A Day to Garden

Today, I had the chance to get my hands in the dirt! By mid-morning I was planting my flower pots! It was enjoyable! I’m a little early this year. Perhaps having 400 plants sitting in my garage that I will plant with students over the next three weeks made me want to get into it myself!

My husband cleaned up our South side perennial garden that contains my common milkweed patch. It has not germinated yet. Hopefully, soon! The warmer weather will certainly help with that! Then, he went and got mulch. He bought it by the yard instead of by the bag and had enough to also mulch our front garden that abuts the house. This is a bed that we reworked last year, so it really had not time to grow a lot of weeds. I had put in perennials from Prairie Moon Nursery and annuals from a teen I know who has his own greenhouse business. The annuals were the best I have ever grown!

Last Friday I picked up the annuals I had ordered for our school garden and some for my own yard – some of the same plants that were so successful last year. Specifically, these were WAVE petunias in a deep crimson red, and geraniums with a variegated leaf.  I indulged my love of zinnias by getting a new variety for home called Whirly Gig. The Purple Prince are going back to school again this year as they really attracted Monarchs late into the fall.

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Plants for school and home from Gage’s Greenhouse! 

I also potted up some Prairie Dropseed to take to the office and share.  This is a native prairie plant that was given to me years ago when an acquaintance who had their own nursery, unfortunately, went out of business. The prairie plants have gone on to live and flourish in my yard. The time to share had long passed.

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Time to divide Prairie Dropseed! © Carol Labuzzetta, 2019

Seed potatoes given to me by a coworker have sprouted. I am trying to be successful with these this year. My potatoes in a bucket experiment did not produce anything even resembling something edible last year. I think my mistake was to let it dry out.  So far, I am being very diligent about caring for these taters.

Two other pots were started with salad greens. I used these seed pods with mixed greens in one pot. In the other pot, I put a seed “disc” that was a mesh with seeds between two pieces of lightweight fabric with more traditional types of lettuce.  The pots are to prevent any rabbits or other visiting critters from helping themselves to a salad. We’ll see how it goes.

I also started yellow pear tomatoes from seed this year. They look better than any plants I’ve ever started and, so far, are totally organic.

Each year we like to experiment a little.  I won’t be putting in eggplant this year, as I have for the last several plantings. We just did not use it enough last year.  Our strawberries are up and flowering already, so that was a success left over from last year’s planting. We like to keep it changing, while being sure to enjoy some traditional favorites, like our apples, plums, and cherries.

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Plums in Bloom. Our Home Fruit Orchard. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2019.

Since noon today, we’ve been treated to spring peepers and other frogs singing in the “new” retention pond behind our home. It was a good day. A great day, in fact.

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