March! (Garden Agenda)

Plants
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Here it is! It’s march! I much nicer March than last year. Compared to last year, we have 6 feet less of that nasty white stuff.  So here I am, jumping on the beds and flashing the shutters. I’m excited!  So naturally, this is quite a busy month, as I drag things out of storage and start my seeding. Here’s a peek into my March 2016 agenda.

My seeding grow-op has been set up. For me, it’s a Table made from a plastic pallet I was fortunate to find at Dayjob. So we prepare it by laying a piece of plastic on the bottom (there will be a capillary mat laid over this in a few weeks when I decide to fly out to Montreal so the plants stay hydrated. I can do an entire entry on this at another time). The light is set up too, with chains to hang it, as we use these to easily raise the light as the seedlings grow. I’m still lucky to be able to find T12 Plant & Aquarium bulbs too!  Early March I begin my pepper seeding. I’ve started Chesapeake (it better produce 24K gold peppers, they were pricey seeds!), Carmen, Early Jalapeno for my salsa this fall, and Sweet Apple.  Later during this time, I will be doing some Kale seeding for the cold frame and start impatiens indoors.

I also have started my repotting of all tropicals. I don’t count them anymore. I have at least 75. What you see is just one small corner. This issue of tropical hoarding is going to be rectified soon, thankfully, as  my husband has just finished my inner greenhouse. I love them all, but I have been working so hard to refine the general feel of my dining area. I need a comfy seat in the window, and it’s hard to read with all these tropicals staring at me.

In a few days, I will also be doing some long overdue Passiflora root pruning. I have two P. Caerulea and one P. ‘Amethyst’ which blooms beautifully every year. The other two are stubborn little arseholes.

I am going to try something different in the coming weeks. I am going to try and make a post about a different subject every Monday. Likely, every 2nd post will be an agenda of what sort of tasks I will be tackling here on the grove. We will see what happens from there. If you want to hear about anything in particular about my collection or method, fire me a line in the comments below. I’ll try my best to answer! If it’s a long answer, I’ll do a post about it! 😀

February Plans

Walnut Snow

So here we are, exactly 7 months after moving. It’s still an incredible place to be. Some days, over the winter, I will walk through the snow, looking at my house and property and see it from angles I still hadn’t seen it from yet. And I think, wow, this is my home. Pictured above is our shed and beautiful walnut tree after a fresh snowfall. I am determined to wire an uplight to shine on this tree for the winter months next year.

So I have decided that I will make a monthly post of my gardening agenda (and hopefully commit to sharing it here). I want to be able to look back at the results from previous months’ tasks and determine if they were well timed or not.

There isn’t a lot of anything going on during this month, and thankfully it’s a short month! This is the one I struggle with the most. It has been a fairly snowy month, but thankfully not as traumatizing as last year’s winter from hell. At the end of January, I picked up a raised bed kit from Lee Valley so I could build a cold-frame garden inside of the greenhouse to extend my growing season for cold crops. Well, I had plans to start mache, spinach and carrots and a few others, but the logistics of transporting soil in the dead of winter has become a bit of a conundrum. The good thing is, I will definitely be growing lots of goodies into fall and winter in there. I have been documenting the highs and lows daily  in the greenhouse (which I have been affectionately naming the bubble tube) and on a sunny day, temperatures can swing from a low of -5 up to 15 degrees, and last week it even got up to 23 degrees celcius.  I also have a second greenhouse I purchased from the home depot, a little Palram snap n grow (8’x6′) that will hopefully next year hold my larger tropicals, as I plan to heat that space over the winter.

It might seem a little odd, maybe a little redundant that I am building structures within a greenhouse, but in Nova Scotia, it can be financially paralyzing to heat a greenhouse so that it won’t fall below 5 degrees. I haven’t discounted the thought yet, but I have a second greenhouse frame sitting on the other end of the property that is considerably smaller and possibly less expensive to heat. It’s all coming in time.

I will apologize for a bit of a ramble, but it will take some time to get readers up to speed on the winter progress. That’s all for now. There is so much to say about this place. My mind is scrambling between one point to another. Choosing the area to focus on for 2016 is painful. I’ll reveal my areas of focus all in good time.

What is on my agenda for february? In a week or so, I’m going to really clean and sanitize all my tools. Take apart my Felco pruners and clean all the old grit out of there, sharpen them and oil them up. They have been superb pruners, and if you don’t have a pair already I highly recommend them as your #1 go-to pruners at your belt. I’m also going to be taking inventory of my supplies for the year. I know I’m quite low on plant labels and I need to stock up on potting mixes. I have an embarrassing collection of 4″ square pots, which I will hopefully be rid of this summer in the form of sellable material and tropical propagations.

March is only 3 weeks away. That’s when hope for winter’s end begins to trickle back to me. Then I will be happily busy!