Only gardening dabbling

At this time of year (north of the Tropic of Cancer anyway) gardening usually slows down.  This is not without its compensations.  Keeping up does become less hectic.  Still, most of us do not want to really hibernate so what do we do to keep the show rolling forward?

For those of us with a large garden there is always something to do even it is just trying to keep it tidy by gathering up leaves and broken branches.  This is also the time of year to put most of any new spring bulbs into the ground.  For those of us with a small garden or a balcony a little thought can go a long way.  At this time of year we tend to be short of fresh items.  Growing a few herbs can do so much to liven up a meal without much effort.  Some of the hardier items can still be kept out of doors but others really must be kept indoors.  One word of caution, be very wary of bringing pots indoors if they have been left outside.  Insects tend to leave eggs in and around food that we like to eat.  Once the eggs come into the warmth they hatch and the resulting plague can be most unwelcome!  Of course going the other way has fewer problems and one really has to be wary of the frost in the spring.

One can have a splash of colour very cheaply by planting pansies, roses, gardenias or azaleas, in containers with compost out of doors.  These items can easily be obtained from your nearest gardening centre or even your local florist.  Throw in some cheap spring bulbs such as narcissus or daffodils and one can have a boost of colour just as the other plants are beginning to fade.

One can be a real enthusiast and start from seeds but if you are starting out it is more reliable to buy seedlings.  Nowadays just about every supermarket sells growing herbs such as parsley and basil which are beyond the seedling stage in pots.  If one wants the plant to keep on growing through the winter one should “pot up” into larger containers with good quality compost.  The plants should thrive on that for a few weeks if they are watered and have sufficient light but if you want them to thrive into the New Year and beyond you will have to give them some fertiliser.  Do harvest quite often as this helps the plant bring forth fresh growth.  Uncut and some of them will become a bit stringy.  With a bit of luck the plants will still be healthy at the end of spring and can be put into the ground outdoors for the summer!

Article written by London Florist – Flowers24hours.co.uk

 






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It’s time to start your seedlings gardeners!

I meant to get started planting seeds indoors earlier this month, but it’s been one delay after another, most specifically _ I came down with a cold – my first in about 15 years!

So, this weekend I’m going to be getting out my seedling trays, and then I’m going to go down into the basement and find the two boxes that I keep seed packages and seeds that I’ve picked off of plants from my garden. It’s cool and surprisingly dry in our basement so it’s the perfect place to keep dormant seeds and even plant bulbs or corms like the four Cannas that I currently have down there.

I just have to decide where I’m going to put all my newly seeded trays. I think I’ll probably put them upstairs in our spare bedroom. It faces south so the containers and hopefully seedlings will get off to a good start with lots of sunlight. I do have a couple of grow lights that I can try to dig up out of the basement if I need them, but when I’ve grown seeds indoors in the past they’ve done well in that room without the need of additional lighting.

Have any of you started seedlings indoors for your garden?

I’m glad that we only have 6 weeks of winter left. I can’t wait to get outside and see new plants coming up in my garden beds. Oh and the crocuses! They’ll probably come up in my lawn by the last week of March like they normally do … perhaps earlier this year since we’ve had a fairly mild winter with barely any snow … so far anyway!

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Photographee examines the camera

I don’t know who the photographer was, but they managed to capture a once in a life time shot!

00036109

The Blue Jays around here aren’t very friendly.

Sure, they’ll eat from the bird feeders and visit some of my plants, but the minute that either my husband or I go outside or one of our neighbors enters their yard the Blue Jays are gone. I’d never get a shot of a Blue Jay landing on a hand held camera in a million years!

It’s been quite rainy here in Toronto today, but the rain has just stopped and the suns out … who knows for how long … but I’m going to try to go out and get a little gardening done.  I have some annuals to plant in planters and a few bulbs to plant in the garden beds.  It would be nice if I could get this stuff done before it begins to rain again!

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