Gardeners of AW, unite

SWest

In the garden...
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
23,129
Reaction score
12,525
Location
Where the Moon can see me.
Website
www.etsy.com
...I'm hoping they'll be okay in the damp baggie they shipped in until I can get their new homes arranged.
Keep them somewhere really cool and maybe open the baggie a bit to prevent rot? If they're pieces of roots and not crowns, they're better less wet.

Or borrow a few handfuls of soil from another pot/garden spot to lightly cover them in a small pot. Then keep them cool to keep them dormant.
 

Catriona Grace

Mind the thorns
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Messages
4,305
Reaction score
4,336
Turtles and snakes.

Just saying...

No turtles, but we have at least three wandering garter snakes that have graced our garden for a number of years now. Since they arrived, the number of field mice in garden and shop has plummeted. We have cats for the house. When our neighbor to the south moved in, I sounded her out about snakes since I didn't want her to panic and kill one or more of my trio. Turns out she is a former park ranger who thinks having a bull snake curl up on her steps is a fine thing. We do keep a cautious eye out for rattlesnakes since we live in that kind of area. One appeared at the house across the road several years ago, but so far I haven't seen any in my yard (knock on wood).

We can now see patches of bare ground her and there, but the giant snow drift (aka Moby Drift) has only subsided a few inches. No digging in the cold, hard ground for me yet.
 

mrsmig

Write. Write. Writey Write Write.
Staff member
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
10,214
Reaction score
7,910
Location
Virginia
Oh, that's great advice. Thanks, SWest!
 
  • Like
Reactions: SWest

mrsmig

Write. Write. Writey Write Write.
Staff member
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
10,214
Reaction score
7,910
Location
Virginia
It's an especially nice day today (sunny and about 62F). We've got a niece visiting, but she and the husband went off to check out a place in Maryland where she's been offered a job when she graduates college in May. Meanwhile I'm stuck at the house poised to answer any calls regarding the closing on my mother's house, which happens this afternoon in Tennessee. I used the time to do some indoor gardening chores: I hung the last of the grow lights, then prepped a big flat of seed-starting medium and sowed a dozen cells each of Genovese Basil, Orangelo Thyme, Summer Savory, French Marigold, Old-Fashioned Moss Rose Portulaca and Anytime Stocks. Some of these I'll also direct-sow outdoors when things are warmer.

Per SWest's suggestion, I buried my comfrey root cuttings in some soil and put the container under my germination station, where it's dark and cool. My plan tomorrow is to stick the niece on the subway into DC, so she can do some Smithsonian touring, and then go buy some bags of garden soil and get the roots planted.

I gave my Bread & Salt and Thorburn tomatoes a light feed of liquid fertilizer yesterday (I also gave some to the house plants, which could use a little early-spring kick), and then caught up on my garden calendars. I keep two: one for planning, and one for when I actually sow/transplant/feed/etc. If I weren't such a Luddite I'd make a spreadsheet, but I hate them and prefer to keep my records by hand. Besides, it gives me an excuse to buy a pretty garden-themed calendar every year. :greenie
 

mrsmig

Write. Write. Writey Write Write.
Staff member
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
10,214
Reaction score
7,910
Location
Virginia
I took advantage of a sunny morning and planted my comfrey roots in their containers. Out of twelve, six were already starting to sprout, so I dug in one sprouted and one unsprouted in each 3-gallon pot. I assembled three more of my little pop-up greenhouses and put two pots under each, mostly to keep the squirrels and chippies out, although it is supposed to dip below freezing for the next three nights, so a little extra protection from the elements won't do any harm.

Indoors, my peppers have sprouted, and all the tomato seedlings look good. I'm pleased all the Plum Regal F1 tomato seeds germinated (those are the expensive ones), and that I got 11 of them rather than the 10 promised in the packet. Next Wednesday is planting day for my final tomato variety - Cherokee Carbon F1, another pricey one at $4.90 for ten seeds. This is a hybrid of two heirlooms (the seller calls it a "hyloom"), Cherokee Purple and Carbon. I'm not familiar with the latter but I love the flavor of Cherokee Purples, although I haven't had a lot of luck growing them. I'm interested to see if this "hyloom" is more disease-resistant.
 

