We’re open for the spring 2011 season! Plants are growing in the greenhouses and trees and shrubs are arriving almost daily to fill up the sales lot. Perennials will be here soon, too. We have onion sets and plants, seed potatoes, packaged seeds, and the soils and amendments you need to get your gardens started. Hang on, here we go!
We’ve received our first delivery of onion sets and onion plants. We have both white and yellow onion sets, and Walla Walla, Candy, Red Candy Apple and Yellow Sweet Spanish onion plants. If you grow in raised beds the soil might be just right for planting. If you grow in the ground, it may still be a little cold and wet– check before you plant.
If you buy them and can’t plant yet, keep the plants in a cool, dry place– not the refrigerator– until you are ready to plant.
Plant them one inch deep and four inches apart if you want to let them grow until they mature and form large onions. Or do as we do, and plant the 2 inches apart and pull every other one as they get some size to them for use as green or spring onions and leave the others to mature. Fertilize with a fertilizer that has a higher middle number, such as 5-10-5. If you are confused about what the fertilizer numbers mean check out our blog post here.
Are you as impatient for flowers as I am? I have one tiny crocus bud that wants to bloom, but other than that nothing is blooming outside. This week I will take my shears outside and gather some forsythia branches to force indoors.
The process is really easy.
Cut branches when the temperatures are above freezing. Choose branches with plump buds, and, unless the tree or shrub is hidden away somewhere, cut in a way to maintain the shape of the remaining plant. Cut with pruning shears, and then cut a slit in the stem end 2 to 4 inches up. Remove any buds that will be under water in the vase you will use.
When you have the branches indoors, cut the end again under warm water and quickly place them in the water in the vase. This aids in the uptake of water. Place the vase away from bright light in an area that remains 60 to 70 degrees. Change the water every couple of days to prevent bacteria from building up.
The buds should begin to open in 1-3 weeks for forsythias, quince or pussywillows. Redbud, apple, dogwoods and lilacs may take longer. When the buds open, place the vase where you can enjoy the welcome splash of spring color.
We’ve been transplanting like crazy this week, and it’s only just begun. More plugs for pots and hanging baskets are arriving tomorrow and next week, and it’ll be that way for the weeks to come. Now if only the weather would cooperate and we could all get outside to clean up the perennial borders and the vegetable gardens.
Don’t jump the gun by working your garden soil while it is too wet. Once the soil has clumped, it is more difficult to get it to a good texture. Now is the time for patience. Indulge your urges by cleaning up leaves and debris instead of working the soil. When the soil crumbles instead of clumping, you can dig to your heart’s content.