Growing Green, Seed Starting

Spring Things

It has begun.  🙂  The slightly warmer air temperatures combined with a taste of sunshine is starting to work and is bringing the plants slowly out of their dark winter beds.  The daffodils are peeking up through the pine needle mulch and some unknown flowers are also pushing up.

new flowers
New flowers struggling up through the leaf and pine-needle mulch

Last weekend we put up the deer fence we had taken down last fall and got my herbs protected.  Even though I had netting over the herb bed, the deer were trying to browse.  I found several stems ripped off my sage plant and unceremoniously spat out on the other side of the lane.  They must not have like them.  Rotten deer.  So we re-installed the fencing and removed the net which covered them up and now we can see what made it through the Montana winter.  The rosemary, sadly, has died.  But the chives are up and perky.  The orange thyme, the sage, the greek oregano, the regular thyme, the lavender, and the regular oregano are all looking pretty good.

chives and orange thyme
Chives and Orange Thyme



Oh!  And a little pot of rhubarb that I thought had died last year actually came back this year!  Amazing!  My husband hates rhubarb.  He is not as happy about this as I am.

The rhubarb survived!

We took a partial spring break from school this week and started planting early seeds.  On the 31 of March I got in snap peas, snow peas, radishes, beets, turnips, green onions, carrots, spinach, arugula, red leaf lettuce, and several herbs and early flowers in pots on the deck.  These are all things that I am not too worried about losing to a frost.  We are still getting frosts for sure.  Only cold weather crops right now.  Though I am risking it with some more sun-loving herbs on the deck in pots.  I will try and keep them under my mini greenhouse.

early spring planting
Flowers and herbs planted in a tray

This year one of my sons wants his own garden.  I offered him some planting space in mine, but he kind of wanted his own space, so we are building him a garden cover and letting him go for it in the space I tried to have an “out of fence” garden last year.  Last year I put things there that deer were not supposed to eat.  Apparently, they didn’t get the memo.  We lost all the onions and garlic that I planted.  We added some compost last fall, and the bulbs of the garlic survived without their green tops.  They are all coming back up and poking through the dirt.  We need to get them covered quickly so they don’t get munched down like last time.

Garlic shoots
Garlic poking through the mulch

The inside growing is not working as well this year.  Normally, I have just picked up a bag of potting soil at Costco when it comes in.  This year, I tried to be more organic.  Costco usually sells Miracle Gro brand, which is affiliated with Monsanto, so I decided to try something different.  I purchased some potting soil from a local nursery.  Even though the mix is supposed to be coir and organic amendments (a soil-less mixture), I am already seeing problems.  I may be buying my warm season plants this year at the local plant sale instead of growing them.

I think I saw a fungus gnat.  Ick.  And some signs of dampening off in a couple of the cells.  I sprinkled them well with cinnamon and will probably do a hydrogen treatment and see if it helps.  It is always hard to try new things when you only get one shot a year, but I think it is worth it.  Next year I will either use a regular grow medium or go back to my old standard which has done well for years for me, despite it’s origins.  This organic brand hasn’t done well.  Lucky for me, the plant starts you can buy here are soooooo much cheaper and bigger than the ones I used to buy occasionally in Idaho.  So it won’t be too awfully painful.

Oh, and my wonderful hubby bought me some beautiful flowers because I have been ill to brighten up our dining table.  Because he is the best.  The End.

Red and white roses
Beautiful roses!

Happy gardening all.  Get out there and stick some seeds in the ground!

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