To the Outdoors!

Things have been exceptionally hectic around here.  I’ve gone back to work at a local garden center for the season and the work/life balance is taking it’s toll.  Even though some things have suffered, ie. no running currently and little creative time, I have been finding other ways to get in my happy one way or another.

I set up a make shift seed starting area in my basement in January and have so far managed a healthy crop of pansies and violas (though the pansies have yet to actually bloom which is strange) and the tomatoes are coming along quite well.

Tiny viola!

I discovered I really hate planting anything in peat pots.  They mildew and grow moss or fungus like crazy even when they’re allowed to dry out between waterings.  I ended up switching to plastic planters and as much as I hate plastic they will definitely endure several years of hard use and reuse, and most importantly I won’t have to fight off so much fungus.

Once I made the switch and moved all of my surviving violas and pansies they took off like mad!

First year growing violas from seed.

Look at those roots, baby! I also tried my hand at impatients and found out they take a ridiculously long time to germinate….like upwards of 28 days before you’ll see ANY sign that they’re viable seeds. I managed to grow a dozen or so but that was out of 50 seeds.  Not a good success rate.  I haven’t bothered with a heating mat which I’m sure would move things along, but I’ll add it the list for next year and maybe find better seed stock.

This spring has been another odd one for us here in the Midwest.  After a wet and mild winter, spring has been unseasonably warm and wet.  I’m getting very tired of being soggy all the time and to make matters worse we’ve been bouncing between high winds and freeze warnings the last two weeks.  It’s been hard on our sinuses and the plants.

But things are looking up and I’m slowly collecting plants to put in my beds.  A few new perennials, like three lime green sedums and two red hot bee balm plants to add to the collection, and the usual annuals.

The onion sets are in and as soon as the weather dries out enough the carrots will be planted along with the first rows of beans.  Gardening never takes a holiday!

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