Spring Prep in the Garden
Resident Gardener checking in here. I have some idea of blogging about my efforts to start a plant nursery and using it as a garden journal.
Blooming now: daffs, hyacinth, hellebores, pussy willow, forsythia and winter jasmine. Day lilies and iris are 2-4 inches high, the new Chestnut tree has swelling buds. I wonder how long before it is mature enough to bloom?
With spring almost on the horizon, I am getting excited and starting to make progress. In the past week I have:
washed 50-odd pots, all 1 quart size or less
potted up 16 baby hellebores
have 8 hellebores divided for planting
gleaned multiple types of hydrangea, spirea, montauk daisies, pussy willow, curly willow and a wealth of other cuttings from a generous friend. These all need to be sectioned, treated with rooting compound and potted up – dozens and dozens and dozens worth. Last year I started about 150 pots of hydrangeas.
determined that I needed a sand bed, to be used for starting multitudes of cuttings at once, the potting up process being very labor intensive as described above. We have a large sand pile left over from DonnaW’s dome build which will need to be relocated.
had a mature pecan tree taken out, to use that area for nursery stock. ARRGGHH, I still am having difficulty with the fact that I caused the death of a mature tree. To soften the blow, I found a wood artist (http://www.fullmoonartists.com/wc.html) who was excited to get the wood and – better yet – pay for having the tree taken down. As part of our agreement I get a finished piece of his work. The tree will live on in beauty, so that helps my guilt somewhat. I donated the mid-sized 4-6 inch thick pieces to a neighbor who does serious smoking for BBQ, and am hoping to get some product to sample.
purchased a cubic yard of potting soil from a local farm for the first time. This was educational. It has been windy and raining a good bit, so I specifically asked for dry mix. Guess what happens when a front loader dumps a cubic yard of dirt into your pickup bed? The entirety of the wet truck and especially all of the glass you’d like to be able to see out of, looks like it has been involved in some serious off-roading. I just *thought* I had had a working truck before!
This second weekend in March is promised to be partly cloudy, zero percent chance of rain with temps near 70. I have so much to do including a bizillion pots yet to be washed, new flower beds to finish prepping, all the cuttings to process and a multitude of chopped leaves to be spread as mulch.
A word on the chopped leaves source – the lady who had grown up in this house dropped by a couple of years back. Joan brought Polaroid pictures from the 1950s of the house and property; it was awesome to visit with her. I was amazed to see how much the trees had grown in just 60 years. Joan’s mother was a big time gardener. Joan has given me iris and daylilies that her mother originally grew on this property – life does come full circle.
Joan and I were chatting one day, and I discovered to my horror that she had been hauling bags of yard clippings and shredded leaves to the dump for years! They now come to Soul’s Ease and greatly aid in soil improvement, much less weed control.