Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Transplanting Perennials and Growing Friendships

Spring brings us so many lovely gifts, like blossoms and perennial starts!  My front flower bed is a friendship garden. Every flower there is the result of friends giving me starts from their perennial flower gardens. The bees can't get enough of the purple salvia and bachelor buttons given to me from my sweet friend, Glenda. 

I am a huge fan of the delicate sprays of blue flax plants she gave me that loose their vibrant petals each afternoon and wake up the next morning with full bouquets of tiny blue posies.

It looks like a wedding when they are all in bloom!  I can't forget the white yarrow that has soft fern-like leaves and is known for its medicinal qualities in fighting colds and flues.
Glenda gave me starts of all those, for which I've been enjoying for a few years now.  Another friend, Becky, gave me a few starts of one of my favorite desert plants, chicks-n-hens succulents.

However, I think I need to move them because they are getting too much water where they are at.

Friends have shared their perennial starts with me and now it's my turn to share my perennial starts with others.  Spring is the best time for transplanting young perennial starts. This morning, I invited one of my friends over to get some flower starts for her new house.  She happily agreed and we got to work digging!  We lined an old nursery tray with newspaper, then filled it with some starts. 
We gently dug around the young plants and lifted them onto sheets of newspaper. 
Then we put them in plastic grocery bags so she could transport them home.

"Friends are the flowers in the garden of life."

How To Transplant New Perennial Starts

  1. If you can help it, pick an overcast day to transplant. It seems to help with shock. You can also choose morning or evening hours to work in.
  2. Prepare a place for the transplants. That may mean you need to weed, remove rocks, or amend the soil. You want the young starts to spend as little time as possible out of the ground. 
  3. The night before, soak the soil all around the starts. This will help the soil stick together around the delicate roots when you go to dig them up. 
  4. Choose small, young plants to transplant. You may be tempted to dig up the biggest starts, but  it's the young plants that do better when transplanted. 
  5. Slip a small shovel down around all sides of the start you are moving, allowing plenty of soil is abaround the roots.  I like to use a small shovel (the blade end out the size of a hand trowel blade) because it fits easily between existing plants.
  6. Using the shovel or trowel for support, lift the start out of the ground and place on a few sheets of newspaper to move to the next location.  If you are transporting your new plants a distance, consider bringing a box lined with newspapers for easier transport.  Or, do what we did today and put the starts directly on a sheet of newspaper and put it in a plastic grocery bag. 
  7. After you plant your starts into their new spots, water them in well and give them a few days to perk up. Fill in any holes left from the transplanting process.
Enjoy your garden!

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Burning Weeds!

A few weeks back we all pulled up a ton of weeds. We put them in piles. So, a few days ago we set them on fire and let them burn up. Our yard looks so much better now, all that's left of the weeds is a pile of ash. My mom and dad had fun burning the weeds and I'd like to show you:
Posted by: Tame Dame #2

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A "Lucky" Experiment- Planting Peas

I used to visit with a lovely, elderly neighbor in my old neighborhood named Carol. She and her husband lived across from the church, and in the late spring time, just as things were warming up, bees were buzzing, and you could walk to church without a coat on, you could see Carol's garden in perfect little rows with green veggies ready for the picking. It perplexed me because where we live (zone 5), we are advised not to plant anything before Memorial Day, for fear of frost or snow!  

So, one day I asked Carol what her advice was. She told me that she and her husband always planted their peas on St. Patrick's Day, and other cold-weather crops. She said it was good luck.  She let me know that she has lived in this area all her life, and they have never had a problem planting in March. I trusted her. And I have always wanted to try planting on St. Patrick's Day.  Her garden certainly benefited from the good luck!

In years past, the weather wasn't nice enough, and honestly, I was not ready mid-March. But this year is different. We have had a uniquely warm winter, and it was a gorgeous 70 something degrees outside. So, the tame dame trio got to work on a garden bed and planted our peas on St. Patrick's Day! We sure hope the old saying runs true and that our garden will have good luck because of it. We also put down a few other cold-weather crops just as an experiment. Since I have plenty of seeds, I think that if anything dies off, we will just replant.  It's early enough, after all!  

Here is a list of what we planted (A bit of everything!):
  • Beets
  • Swiss Chard
  • Paris Island Cos. Romaine Lettuce
  • Buttercrunch Lettuce
  • Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach
  • Champion Radish
  • Parsley
  • Chives
  • Black seeded Simposon Lettuce
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Corenta Hybrid Spinach
  • Watermelon Radish
  • Lincoln Peas
  • and Nantes Carrots!
We'll let you know in the coming weeks what happens with our lucky experiment.

When we were cleaning out the garden bed, we had a few surprises. An old decrepit radish (a.k.a. something to dissect for a science project), a little orange carrot... well as blades of garlic breaking ground (we thought it all died and failed us last year)!
Here's to good luck!  Hoping to see sprouts in the coming weeks!

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Garden Sprouts in March!

(Written by 7-year-old Tame Dame #3)
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Garden sprouts in March already!  😯ya! Awesome!  So, we already have a few dried up carrots and radishes. And green strawberry plants and some sprouts of garlic! And sprouts of flower bulbs, 6 of them!
Ok, so the picture up above these words are the straw berries. The one below these words are the garlic. Ta da! The one before the straw berries are the dried up radish and carrot. The one at the tippety top is the flower bulb sprouting.