Week 2 of the Spring Gardening Frenzy
We are having nights with frost, but some warm 70s kind of days that make me believe that spring WILL come.
Last week’s post was delayed, for lack of pictures. My phone died: it did not seem to care for the swimming lessons it was offered in either the wash or rinse cycle. The new phone has been to the house three times – according to the slips FedEx has left – but has stayed on the truck. The last notice was taped directly on top of the previous notice I had signed in black ink as instructed. I still have no phone but hope to catch up with the new one next week. It is currently residing about an hour away in Greenville and I refuse to drive that far. I borrowed DonnaW’s camera.
I have processed most of a truckload of branches into suitably sized lengths, taking care that each end is near a node, scraping off the outer surface at the bottom to get to the nice, green cambium layer, dipping the bottom end in rooting compound, placing each into a dibbled hole in my new sand growing bed, or in a water filled jar in my south facing kitchen window. Through this entire process, one has to remember which end is up. This is a challenging task sometimes; unknowns are tossed. It certainly feels like hundreds worth of cuttings, but is probably really only dozens and dozens worth.
Since the labor to pot up each of these bizillion segments is going to be significant, I am trying a sand bed for rooting for the first time. The sand was leftover from DonnaW’s dome construction; I am praying it has no nasty contents that would be harsh on tender new growth. I scrounged the landscape timbers from previous use as bed edging and had a roll of nursery-grade landscape fabric just waiting for use. A quick trip to Lowes yielded some slender strips of woods that I intend to tack the row covers onto, to provide some wind and frost protection.
The sand bed is currently 16 foot long, of which 14 feet are in use. I will have add more space to finish up the last of the truckload of cuttings. I am becoming a Hydrangea Queen, if this year’s grow as well as the previous ones did.
My house is a disaster. It has been way too cold to work outside this winter, so I work indoors. I use the kitchen and DR to prepare cuttings and to pot up small plants that will fit in a 4 inch pot. These Hellebores/Lenten Roses, and Montauk daisies are in my bedroom, as the windows face south and west. I am using outdoor-rated light rope to provide bottom heat and hopefully fake the little buggers into believing that it is spring and to grow, Grow, GROW. Waiting for transfer to 4 inch pots are Autumn Joy sedum, Green and Gold, more Hellebores and something that looks like creeping phlox to me. I hope it is, I have several slopes I would love to cover and so not have to mow.