Sow rewarding!

Finally, daffodils!

The BIG DAY finally arrived! That day which I’ve anticipated all winter long, planned for, wished for, and nervously waited for finally came. There were daffodils blooming in the Front Garden this morning, as I and my tea cup took our morning walkabout! I shouted with joy, spilling my tea in the process as I stooped to view their cheery flowers more closely. What a lovely, lovely sight. And what a beautiful day it was! Temperatures were in the upper 60’s all day, with lovely sunshine and barely a breeze. The soil was perfect for planting, so I hurried to the potager, “Direct Seeding” box in hand, along with the notebook containing the planting maps that have been drawn and redrawn over the winter.

Doesn’t look impressive, but just you wait!

First up were the shallots. There were enough good ones left to plant 9 rows, so that’s 54 linear feet of deliciousness. I’ve learned that planting the single bulbs, even if they are small generally results in more and larger shallots than planting the doubles and triples. So in they went, with only a couple dozen doubles and triples remaining to use in the kitchen. Hopefully this year’s crop will be better than last year’s, some of which rotted in the excessive rains. Then it was on to the peas. Out came the pea fencing from the Lady Cottage.

Only two fences to start…

“Green Arrow” peas are my absolute favorite for productivity and flavor. The succession planting plan for peas also includes “Penelope” and “Spring”, both new ones to the potager and to me, but they will go in later. Last year’s late freeze has made me a bit more cautious. I don’t want these turning to mush. Also planted were 3 rows of yellow onion sets. Normally I prefer to grow onions from seed, but the first seeding in the basement was pitiful. My fault as I used some old seed. There are other onion seeds coming on later for storage purposes, but this year it’s sets that will provide some early onions for the table. Radishes, pak choi and “China King” Chinese cabbage seeds were also sown. And that was it for the potager’s first crops, but it sure felt good to get them in the ground.

An experiment in progress…

I’ve mentioned before that the Cutting Garden is going to get lots more attention this year, and to that end I’ve planted a little experiment. New to me is “Blue Thimble” flower. The packet says to sprinkled it on prepared soil and rake them in just as early as the ground can be worked. Not knowing what the seedlings will look like, and wanting to hurry them along, I decided to seed small circles, and then cover them with milk jugs that have had their bottoms removed. It’s a little variation on the traditional “winter seeding” technique that I’m using for several perennials. If nothing else, at least I will know where they are, and they won’t wash downhill if it rains. While I was in the Cutting Garden, I was delighted to see emerging larkspur babies.

Baby larkspurs

I’ve grown larkspur for decades, so I recognize these seedlings easily. Back in the 70’s they were a staple for our wreath-making business since they dry so well. I sprinkled these seeds on the snow back in late February and now here they are! So exciting.

I did a little clean-up in the Deck Garden, moved more plants to the greenhouse, and transplanted 288 seedlings into 4-packs. It was the best day I’ve had in months, and hopefully just the very beginning of a splendid growing season! The fun has just begun!

About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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31 Responses to Sow rewarding!

  1. I am yearning to poke about my herb garden, but my old bones demand the warmth of sunshine. Those old-fashioned roses cannot be neglected any longer or they’ll grow into a tangled mess by June. Soon, I promise myself.

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    • carolee says:

      My muscles have been protesting, but I know I actually feel better when I get out and accomplish something, even if it is only a small project! Those roses will be happy to see you!

      Like

  2. Tracey Mac says:

    So pleased you can get started! The daffodils look so cheerful 😀

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  3. Al says:

    I’m excited with you! You have lots going on! 😊 good luck to all gardeners!!

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  4. reneewittman says:

    I love seeing photos of your garden, and your explanations for why you do this or that are interesting. I learn some with every post! 🙂

    Like

    • carolee says:

      It’s always fun to see photos of someone’s garden. I like to think that someone can get a bit of benefit from my decades of trial and errors! Thanks for reading!

      Like

  5. juliejdonaldson says:

    Congratulations! It is always such a pleasure to see the first flowers of Spring! You are further along than we are here in Minnesota.

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  6. Rose East says:

    Wow! Your garden is so lovely! Thanks for the really detailed share.

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    • carolee says:

      I try to put in some details and explanations, so hopefully another gardener can learn, avoid the mistakes I’ve made, and get help on timing, etc. Happy gardening!

      Like

  7. stcoemgen says:

    Except for root vegs (carrots, parsnip, etc.) I no longer direct seed. Everything is pre-sown in trays. And grown as starters. I get a few weeks ahead on every crop in the early spring, and can plunk down starters mid season as early vegs die off (such as lettuce). My peas and radish starters are already planted, I will be planting my lettuce starters in the next week or two. Starters are really something to consider. Hope this helps.

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    • carolee says:

      Every gardener finds out what works best for them and their situation eventually. It has taken me lots of years to get that worked out here. Direct seeding is best for some things, and I don’t have the space or potting soil money to do more in starters. I do lots, more than most, but probably not as much as you apparently. Have a great season.

      Liked by 1 person

      • stcoemgen says:

        Agree not to spend money on potting soil. I don’t. All my starters are put into self made compost I make on site.

        As for space… My late winter house is basically full of starter plants. To keep them warm till I can get them into the outside low tunnels. But it is a happy house, during that time, with so many plants growing. Hope this helps.

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  8. I like the look of that pea fencing.

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  9. Hurray! It is such a joy to be able to work outside and start things off. All that hope and dreams of deliciousness to come!

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  10. Sounds like a glorious day!

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  11. Lauren says:

    Love the bulbs, but I don’t think ANYTHING in my garden gives me more joy than the seeing the larkspur seedlings coming up! I always hold my breath as I can’t ever seem to get them to sow evenly… so it’s nice to see where they’ve decided to settle themselves for the year! Cant wait to see yours! Also- I looked up that blue thimble flower- hope that experiment goes well- they’re lovely!

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    • carolee says:

      Larkspur babies, poppy seedlings…all those things sown so early that it seems impossible they will survive the cold, the birds, the mice…but then suddenly there they are, and the heart rejoices!

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  12. It’s a great feeling, both getting stuck-in to garden work and seeing daffodils in flower! I was glad you shared a photo of larkspur seedlings, as I’m trying these for the first time, and now know what to expect! Not sure if they’ll work, as it’s seed harvested by another gardener, not always a reliable method. I’ve got them inside on a windowsill in modules, perhaps I should also just try some direct sown in the ground, what do you advise?

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  13. I love the surprise of the first daffodils! I relate to exclaiming with joy when I see my plants popping up. My neighbors must think that I’m a crazy person lol.

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    • carolee says:

      Who cares what the neighbors think? Actually, they probably wish they had the pretty flowers you have! The first daffodils are certainly special and I love watching the changing parade as the earliest ones give way to eventually the latest, and final ones. Then it’s time to watch for the first something else…iris, peony, columbine…and on and on…

      Liked by 1 person

  14. E.C. says:

    I think daffodils are the bright smiles of nature announcing Spring.
    Goodness, you have got your gardening plans in action and are headed for a successful year.
    I look forward to watching your gardens grow.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

    Like

    • carolee says:

      I picked a bouquet of various daffodils yesterday for a friend who has none, and when passing the garden upon my return thought, “It doesn’t even look like I took any away!” Those bright spots of yellow really are showy! Happy growing to you as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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