SWest

In the garden...
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
23,129
Reaction score
12,525
Location
Where the Moon can see me.
Website
www.etsy.com
Fingers and eyes crossed this is the last freeze, this weekend. My plans are to get a packet of herb/perennial greens seeds installed daily starting Tuesday...

...I'm still waiting to start Tomato and Rhubarb seeds pending being able to start hardening off the Spanish Lavender...all 11 seedlings survived well: 9 are 3-4 inch plantlets, 2 are lagging (but they did sprout late). But I think this week I can start the hopeful step of fussing with the 8 English Lav plants I ringed around the pine stump...the bed needs its mulch leveled, the plants need pruning/shaping/tidying. Once hardened to the outdoors, the 11 Spanish plantlets should make another ring around.

The Cherry Dogwood trees and the Huckleberry are surviving well being covered with trash cans during freeze/wind days...so one last 2-day cover on their plate.

I need to start hardcore planning where the next trees are going...I can mark them out with empty pots (which will help pre-kill grass), then dig watering holes: just in front/upslope and filled with mulch so that water drains down under the root balls (encouraging roots to move down, especially important for Paw Paws).
 

Friendly Frog

Snarkenfaugister
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
4,287
Reaction score
5,375
Location
Belgium
I pulled my seedling bench out of storage and have sown a couple of pots of the plants that can deal with potential frost, or that I think can deal, who knows I might be in for a nasty surprise in the future. All from seed I saved last year, which is pretty neat. I've got lynchis, wall flower, borago, sisyrinchium and iris ensata as experiment.

I did a quick clean of the pond because this weekend the amphibian migration should finally kick off big time. I can hear already a toad calling and oh wouldn't it be nice to have toadlets again. We used to have them yearly and then something changed, never found out what, and we haven't seen them since. Boo.
 

Friendly Frog

Snarkenfaugister
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
4,287
Reaction score
5,375
Location
Belgium
I broke down and got bone meal for my fancy irisses.

I want flowers damnit.

I still only had one flower out of five plants in three years, which is particularly paltry. That's enough to make you doubt yourself and I'm not going to be upstaged by a plant.

All websites I visited says they won't flower without sun, but they've been practically baking the last few heat waves and still nothing so that can't be it. I generally don't do specific feeds because it's too much work, but I want my fancy irisses blooming. And by god, they better bloom this year or... or... well, I'll grumble some more.
 

SWest

In the garden...
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
23,129
Reaction score
12,525
Location
Where the Moon can see me.
Website
www.etsy.com
In addition to nutrition and light, be sure that they are not set too deeply in their soil...rhizomes are famous for not flowering if they're treated like roots, or just accumulate too much mulch over time. It feels very wrong, but a good bit of the rhizome should be visible above ground. Pull winter cover away to expose the base of the buds to fresh air and sun.
 

Friendly Frog

Snarkenfaugister
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
4,287
Reaction score
5,375
Location
Belgium
Yes! But several rhisomes are on the surface, that's the bit that needs to be baked in the sun, as I understand it. Except for last years new shoots, but they're too young to flower already.

But still no flowers. It makes no seeeeense. *whines* So nutrition is pretty much the only thing I can think of that's denying me my flowers.
 

SWest

In the garden...
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
23,129
Reaction score
12,525
Location
Where the Moon can see me.
Website
www.etsy.com
:Hug2:

If only we could drink our garden whine! :greenie

I bought some Blue Passionflower vine cuttings a few weeks ago...they're beginning to root, and some even have flower buds already. Epic. They'll make a nice cover for the overgrown Ornamental Cherry tree (planning in a few months to install them in a giant pot so they don't sucker all over).

One last night of covering the tender newbies and we're off to the races tomorrow...! Finding bunny spore around (there are gaps under the gates), so amending my plan and will direct sowing certain things (Red Clover, Nettle, similar), and starting certain other things indoors ( Sorrels, Good King Henry, Rocket, etc.). I can mulch the gaps under the fence itself, but will need to engineer something for the gates...
 

Catriona Grace

Mind the thorns
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Messages
4,305
Reaction score
4,336
Spring starts at 3:24 p.m. MDT which means in just a couple of weeks it'll be time to start plants indoors. Twenty-eight degrees here with snow predicted for tonight. I do see lots of bare ground in the yard, but Moby Drift over the lilac hedge endures despite being somewhat diminished by several days of temperatures above freezing.

