This has been the most “snowless” winter in over 130 years in our area! There has been snowfall in Indiana north of us and south of us, but we remain basically snow-free. Today, January 20th, we have a few lazy flakes falling, but the sun keeps peeking through the clouds so I doubt there will be much, if any accumulation. Many people may be happy to be snow-free, but I am not one of them. My plants would be much better protected from the single-digit night-time temperatures with a layer of insulating snow. My mind would be more convinced that it is indeed STILL winter, if when I peered out the window the view was a winter wonderland. Instead, there’s bits of green and spots where daffodil tips are pushing through the soil. This says to my mind, “Spring is just around the corner!” This is not good, this is not good at all!
With a “Spring is just around the corner” mentality, it is nearly impossible to resist starting seeds, although for most things, here in Zone 5b it really is too early. So, I need snow to bolster my will power. But, am I getting snow? No! And here is the result…
Obviously, I have little self-restraint. There are already 55 different varieties of seeds happily growing in the basement. Nearly 800 babies are already transplanted into plug flats: yarrow, rudbeckias, violas, stock, snapdragons, mountain mint, lemon monarda, lemon savory, verbena tenuisecta, dianthus, delphiniums, yellow feverfew, and gaillardia. The lisianthus, asters and anchusa are growing in little soil blocks. The blue flax, parsley, coleus, portulaca, columbine, lemon eucalyptus, hollyhocks, perennial scabiosa, salvias, penstemon, craspedia, lavenders and hyssops are in rows in seeding flats. Snow, I definitely need snow!
However, I do have a plan for managing all these very early plants. For instance, the violas shown above are destined for grouping in smaller pots to grow on when they outgrow their plugs. Then they will be popped into containers by the front door to provide early color. If severe weather threatens, I’ll slip them into the entryway overnight. Different plans for different plants, including some crate-growing for early blooms of stock and snaps for cutting. Lots of experimenting going on with small batches of plants to see what timing works best. We’ll just have to see if this plan works in practice as well as it does in theory…..
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!