sweet Peas by June. I say Amen!

Hey from the farm,
Fran      The Country Cousin

Share this post with others!

Please leave us a comment, we love to hear from you!

 

 

 

*