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Sweet Peas and the wind

Good morning! It’s been a productive week I think. Well, I’m posting a blog, so that’s progress. One of my many excuses for not posting is the fact that I often don’t have a current photo to tie in to what I am writing about. Lame, I know, but true. So the picture here is just eye candy – and not even great eye candy. But it’s done and now I can move along.

Last week in my Master Gardener class I learned that the shrubs I planted in the fall flower on new growth and that this was the perfect time to prune them. I was really concerned about two specific bushes – one is a beauty berry. While I was very deliberate in making the planting whole wide and filled with compost, it just never really looked good last fall. I was a bit concerned that I killed it. But when I started to prune this bush I could tell that the bush was still alive. Hurrah! The second plant I was concerned about was a forsythia bush. Again, I was careful about the size of the hole and I added a lot of compost. It just never looked well. But yesterday, when I was checking it, it has new buds and looks like its neighbor. I swear, the more I learn, the more I am shocked I have had success with anything – but on the flip side of the coin, my logical brain says that people have been planting and growing things with far less “book reading” and have done just fine. There are so many things I have read about that are still just concepts to me and until I have a season of actual dirt under my nails, I am likely to doubt everything I do.

I have also been seed starting and transplanting. I’ve moved the sweet peas in their peat pots outdoors so they can get used to the wind here. They were in the garage so they have had a taste of the cold but not the wind. Of all the things you think you can anticipate when farming or gardening, weather is not really one of them. Sure, I can read about the average first and last frost date, the annual rain or snow fall, but those are just averages. The wind and water issues that I am going to have to deal with are two issues that I seriously did not give enough consideration to when I purchased this house. The lot has been scraped of top soil and there are no wind breaks. I’m not giving up by any means – this will just be a challenge that will result in some trial and error. By dumb luck and the determination to improve the soil, I have ended up with raised beds. If I have any tulips bloom this spring, it will be because they were raised enough so as not to sit in water all winter.

On Mondays I take my dog to my mom’s since I have my master gardener class that evening. She lets me bring her small jobs which are a huge help to me. Last week, I took her all of my seeds and asked her to date order them by what needs to be in the ground or started indoors from soonest to latest. Those seeds are all on the calendar now and it’s easy to see what task I need to do on the weekend. I also reached out to my friend Rebecca. It’s time for a logo or business card. Rebecca and I were in several classes together in design school and her work is amazing. With both of these tasks, I am glad to have asked for help. Sometimes, I am in my own head so much that I can’t make any more decisions. I just want someone else to tell me what to do.I don’t know if that makes sense or not. I guess what I am trying to say is that with all the second guessing I do, having another set of eyes on something is great.

To date, the seeds I have started include Sweet Peas, Lisianthus (holy cow, these are slow growers. I don’t know that I will have any success at all with these), Echinacea (purple coneflower), Basil, Rudbekia (black eyed Susan), Scabiosa (pincushion flower), Dianthus, Campanula, Eryngium, Eucalyptus and Knautia. Some of the seeds are likely started too early, but they were purchased a year ago so I had no idea if they were still viable. I’ve assembled a small greenhouse that’s ready to use one I run out of room under my grow lights and the worms are continuing to thrive.

Until next time…

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