Thursday, February 28, 2013

It is only a matter of time...................days to be precise....

It is only days away from that time of the year where in the midst of the garden, one can smell muscle rub and hyacinths.  I welcome this time of the year, particularly since the winters we have had latelyy have been a real disappointment.  It has not deterred me however.  I have spent more than enough time reading, researching and ordering my plant needs for my garden.  It has been fun, learning new varieties, thinking about the Philadelphia Flower Show and other points of interest that I will rediscover this year and whether or not I will re-visit some of my favorite garden points of interest as well.  I cannot help myself when it comes to this, I just want to do it all and garden too!!!  Alas, there are only so many hours in the day, so I will have to ONE DAY learn to temper and pace myself.  However today.....I am just not ready to do so.

Instead, I have come up with a few garden tips that spell out Spring in more ways than one.

S - Start seeds that will have long germination periods before transplanting into the garden.  Tomato's and pepper seeds, as well as some seed for perennials and annuals do better when started now indoors and then hardened when the time is right.  Read your seed packet for the proper time to transplant. 

P - Plan what additions or changes you want to make to your existing or proposed garden.  Don't forget to plan for voluptuous pots as well.

R - Reuse, Recycle and Reduce.  Reuse your mulch bags as debris bags for weeds and non compostable items from the garden.  Recycle - compost, if you don't start.  Composting is the most efficient and affordable way to enhance the soil in the garden. Also recycle pots from plant purchases by returning them to the store you bought them from, Lowes or Home Depot or Melwood.  What we don't want is for them to end up in the landfills. Reduce your carbon footprint by planning your garden center shopping events and garden field trips.  You can even consider taking a friend or a neighbor to even further reduce the carbon footprint on our earth.  After all gardening is sometimes at lot more fun when it becomes a group activity.
Sharing makes for great memories of the season, as well as of season's past.

I - Increase your knowledge and selection of Xeric plant material.  Xeric plant material is defined as drought tolerant and low maintenance, zone appropriate plant material.  I call this gardening smarter, not harder.  Ornamental grasses, wildflowers and some sub shrubs are found in this category.  The less fertilizer and water that is used by the homeowner, the safer our Chesapeake Bay will be. 

N - Notice your garden.  Don't just go out and start trimming, fertilizing and planting.  Notice where there might be wind damage.  Is that shrub/plant in the wrong place?  Did another Rhododendron die???  Did it have adequate drainage???  Was that shade plant stressed by the 100 degree partly sunny conditions of last season???  Your garden will talk to you and share with you the information that you need to have a successful growing season, but you will have to notice and hear what it is telling you.

G - Give back.  Whether you grow a row or a plant for someone who is in need or whether you grow a plant that will be a food source for our feathered friends, giving back and planning on giving back to nature is a beautiful thing......for this Beautiful Earth.

Here's to all things beautiful!!!  Enjoy the day!!

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