Friday, February 28, 2014

Waiting to See Soil Again

With three feet of snow still on the ground and more falling each day, it is hard to believe that spring is just around the corner.  I doubt, however, that I will be able to put anything into the ground until late April.  That's okay though.  It gives me lots of time to prepare for those crazy days of bed prep and planting.

I have been on a plant buying bender this spring.  I'm really beefing up our offerings this year and investing in shrubs and trees that will produce in a few years.  I'm taking the 'buy it all now' approach.  The more I invest now the sooner I will get to harvest from these long lived treasures.

Some woody things we are adding are David Austin roses (lots of them), ninebark, crab apples, flowering quince, flowering almond, redbud, ilex, lilac, hydrangea, viburnum, pussy willow, curly willow, dogwood, American bittersweet, honey suckle vine, calycanthus, kolkwitzia, witch hazel, spirea, forsythia, fringe tree, aronia, chokecherry, hazelnut, mock orange, osage orange and on and on.  Most of this stuff wont really produce for 2 to 4 years but it is well worth the wait.

Some perennials that we are putting in this year include delphinium, foxglove, eryngium, rudbeckia triloba, echinacea, eryngium, allium, lilies, bearded iris (400 varieties from my life long collection/obsession), peonies, yarrow, agastache, helenium, hellebore, hosta, astilbe, golden rod, armeria, clematis, columbine, grasses, campanula, salvia, dahlias, dianthus, guillardia, gaura, gypsophilia, geum, heliopsis, heuchera, kniphofia, lavender, monarda, blue poppy, oriental poppy, liatris, mints, hyssop, penstoemon, shasta daisy, lupin, lysimachia,  and much more!

For annuals we will have snapdragons, amaranth, ammi, aster, sunflowers, zinnia, basil, ornamental peppers, celosia, strawflower, atriplex, godetia, grasses, calendula, bachelor buttons, scabiosa, cerinthe, bupleurum, cosmos, cardoon, golden drumstick, larkspur, dusty miller, flowering cabbage, sweet peas, stock, iceland poppies, lisianthus, marigold, hyacinth bean, love in a puff vine, gomphocarpus, bells of ireland, nigella, orlaya, salvia, green ball dianthus, and another dozen or so goodies.

For vegetables, just work your way from A to Z.  We got em!  I have tamed my wild vegetable buying ways, however.  I realized that I don't need to 10 types of beans or summer squash.  That doesn't apply to pumpkins, tomatoes or peppers though.  I still love to buy and try them all.

It is going to be a crazy year around here but at least we wont be planning a wedding this time.  I'm scaling up flower production by nearly double this year.  Vegetable production isn't shrinking, it is just getting more streamlined since my primary goal is just to feed ourselves and our 10 member CSA.

Early seed sowing has commenced.  I started artichoke, iceland poppies and some chantilly snapdragons.  Once the perennials seeds arrive I will get them started as well.

I have a light stand in the basement, wrapped in plastic.  I ordered a little fan on Amazon today to help keep air moving in there.  I also bought a couple of those metallic emergency blankets to wrap around the frame which will help reflect light back onto the seedlings.

We still have to finish the greenhouse but it has been so cold and windy lately, in the negatives and single digits.  Ugh!  I'm hoping to get some work done this weekend and next.  It is almost time to kick that thing onm though, with cold temps like these, I will wait as long as possible before using that propane.

Stay warm friends!


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