Sigh.... Waiting for spring....

linda_schreiber(z5/6 MI)January 29, 2010

It's almost Feb, the 'Jan thaw' is over, it's a full moon, and I'm dreaming of spring.....

I know that it's now that cold quiet reflective time when we plan, and start seeds, and so on. But I find I that I have a need to *talk garden* !

Does anyone else want to talk about our plans for the spring that just might, maybe, be coming, perhaps in a couple of months?

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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Well, when March gets here, even if its cold and snowy, it seems winter is in its death throes. End of February I'll start impatiens and petunias and that makes summer closer. I'm also an ice fisherman...I figure if it's winter, may as well make the best of it!

tj

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 10:01PM
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linda_schreiber(z5/6 MI)

Ice fisherman...... Harvest!

Thanks, TJ. I'll quietly reflect a little more and plan things out in my easy chair.

Dreamin' still,
Linda

    Bookmark   January 30, 2010 at 7:40PM
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rawb(5, Erie shoreline)

I'm getting antsy! And I am planning! LoL I plan on starting peppers early mid March, maters around mid or end of March. Maybe a touch earlier! I want to get started!! ArRggh..

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 9:36AM
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linda_schreiber(z5/6 MI)

ArRggh, indeed!! Antsy is the word.... I wander out and hope nothing is dumb enough to start up after the Jan thaw, and yet I yearn to see something starting up. I want to get out there and get things cleared, and prepped and going. Now!!!

Part of my angst, beyond the usual winter gardener's blues, is that I started a little second-job gardening business last year, and my own place was *very* badly neglected. There is so much to do! And I know that when the weather starts getting really nice again, I will be back at work on **other people's gardens**!! If only I could use the extra money I make as a gardener to hire people to make my garden a place I could come home to and relax in after a long hard day of gardening.... This plan sounds just a bit counterproductive. Sigh.

I expect that by the first week of April, maybe earlier, I will be out there in my parka and mukluks with a sharpened mattock and a blowtorch, starting the fall/spring clean-up.

We need to put in a new veggie garden fence, and build new beds this spring.... Perhaps I'll organize a "garden party" and put all the guests to work! The Tom Sawyer approach....

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 8:21PM
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dwm158(5B)

I can't wait for the frost to come out of the ground. I'm very excited to try horseradish this year. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 10:27AM
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linda_schreiber(z5/6 MI)

I planted horseradish a few years ago. It's still coming back, and I like it. But I gave up actually harvesting.

When I excitedly tried to actually process a couple of roots, it didn't take me more than a couple of hours to decide I was a wimp.... I'm rarely a wimp. If anything, I'm stubborn. But I (blushing) went back to buying the little jars of minced.

Don't know if it was me, or conditions, variety, or just the nature of the beast. Tough, fibrous, woody, just doesn't describe it.

Would love to grow usable horseradish! If you get any good suggestions, please let me know!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 7:45PM
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luckynes13(6a)

Well, I can't wait until spring. My yard is covered with snow and what isn't is being eaten by the rabbits. I had everything protected but the raspberries, so they ate my raspberries, but not the nieghbours.
So with an itch to garden, I started to wintersow my perenials, there is a forum devoted to winter sowing here. hope it works.
Then I decided to start some seeds early this month, I normally start tomatoes in the middle of this month. But this year I started earlier, thinking I might sell some around Mothers Day, can't hurt to try.
Will be fine if the power doesn't go out and we freeze.
But I didn't plant them all just some. My green peppers didn't come up, but they were old seeds.
Atleast this is a good time to find these things out.

Nes in London Ontario

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 12:28PM
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rawb(5, Erie shoreline)

How old is to old for seeds?

Last year I Bought seeds, but used left over seeds from the yr before... They all came up (tomatos). I never use all the seeds in a packet. Any unused are kept in their packet and all my seed packets are kept in a zip lock baggy.

Now 2 or 3 yrs old I might wonder about them still being good to go. But I really don't know how long seeds will keep for.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 2:16PM
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diggerb2(z5oh)

well linda, this is the reason that i plan snowdrops, species crocus and have forcythia, witchhazel, hazelnut and quince in my yard.

even though i have about a foot on snow right now, about 2 weeks ago i noticed that my snowdrops were begining to bloom and will be that way for another month or so.

i'm going out this week to trim some branches of the shrubs so i can force them in the house. i'll do the witchhazel, hazelnut and forcythia together then probably the quince and pussywillow too. this year i'll be abole to clip a bit of 'black' pussywillow to go with them. by then
i should have a yard full of crocus in bloom.

what exactly do you do in your 'little' garden business?
i keep thinking that i could cut grass at $10/yard and rake in some cash like i did when i was a teenager. (i live an a medium sized town and no one offers that-- you have to sign on with a landscaping firm that costs $30 for a city lot (50x125), they cut, trim, blow and bag your yardonce a week and you have to commit to at least 20 weeks.my yard takes 15 minutes to cut with a reel mower and i don't bag, edge, or blow. plus i cut it about once a week from late april to late june and then only once or twice a month until late september. i'd be thrilled to have a teenager zip it for me at 5 or 10 bucks a pop when it needs it.)
diggerb

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 3:40PM
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linda_schreiber(z5/6 MI)

"Old seed" stuff usually is just about germination rates. If you plant new seed, most may germinate. Old seed won't do as well. Many may germinate, or a small percentage may, or none at all.

Throw them on soil and water them, and see what they do. You may only get a few plants out of a packet of seeds, but they are.... free plants....

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 6:07PM
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linda_schreiber(z5/6 MI)

Oh, diggerb2,
Yes. That's what I wander out to both hope for and hope against. Signs of spring.

The snowdrops here are not even up, let alone trying to bloom. I'm hoping the species crocus and species tulips and other early critters keep their heads down for now (grin).

But you remind me... I'm not a great fan of forsythia, but I could cut some now and get it going inside. I envy you your variety! But forsythia will do.

Re the 'little garden business', if your snowdrops are starting to bloom, you're far enough away that you are not competition (grins).

You can get people to mow your lawn, and you can hire landscape designers or landscapers. But there is nothing in between.
In many areas, there seems to be a dire shortage of people who actually have any clue about plants and gardening, and are willing to do the work.

Someone who can do the basic weeding, and doesn't mindlessly weed out the perennials. Someone who can advise on moving specific plants to locations where they will do better. Someone who has a clue about soils, and amending them. Someone who has a clue about moving or dividing established plants.

If you look through Craigslist or another more local classified ad site, you will find many looking for someone with a clue to do weeding and cleanup, basic maintenance, etc.

We have been charging $20/hr for the weeding/cleanup level of expertise and $30 for the step above. One of our clients, a small business accountant, let us know recently that we are undercharging, and should up the rates, even for her.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 7:20PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

dwm158, from all I've heard, you're best off growing your horseradish in a pot -- it can be hellishly invasive and difficult to remove once established.

Winter is why I like orchids and indoor plants and terrariums ... something green to play with. :)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 8:10PM
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