We must have brought the sunshine with us from Florida! Our local weatherman announced that yesterday was the most sunshine Indiana has had since January 5th!!! And happily, the sunshine continues today. Lots more of the “Cream Beauty” crocuses have emerged in the Front Garden to welcome us home.
Apparently while we were away, the weather here was dismal and overcast. My thermometer registered the outside low at 23 degrees F, but inside the greenhouse the lowest was 49F, so the new heater is doing its job nicely. There wasn’t much change in the greenhouse plants…maybe they are a bit stockier but not much taller than when I left. However, the exciting news is that the very first viola has a bloom, which is always a thrill. More flats were moved into the greenhouse today, which is getting nearly full already, thus creating space in the basement for the backed-up transplanting that didn’t happen while I was off soaking in the sunshine (no magic transplanting elves did it while I slept!)
There is now room for more seeding flats, too. This round of seeding is what I call “hedging my bets” because it is basically seeding some cool weather crops in 4-packs: lettuces, spinach, swiss chard, kohlrabi, kale, fennel and arugula, just in case the ones direct seeded with the first crocus don’t germinate well (or at all!) If they do grow, these in 4-packs will be tucked into the potager’s interior border utilizing space that will gradually be filled as the perennials there expand to full size. I had planned to seed some radicchio in 4 packs, but when I went to the potager to see if the peas had emerged (they haven’t) I found an entire row of it showing new growth! That was exciting because it hasn’t happened in the past. The red color is gorgeous! Normally red is not encouraged in my gardens, but at this bleak stage, any color is warmly welcomed.
And, outdoors lots of the “Gordon” mini irises are blooming in the Blue Garden. They are getting so thick I think I must divide them after they finish blooming. And finally, there are buds on one of the hellebores! Maybe I’ll show a photo when it actually opens. In the potager the chives have finally appeared and the garlic is looking great. None of the shallots have green shoots yet, but several were laying on top of the ground, probably the work of squirrels. A quick check showed that the shallot bulbs that were still in ground are putting out great root systems so there should be top growth soon, and all the exposed ones were replanted. The spinach that wintered outdoors without any protection (shown below) actually has quite a lot of new growth and looks happier than the spinach in the poly tunnel, which without anyone here to open it during the “freak” sunshine suffered in too hot an environment.
Now, you are all caught up, as am I until the next round of seeding and the weather settles a bit more. Transplanting total is at 2205, with lots of tomatoes and marigolds nearly ready for potting. Hopefully I can begin hardening off plants soon, but there’s 4 days of rain and wind in the forecast, so not yet. Crossing our fingers it isn’t snow! Thanks for reading!