Northern Pip-Hooray! What to do while waiting to garden?

mary4b(4b WI)April 30, 2014

Well, I finally saw a few pips in my warmest beds...I'm very excited to join all our southern "flaunters" !
Unfortunately, I no sooner saw them, and we have another 10 day forecast of miserable wet weather with low temps. I took advantage of the cold and wet to plant some trees and shrubs, but general gardening is still "out" around here. A lot of ground is very saturated.

What are my fellow northerners doing now for garden tasks? I guess I'll get some air into the wheel barrel tire while I'm waiting but would love to hear how others are making use of time/wet weather to move forward.

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dougald_gw

I noted the pips are up on the first 2 of about 80 hostas ... so much the same situation as you Mary.

I stuck a shovel in the ground and it went down maybe 16 to 18 inches before hitting frozen soil - I expect another two weeks of cold wet weather should get the frost finally out.

In the meantime, I raked the hosta garden of a massive cover of pine and spruce needles with a few leaves mixed. I hauled away at least 5 cubic yards of material. Ken, in his inimitable way, was on my case last year for raking off and removing such good compost but the layer is so thick maybe nothing would grow through it. I always leave a generous littering of needles not for their compost value but because in my experience, there are no slug problems where there are sharp needles on the surface of the soil.

Otherwise, most garden tasks and of course growing plants require warmer temps. The days are lengtheing rapidly and those long warm (not stiflingly hot) northern days will produce rapid growth letting us catch up to our more southern neighbours.

Doug

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:00AM
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mary4b(4b WI)

Here are a couple I photographed...Sum & Substance (the green eye) and Shade Fanfare. I upped the contrast, pips go to the edge of the photos. These are in my beds that get full southern sun right now, as no trees are leafed out.

Shade Fanfare:

Sum & Substance:

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:18AM
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mary4b(4b WI)

Sorry, I used to know how to imbed images, I guess I don't anymore...will try again. This is Sum & Substance. Please let me know if my photos are too large for folks, not sure how big to make them.

Doug, I planted some trees, so you are MUCH colder than I am still. However, I do plan to cut off the dessicated tips of my conifers, where the soil isn't too wet to reach them. We have a bit of sun right now, so maybe it will dry up the surface at least. Also hope to seed some lettuce, maybe tonight. There's always hosta shopping on the internet! I have more on my wishlist than I have a place for, though, so I nixed the "shopping" for the time being.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:24AM
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Acadiafun

Another rainy day here in zone 6. Sigh...............

We had an hour window yesterday of sun and warmth so I pruned the dead wood off my daughter's rose bushes. Last week I pruned the grape vines. The week before that I cut down numerous multiflora rose, poison ivy and buckthorn. Planted 5 emerald green arborvitaes along a fence line.

A couple days ago I found 7 discarded Hosta plants in the back behind a pine tree. The previous owners (or maybe a neighbor) dug them up and they look like they were thrown there last fall. Which is really funny because there were no ornamental plants on the property- just shrubs, trees and the grape vines. They are pretty with white stripes. I planted three around the light pole in the front and will find a place for the others when the rain breaks.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:48AM
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mary4b(4b WI)

Yes, acadiafun, the invasives removal is high on my list...I've got someone coming on friday to do it with me...I do not own the thicket behind my yard, but have permission to "clean it up", plant, cut down, remove, etc. It's got copious amounts of buckthorn, and grapevines which will be coming out. I wish I could remember which little saplings are the fleece trees, as those, I could transplant into my yard right now. That's a pretty tree that would look good in a hosta bed.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 10:49AM
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funnthsun z7A - Southern VA

Doug, don't feel bad about doing clean up. You are clearing the slug eggs by clearing that debris, don't forget that part!

Looking forward to many more pics of pips and emerging hostas from you "Northern folks"!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 12:30PM
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Moccasin(z9aMobileAL)

With such a lot of rain the last two days, the arrivals from Michigan, Vermont, and New Hampshire are no longer dormant. So I expect as the storms leaving here arrive in your neck of the woods, pictures of fully leafed out hosta will begin appearing from the "Northern folks." VERY pleased to help out that way, don't cha kno.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 3:57PM
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