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Color!

April 18th, 2016

It’s really nice to see color once again outside my window. The tiny spring bulbs are popping up here and there, around the apple tree, in the lawn, in the flowerbeds. Siberian Squill were one of the first bulbs I ever planted when I started gardening. I was sitting on the front step resting after  long day of gardening yesterday and noticed how wonderful these little beauties are doing under the apple tree. I’m definitely planning on planting a lot more of these little lovelies under this tree, I’d love to have a carpet of purple under there in the spring. Scilla naturalizes, so a few bulbs will eventually become a grand army of little purple blooms. I’ve always had luck with them reproducing by both seed and bulblettes.
spring blooms
scilla
scilla_blooming
These are little lovelies that I didn’t plant, hopefully the people who purchased our previous home are enjoying the 2500 flowering bulbs I planted while I gardened there.

Surprise

April 14th, 2016

I’ve been dealing with a massive headache this week, probably due to the huge weather system that moved through. After being down for the count on Monday & Tuesday, I’m finally back in business. I have a few pumpkins that were starting to get softs spots, so I decided to feed them to the chickens. When I cut one open the seeds in side were already starting to germinate.
pumpkin seed sprouting in pumpkin
What a fantastic thing to see. I love how plants are always trying to reproduce against all odds, it’s quite an amazing thing we get to experience over and over again as gardeners.

Have you noticed anything amazing recently?

Keeping Things Organized

April 11th, 2016

One thing I like to do when I seed flats is to alternate colors of plants. I find that having red lettuces in between green lettuces helps reduce confusion if plants labels ever get mixed up to fall out of the tray.
seeding herbs
I will also plant different varieties of plants in the same tray, as long as they have similar germination times and preferred conditions it works very well to keep things organized. These are things I’ve found that work for me and help me keep things organized.

Do you have any tips that help you keep things organized when starting seeds?

Seeds, Seeds, Seeds

April 6th, 2016

This past weekend I started loads more seeds, I think the total number of soil blocks I made and seeded was 420. Amazingly, I still didn’t get all the ones seeded I wanted to. Once the weather warms up and I get my onions planted outside, I’ll have room under the grow lights for the rest.
starting seeds 2
Typically, I don’t start quite the many, but then I don’t usually grow a ton of flowers from seed. This year I have almost just as many flowers as I do vegetable. Now that I have space for them in the garden, I’m happy to have a few flowers to cut for bouquets. I especially love to have flowers to take when I’m invited to dinner.

Are you adding anything interesting to your garden this year?

Forcing Spring

April 4th, 2016

This is the first year that I’ve been really good about continually cutting branching of different trees/shrubs to force blooms and leaves. So far, I’ve been able to have flowers in the house continually for a month and will continue to have them for at least another month. I cut branches of: lilac, apple, flowering almond, pussy willow, birch, wild cherry, red twig dogwood, and of course forsythia.
forced branches 1
forced branches 3
forced branches 4
forced branches
They don’t just have to be flowering branches either, the stems with leaves are just as wonderful when there’s no green in the garden. I’m also enjoying the process of learning how long each variety takes to bloom. Forsythias are definitely the quickest, so far lilacs are taking the longest. Forcing branches is definitely something I’ll be doing a lot of every single winter now that I have a wide selection of options.

Do you force anything for winter interest? What’s your favorite?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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