Firsts of the Season (please add yours!)

annikasmommykateMarch 19, 2012

Hello all!

I had such a marvelous day in the garden, I feel like I just need to share. I had a lot of firsts of the season today. Let's hear about your firsts :-)

I killed my first grub!

I killed my first slug!

I planted my first transplants from my mothers garden! (hardy geranium)

I started a new garden today!

I gave myself my first blister of the season!

My baby peony sent up it's first shoot today I have soil under my fingernails, my hands are sore, and I smell like dirt.

Spring is here and it was a good day :-)

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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

You did had a great day! I forgot today was the first day of spring.

Had my first sore muscles today. :-)

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 7:03PM
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girlcat36(6 ish)

Today:
I saw my first earthworms.
I heard first spring peepers of the season.
My first sugar snap peas sprouted up.

We are having such a beautiful week!

Teresa

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 7:46PM
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defrost49

March 20:
Heard the first peepers (but not at our house)
Saw a cardinal in our yard which is very unusual
There were two very bright stars in the sky but DH said they were planets.
Noticed that poplars are popping, little catkins hanging off branches
My husband is hauling loam for a new garden spot. He said the middle of our loam pile is still frozen.
-on Sunday, saw a couple of johnny jump-ups in the vegetable garden.
- raked off the herb garden. Chives are looking good. Sorrel is coming up. Time to divide the thyme.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 6:29AM
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annikasmommykate

Great firsts, all!

I found two adult earthworms under my daughter's (plastic) sandbox when I tipped it out this morning...And several baby worms!! Moved them all into their new home in one of my gardens!

Raked out my mom's "rescue" area where she puts overflow from things that people want her to thin/remove. Scored some phlox, daylilies, autumn joy sedum and coral bells (I've been wanting some coral bells!!) :-)

And most wonderfully, planted some gazania seeds with my three and a half year old daughter this morning. I dug her little furrows, she dropped in the seeds, covered them, and put in the markers I'd made for her...While she was planting, she stopped, looked at me and said, "Mommy, thank you for teaching me how to plant." :melt:

@ defrost - I love your husband!!! I need some loam, but I'm on my own on that one LOL It's great that you can share in the experience Now, off to plant my new finds!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 1:42PM
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fixerupperinnh(5)

I too have Johnny Jump Ups appearing in my yard. My son loved them.
I got my first winter sown sprouts.
I saw my first white butterfly.
And I had my first visit by a neighbor's escape artist dog...and he was hanging out in my front flower bed.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 3:15PM
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gardenweed_z6a

Saw my first robin splashing around in my birdbath
Discovered a dozen buds on my 'Regal Ruffles' hellebore and three blooms opened at the same time
Found new growth on 2010/11 winter sown perennials: hollyhock, globeflower, columbine, lady's mantle, cardinal flower, delphinium, salvia, lupine, beardtongue, geum, blanket flower...the list just goes on.
First WS apple tree sprout is up an inch in its milk jug
Pulled my first weeds
Found new growth on my clematis
First leaves are opening on hydrangea and mock orange

The windows are open, the ceiling fans are spinning and I'm comfortable in just a t-shirt & shorts...on March 21!!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 4:55PM
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annikasmommykate

@ fixerupper - a *butterfly*!! :-o I am super jealous! Not so much about the escapee though...Hope he didn't do too much damage :-/

@ gardenweed - I was psyched to see my hydrangea leafing out...I got them at Lowes after Easter last year (for $3.24 each!!) and they got scalded when I put them out in the garden...I moved them and they limped along for the rest of the season, but I wasn't sure if they were even meant for our zone...They live!!

I haven't been able to open all of my windows yet though...They still have plastic film covering them...I'm not brave enough to take it all off yet. If it's still like this next week (please, please, please let this be legit) I'll have to get on that.

Planted all of my salvages this afternoon.
My friends daughter came over and planted seeds w.us; stocks, cosmos, echinecea, pansy and viola.
Wore a flower in my hair for the first time of the season; a yellow crocus.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 6:21PM
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diggingthedirt

First injury of the season - I'm sure it won't be the last.

I have a couple of overgrown old New Dawn roses on a gigantic trellis (8 feet tall, and about 14 feet wide), and it collapsed this winter in a storm. It was time for severe pruning, anyway, so I spent several hours cutting the big old canes and tying up the keepers. I've got tendon issues - trigger finger, I think it's called - and my right hand just caved after about 3 hours.