Springtime in the Rockies is not for sissy plants.
 

mrsmig

Write. Write. Writey Write Write.
Staff member
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
10,214
Reaction score
7,910
Location
Virginia
Happy Spring, everyone! :e2flowers

One more night with a forecast of temps in the mid to upper 20s (F), and then things are supposed to start warming up again here. My spring deck planter was NOT happy this morning. All the hyacinths were drooping, but as the sun has gotten warmer they're straightening back up. Looks like one crocus didn't survive. I'll pull the planter against the house tonight and put a cover over it, in hopes that this last chilly night won't stress them again.

One of the iris rhizomes I dug from my mother's yard has sprouted. They were dug up at the wrong time, sat in a box for too long, and were replanted at the wrong time, so I'm very happy that even one survived.

The lettuces and radish I planted outside last week are sprouting - hooray! Indoors, I sowed the Belstar broccoli and, a little ahead of schedule, the Cherokee Carbon F1 tomato. The herbs and flowers I sowed a few days ago are sprouting as well - all but the summer savory, which is being coy. I need to prick out and pot up some pansies, amaranth and collards seedlings, and next week I'll be planting peas outdoors, and cucumbers indoors. And I'd really like to get my flower garden cleaned out and prepped. Last year I left the job until late (I was trying to be nice to overwintering insects), but it was really hard to clean up around so many tender young sprouts. Plus I have hosta that need to be moved/divided before they get too well established. I have a Sum & Substance that's getting too much light where it is right now, and if I can get that shifted to the back of the garden, I can put stocks in their place.
 
Last edited:

Jlombardi

Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 27, 2022
Messages
388
Reaction score
677
And I'd really like to get my flower garden cleaned out and prepped. Last year I left the job until late (I was trying to be nice to overwintering insects), but it was really hard to clean up around so many tender young sprouts.
I keep looking at my beds with longing. I read somewhere it helps the soil to leave the leaves on over winter, so I did no clean-up in the fall.

In my part of the world, Spring seems to be buried under piles of snow. We have had three late-season storms. The last one is melting off as it started in the 20s and hit 40 today. But the big piles of snow are stubbornly hanging on. Sowed my broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants today. I am delighted to report my seedling warmer mat that I bought 18 years ago is still functioning. I ended up getting a cheaper grow light from a local farm supply store. I just couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger on the fancy lights from Gardener's Supply, especially since I need money for my other hobbies. Paints, ink, paper, books, and a new art/writing desk are on my wish list currently. I have too many hobbies.
 

Unimportant

No COVID yet. Still masking.
Staff member
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
20,415
Reaction score
24,320
Location
Aotearoa
I broke down and got bone meal for my fancy irisses.

I want flowers damnit.

I still only had one flower out of five plants in three years, which is particularly paltry. That's enough to make you doubt yourself and I'm not going to be upstaged by a plant.

All websites I visited says they won't flower without sun, but they've been practically baking the last few heat waves and still nothing so that can't be it. I generally don't do specific feeds because it's too much work, but I want my fancy irisses blooming. And by god, they better bloom this year or... or... well, I'll grumble some more.
Are they spaced apart, are are they planted in a cluster?
 
  • Like
Reactions: SWest

Catriona Grace

Mind the thorns
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Messages
4,305
Reaction score
4,336
Looks like one crocus didn't survive. I'll pull the planter against the house tonight and put a cover over it, in hopes that this last chilly night won't stress them again.
Crocusses here come up through and bloom in the snow. I wonder if we have different varieties.
 

mrsmig

Write. Write. Writey Write Write.
Staff member
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
10,214
Reaction score
7,910
Location
Virginia
These are Joan of Arc crocuses, which are new to me. Maybe they're late bloomers. :greenie
 

Friendly Frog

Snarkenfaugister
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
4,287
Reaction score
5,375
Location
Belgium
Are they spaced apart, are are they planted in a cluster?
Mostly I break them up, I've broken up several rhisomes where the center had died out. I have good growth, I went from three pots to seven. I just don't get flowers, even on established plants. I all planted them like Monty Don instructed: rhisomes poking out above ground, sunny spots, good drainage. Last year I have kept one clumb connnected just to see if it makes a difference. (Reader, it did not).
 
