"...a garden is like life:

something is always doing well, something is struggling, something is being born anew, and something is dying."

Edith Reed

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Last day of January

Look at that weather report! Forecasting 60 as a high today. My daffodils are already poking way up - I hope my crocuses don't start blooming! And then we are supposed to have really cold weather in a few weeks. But it is starting to seem like we didn't even have a winter. So, did you get your January tasks done? If not, just keep working on them and add the February list now too: * Prune trees and shrubs, both ornamentals and fruit * Replace mulch as needed * Check outside plants and trees for animal damage * Cut some branches for forcing indoors * Rejuvenate holly bushes with a hard pruning * Check evergreens for sign of desiccation * Start seeds of cool season vegetables and flowers Two recommendations today: "Month by Month Gardening in Ohio" by Denny McKeown and Tom Smith
And a great little chart that I use all year long. This is so well laid out and inexpensive also: Clyde's Garden Planner
Okay, enough computer for today, I'm heading outside to enjoy this weather!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What seeds can I start now?

Okay, here is a list of things you can be starting by seed: Parsley,thyme,oregano,chive,basil,dill, cilantro,leek,Spanish onion,celery,kale,lettuce,cauliflower,broccoli & cabbage. You don't need a fancy set-up to do this...I use a large table in the basement covered with an electric blanket, topped with a big plastic shower curtain liner. Above the table John has hung those shop lights with fluorescent bulbs in them (we have replaced one bulb with a grow light, which you can buy at Lowes or Home Depot) My table is big enough to need three of these lights. John has them hooked to chains with S-hooks so we can raise and lower them. You want to keep the light pretty close to the plants to prevent them from getting leggy. I'm going to post some important sites to look at this month in a separate area. One of my favorite books is "Week by Week Vegetable Gardener's Handbook"
You can get a copy on amazon for about $10 and it is well worth the money. This book will take you week by week through the whole year, letting you know what you should be doing based on your first frost-free date. My date here in West Chester is: April 25th. Tomorrow I'll tell you about my Aerogarden and how to start your seeds with one.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 28, 2012 and I was in the garden today! Since my strawberries grew well into fall under plastic - I didn't have time to clean up the bed and cover with straw...so today was sunny and 37 degrees out. I layered up and enjoyed working in my garden. Ranger (my tuxedo cat) wanted to come out and help! He particularly loves strawberries and I think he was hoping to find a few...I think he was as happy as I was to be out there again! Later in the day I clipped some leaves from my hanging geranium plant and put them in vermiculite to root. Here's a picture of how they look
Hopefully they will all produce roots as this was a hanging geranium that was beautiful all summer long! Okay, time to get back to my seen inventory. I hope to use this blog as a garden journal as well as a place to share some of the things that I have learned about gardening.