The only thing that helps the pain is holding an icy cold glass of wine in that hand. Really, it's just for therapeutic purposes. Sitting by the fire pit, watching the old canes burn, and drinking a lovely cold Vinho Verde - first bliss of spring.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 8:34PM
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fixerupperinnh(5)

anikasmommykate- Luckily he didn't do much damage. He's a good dog and he's up there in years. So he is a lot calmer than a lot of dogs I know, including my own.

digginginthedirt - We get to start the Garden Boo Boo Club. Mine happened last week ( somewhere around then) when I was cleaning up debris. And then I had to get a tetnus shot. I hope your hand feels better. I have a repetitive motion injury, so I know what it's like when your hand doesn't want to do what you want to.

And I get to report my first allergy attack of the season followed by the traditional head fogging (aka antihistimines).

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 9:45PM
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gardenweed_z6a

annikasmommykate - that's a fab price for hydrangeas!! How many did you buy/plant? I have to say I beat your price though--mine were all free. Church ladies sent my neighbor home with a dozen shallow pots wrapped in foil florist's paper and he told me to take as many as I wanted. I took five even though I wasn't sure they were "hardy" hydrangeas but 5 years later, they're going strong.

Have you heard about the frost saint's days? According to the Farmers Almanac, there is always a frost on May 11, 12, or 13. A tip for protecting your hydrangeas: cover them with sheer curtains held on with clothespins.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 10:11AM
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annikasmommykate

I hadn't heard about the frost saint's days. That's pretty interesting stuff...I'll have to remember that. Thanks for the tip! How do we find out if there's a frost warning in our area?

I bought the only two that they had. I don't even know what color/type they are because they didn't have that information on them anymore and they weren't in bloom by the time I bought them LOL

I got some other hydrangeas from my mom's house. She said they're not very hardy in our area. I guess they had never bloomed for her up until last year when they finally bloomed. Something about them blooming on the previous years wood, but the frost kept eating the fresh wood. IDK, but I took some roots, planted them, cut them back to about a foot above ground, and they are sending up these little tiny shoots, but nothing like they other hydrangea...I hope they are okay...I wasn't very nice to them (sort of ripped them out of the ground, but there was a huuuuge clump and it was really hard to get at them.

I need a neighbor like yours! That is so great that he's so generous (and neighborly!)...My neighbor, not so much. I always thought he was really great, but yesterday he stopped at the end of my driveway to have a chat, let his dog poop on my lawn (right in front of one of my new baby beds) and just left it there!! This was right in front of me while we were talking! Now I know whose dog has been pooping all down the road, but I mean what's up with that?! I was so shocked that I didn't even say anything. I thought for sure he would come back and pick it up, but when I went out for a walk with my daughter this morning, it was still there!

Sorry to get so OT, but...How about this...

Picked up my first batch of my neighbor's dog's poop off of my lawn.

That's better LOL

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 3:16PM
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runktrun(z7a MA)

Poison Ivy between my fingers...scratch....scratch.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 3:59PM
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terrene(5b MA)

First mosquitoes the past 2 evenings at dusk. I've been gardening late and trying to finish up chores and they were devouring me!

First daffodil bloomed yesterday.

First time observing 2 squirrels copulating - 2 red squirrels as a matter of fact, and the male was an interloper because I watched the resident male come barging into the middle of this romantic union and chase the competitor away!

First Cabbage white butterfly 2 days ago.

First greenish-yellow butterfly today - could be a Sulfur.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 5:20PM
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gardenweed_z6a

annikasmommykate - either Accu-Weather or Yahoo! weather will post frost alerts. I check them when I think there might be a frost. I got the frost saints' day tip from the Farmers Almanac, bought some super-cheap sheer curtains at the dollar store, grabbed a handful of clothespins and (naturally) the temp was well up in the 40's last May 11, 12 & 13. Still I'm prepared to cover my own & another neighbor's hydrangeas in years when it drops down into the danger zone.

The church hydrangeas are mostly blue but I was thrilled when one that had yet to bloom produced a purple flower last year. Ain't it puurrty?

I could be wrong (and I'm sure someone here will correct me if I am) but I read that hydrangeas set their flower buds in the fall which is why you shouldn't prune them.

