The Wild Flowers Are Arriving

The wild flowers are arriving. The Indian Warriors, Shooting Stars and Fawn lilies are sprouting up in the woods. I saw a bluebird, a soaring turkey vulture and a murder of crows. Warmth is very slowly returning to the land, in spite of my impatience. Our local Nursery says it’s time to plant out cold hearty Snow crown cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage. If you find starts in your local garden supply center you should be good to go. My starts had to remain in their containers for an extra week this year because night time temps. were in the twenties, but a look ahead indicates 30’s, so I’ll start transplanting out. Lots of local gardeners have soil that’s too wet right now so raised beds are their only option. It’s better to have your plants root bound than to plant in wet soil. Spreading the root hairs out with a toothpick as you go can be the difference between success and failure.

Walla Walla onion planting time is upon us. They are fun to plant as starts from your local Nursery because you get an instant row of green spring color. The planting process is fun too. You can dig a shallow 2″ deep trench with a trowel and push the dirt up on the far side of the furrow. Then set the starts 2″ apart in the bottom, with their roots spread out, and leaning up against the far side dirt mound. Then carefully push the dirt back into the trench straightening all the onions up. Viola, a new garden row. Water them in carefully and straighten up any that fall over because an onion laying on the dirt will get gnawed on by any passing sow bug. The purple color of them makes salads more appetizing and they are sweeter than other onion varieties. A must try for gardeners young and old.

It’s always difficult for me to plant out my Cole crops at the recommended spacing of 18″ because they look too far apart. Once I cover them with my bird netted tunnels the row becomes connected, and they look better than being exposed to birds and cats. I used to think the wire tunnels were a bit unsightly but now they are adding beauty by defining the rows and protecting the plants. All the transplants are perfect little trees this year, with stout stems and a dark green canopy of leaves. Having Miracle-Gro in the seed starting mix gave them all the nutrients they needed. They were not root bound even though they were in their containers for an extra week. Spring gardening has begun. Go get your hands dirty 🙂

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