After a long tough winter we are all hoping that spring will arrive soon. There is something about spring that makes us feel alive. Is it the bulbs poking their stems up through the soil? Is it the chickadees hopping from branch to branch outside my window? As I look outside I can see all the work that needs to be done. Leaves that are covering the spring bulbs should be moved and composted. Like many gardeners I am eagerly searching the garden for signs of spring. Spring is a season of rebirth in the garden.
Crocuses are up today and showing their colours. The yellow crocuses seem to be the first on the block. I have yet to clean up the garden so I must get to it after I return from Seattle. Its hard to know where to start but my motto is one section at a time. Leaving a few twigs on the ground allows the birds to grab nesting material.
The Hellebores should be open in the next couple of weeks. Hellebores provide winter colour for coastal gardens from January to May.
Snowdrops grace the back of the kitchen garden and in the front shade garden. Snowdrops or Galanthus are one of the first of the spring bulbs to appear in most gardens.
In the kitchen garden the lettuce seeds have germinated under the plastic hoop house. I have more lettuce seedlings to set out next weekend from my winter sowing project.
Are you worried about your garden after this prolonged snow cover? I know my rosemary has taken a beating as it has dried out brown branches that will need to be trimmed back. Its still too early to tell how much damage we will have in the garden. Its best to give your plants time to recover. With trees and shrubs you can scrape a bit of bark away with a knife to see if its green underneath. If you see white, cut back on the branch until you see green pith. The heathers pictured above are the toughest plants in my garden. Now that the snow is gone they are still in bloom and show no signs of damage.
In the greenhouse it’s time to plan what you will be starting for the spring vegetable garden. Think cool season crops like peas, kale, spinach and pac choi to go out next month. They can also be direct sown in early to mid March. By the first week of March the tomato seeds will be planted so I will have 400 plants for my plant sale in May.
I am also propagating sweet potato slips right now so I can have plants available for the kitchen garden. I love sweet potatoes! The tubers can be rooted in water in the home and then when the plant produces new growth you can take cuttings. Okay, maybe this isn’t for first time gardeners. Thats why I am trying to get lots of plants going for my plant sale. The new plants will go in the ground at the end of May in an area of my garden that has a warm spot.