My neighbors are all* terrific, even the ones with dogs. Everyone* looks after each other and helps them when they need it. The guy next door to me mows my HUGE lawn every summer whenever he mows his own. I buy gas for the mower and plant his wife's south foundation bed with care-free winter sown perennials. We rake/blow their leaves in the fall when we do mine.

* Ok, there is one jerk but the rest of us ignore him as much as possible

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 6:53PM
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fixerupperinnh(5)

I got my first case of Garden Heebie Jeebies today.

I went to start shoveling some of the compost out of my pile and discovered that I had numerous bumble bees hibernating in there. Yes, I know bees are our friends, but they're definitely the friends I don't want to get on the bad side of. When I realized how many there were, I stopped. But I do hope they wake up soon and fly away to do their thing because I really need that compost.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 8:04PM
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WendyB(5A/MA)

First daffodil opened today here also. right next to the crocus's still in bloom. I just planted the crocuses last fall. I didn't think they are supposed to bloom with the daffs, are they?

First tick on ME a week ago. None on my dog.

First plant envy of that gorgeous Hydrangea bloom.

First time my butterfly bushes did not die to the ground.

I just can't get over this crazy weather. I hope all the foliage, flowers and flower buds don't get wrecked when we have hard freezes next week. I know plants can take a roller coaster spring in stride, but this is sooo early and soooo extreme, I'm a bit worried at what will happen as the season goes on. It's been in the 80's here ALL week.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 9:52PM
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defrost49

oh no, first dog poop - ick! Glad we don't have that problem.

March 21: saw forsythia blooming and lots of daffodils opening. Mine are just in the bud stage but growing quickly.
March 22: Lovage has popped up. It wasn't there on the weekend. My husband dug parsnips for our DIL. I'm glad I planted a smaller bed. They are sprouting leaves quickly. If I cleaned up more of the herb bed, there may be some tarragon coming up. First leaves just starting to come out on a weeping willow. Our maples are getting redder and redder. The spring foliage is MY favorite, not the fall. Also first ad for free manure in the NH Farmers Bulletin.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 6:49AM
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annikasmommykate

Hard FROST!!! :-o
Say it isn't so!
I will seriously cry...
I have white echinecea and some hollyhocks that I grew from seed coming up...I started them last year, so I am dying to see them bloom...If they die I will be devastated...

Can I cover my plants with regular sheets? I already have tons...My mom did that when I lived at home, but IDK if it was hard frosts.

Will the lilacs be okay?

Oh dear...

@ Wendy - EEK!! :shudder: Ticks :shudder:

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 8:12AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Sometimes I put an upside down pot over a special plant when a frost is forecast. Or a bunch of pots. (g)
I was just worrying over the garden when I looked at the forecast. Fingers crossed it won't be as cold as they predict.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 12:07PM
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fixerupperinnh(5)

I saw honeybees today! Three of them in my front bed. They seemed to hang around the grape hyacinths which are not fully open yet. They ignored pretty much everything else.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 4:24PM
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gardenweed_z6a

There's a short, very steep hill behind my garage that's carpeted with vinca/periwinkle and the incredibly blue flowers started opening yesterday.

Daffodils are blooming as are forsythia. My neighbor and I took my truck, drove to the garden center and brought home 22 bags of cedar bark mulch--first mulch of the season. She bought 12 bags; I bought 10 (still had 6 left over from last year).

We both bought our first pansies of the season at the garden center but with so many bags of mulch in the truck bed, we had to stuff the pansies on the passenger-side floor of the truck cab. Let's just say the drive home was a bit cramped but oh, those gay pansy blooms made the squeeze worth it.

Yeah, the ticks are going to be horrendous this year. Too bad a late frost won't kill them!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 5:44PM
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annikasmommykate

Hey guys...Quit dropping the F-bomb! LOL

JK, but seriously...I will cry...

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 8:07PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Annika, without a doubt we will have more frosts and freezes. Our last frost here in metro-west Boston is usually around late April/early May, but occasionally it can be late May. It is shocking to me how early plants are breaking dormancy this year. I fear there could be serious damage this year to the fruits crops, etc. It's just weird.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 3:08PM
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WendyB(5A/MA)

The first time in 20 years this Pieris has bloomed from top to bottom. Usually just a couple of blooms under the snow line survive.