  • Hug
Reactions: mrsmig and SWest

Unimportant

No COVID yet. Still masking.
Staff member
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
20,415
Reaction score
24,320
Location
Aotearoa
Mostly I break them up, I've broken up several rhisomes where the center had died out. I have good growth, I went from three pots to seven. I just don't get flowers, even on established plants. I all planted them like Monty Don instructed: rhisomes poking out above ground, sunny spots, good drainage. Last year I have kept one clumb connnected just to see if it makes a difference. (Reader, it did not).
AFAIK Irises need space, so if they're clumped together they won't bloom. But other than that -- if you've got sun, shallow planting, good drainage, regular watering...honestly I've no idea why your irises aren't doing their thang!
 
  • Like
Reactions: SWest and mrsmig

Friendly Frog

Snarkenfaugister
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
4,287
Reaction score
5,375
Location
Belgium
Exactly! Me neither. :Shrug: Whyyyyyyyy.

Someone's been halfheartedly digging at the places I dug in the bone meal in my irisses. Probably looking for bulbs to raid. I see my ancient nemesis, the Balcony Bandit, has been reincarnated again. :rant:

I had been planning on shortening the ivy up the wall under the balcony but now I'm committed. Without the ivy all the way to my balcony planters them rodents won't have a covered and safe highway up any more. Heck I'd hang owl boxes if I had the space. Stay off my balcony! You have a whole garden below!
 
  • Like
Reactions: mrsmig and SWest

SWest

In the garden...
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
23,129
Reaction score
12,525
Location
Where the Moon can see me.
Website
www.etsy.com
One observation: when I took my Irises out of the ground and potted them to move, they stopped flowering. Even in 20-inch pots, they seem to know they are confined or in competition with other root systems (my pots get pretty junked up with weedy herbs that I don't want to loose on the world).

I plan to move them into a sunny front corner of the fence before their leaves get too much larger (it's so warm down here, they have not been dying back altogether)...

...anyway, pots. Maybe not their preference.
 

mrsmig

Write. Write. Writey Write Write.
Staff member
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
10,214
Reaction score
7,910
Location
Virginia
I poked around in my flower garden a bit today, just to see what perennials were up. Miko, our dwarf weeping Japanese cherry, is in bloom and she was absolutely abuzz with bees and other pollinators.

:banana::hooray::banana::hooray::banana::hooray::banana:
 

SWest

In the garden...
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
23,129
Reaction score
12,525
Location
Where the Moon can see me.
Website
www.etsy.com
Yes, the Ornamental Crabapple has flower buds poised to pop...and Vinnie and I found some sort of native bee banging around the back yard.

(Bigger than our resident Sweat/Ground Bees, smaller than European Honey Bee...some sort of larger Mason or Leafcutter...not any of the species that came down with us from N. Jersey...)

(Note to self: be on the lookout for Ground Bee holes, mark them, drag herb pots around for them...)
 

Friendly Frog

Snarkenfaugister
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
4,287
Reaction score
5,375
Location
Belgium
One observation: when I took my Irises out of the ground and potted them to move, they stopped flowering. Even in 20-inch pots, they seem to know they are confined or in competition with other root systems (my pots get pretty junked up with weedy herbs that I don't want to loose on the world).

I plan to move them into a sunny front corner of the fence before their leaves get too much larger (it's so warm down here, they have not been dying back altogether)...

...anyway, pots. Maybe not their preference.
I have been considering the same thing. Some plants love pots and some hate them, but I haven't come across much info on which side of the divide irisses fall. Did your potted irisses also stop producing leaves? Or was the flowering the only thing they didn't do?

In any case, the two fancy iris flowers we did get were in... potted plants so I know it can work. At least this one variety. And I keep no other plants in there with them so they have no competition. I've learned irisses don't like other plants crowding.

But that's also why it is such a tough thing to find a good spot in the garden proper to plant out irisses in full ground. Too much shade, too wet in winter, too crowded. Tried it trice, but no luck so far. First plant didn't return after winter, but then it was crowded and I don't blame it for saying 'I can't work under these circumstances, woman!' and hie off to plant heaven. Second one rotted. Third experiment is still ungoing. It got through winter, that's something.
 
  • Hug
  • Like
Reactions: SWest and mrsmig