Good thing I grow it mostly for the foliage. The blooms are not especially attractive. I've seen some Pierises driving around with beautiful pink blooms. I want one of those.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 10:50PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

First turning/reshuffling/reorganization of the compost pile and bin. After I took most of the good stuff out last fall I just left left the remainder to molder over the winter and the pile frankly looked awful. It's visible from the road and there was no snow to hide it this winter. It's now respectable (as compost piles go) and should be working again since it's been consolidated.

I couldn't stand to look at the compost pile any longer a week or so ago, but then the first attack by the wretched utility tree pruning crew happened, and they raced down the road with saws blazing so I had to do damage control. They said the specs had changed because of the damage done by falling trees after Hurricane Irene, so they were chopping everything that could possibly fall near or on a power line. In some hypothetical storm.

On the good side, I saw the first dicentra sprouts yesterday.

Claire

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 3:17PM
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annikasmommykate

**First trip to the wholesalers**

YIPPEE!!!

Got lots of goodies!
Putting them in the barn for the night and hoping for nicer weather tomorrow so I can get them planted!

I got two flats :joy:

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 2:43PM
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gardenweed_z6a

First...
... tulip blooming
... winter sown Japanese anemone sprouts
... flower buds on Virginia bluebells
... winter sown seedlings potted up (hardy geranium)
... winter sown CA poppies in re-purposed, re-recycled milk jug
... hosta to emerge 'Middle Ridge'
... containers planted with colorful pansies

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 4:28PM
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defrost49

The ground is finally dry enough for some tractor help. Took away two buckets of nasty creeping charlie dug out of vegetable beds.
Was planning to plant first carrots/beets/chard but my husband dug too far into the manure pile and it's not composted enough. Should have waited because later in the day he went after our annual load of well composted horse manure (owner mixes in kitchen scraps and bedding).
Saw first dandelions, a clump in front of the garage.
Bought first pansies, the local greenhouse is open!
Gave seedlings their first drink of fish emulsion.

Already cut back one clump of chives that was budding up. Recently had my first day lily (leaves) kimchee at a pot luck for gardeners.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 7:27AM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Today I saw the season's first tom turkey strutting his stuff for a nearby hen in the field by the house.

Defrost -

Please explain this: "Recently had my first day lily (leaves) kimchee at a pot luck for gardeners." I don't know what this means.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 10:31AM
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gardenweed_z6a

I've heard kimchee described as Korean sauerkraut.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 2:18PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Kimchee is a pickled, spicy and aged cabbage from Korea. The old method of making it was to bury large clay jars of this concoction in the earth and leave it there for a long time. My daughter, who is Korean, loves the stuff. I can't eat it without cutting it with white rice and drinking large quantities of water.

Steve

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 8:01PM
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defrost49

nhbabs, I didn't know day lily leaves were edible but the person who made the kimchee said the entire plant is edible (I knew the flowers are). She also brought homemade sauerkraut to the potluck. The kimchee wasn't as spicy as traditional Korean kimchee because she didn't have the right red pepper. I think both sauerkraut and kimchee are in a category of fermented pickling process. Calling kimchee Korean sauerkraut is probably right on.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 6:30AM
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poppa(z5 MA)

Killed my first cutworms of the season... they were attacking garlic plants.

Picked my first radishes (cheating! Sowed in greenhouse in feb)

Noticed today that the first bud on my paw paw had withered from the freeze we had (Last week?). Trees are 3 years old and i only had the one flower bud. Looks like the leaves may have been killed as well. Too small to tell for sure.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 10:22PM
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silvergirl426_gw

First May fly bite of the year -- just a couple weeks early!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 1:22AM
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defrost49

finally heard spring peepers at our house
watered the vegetable garden for the first time - newly seeded rows, over-wintered spinach and garlic.
Black flies were out but not too bad.
First seed stalks on sorrel.
Spread half our annual load of composted horse manure.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 6:12AM
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annikasmommykate

I went out to look at the garden this morning and found my first scabiosa bloom! Beautiful

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 11:38AM
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rockman50(6b SEMASS)

I found some small Asian Winter Moth caterpillars hanging from my fig and my crape myrtle yesterday. I killed them. With no remorse.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 11:11AM
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