Six on Saturday: The planting has begun!

The greenhouse is packed, and messy!!!

There really wasn’t a choice. The basement space is packed; the greenhouse is packed and yet there are hundreds of seedlings down there still needing their own personal pot! So, as soon as the weather cooperated in the least bit (that is, temperatures that rose above the single digits, teens, and low twenties) the planting began. Plus, I’m experimenting to see how early I can get flowers for the “Growing Kindness Project” bouquets. First were the ranunculus, who love colder temperatures.

Happy ranunculus!

The ranunculus were pre-soaked and pre-sprouted in the basement. The root systems were bigger than my hand on several corms when they went into the ground so I was pleased. Hopefully that will mean lots of big, beautiful flowers in a few weeks. They went into a raised bed with hoops and light row cover and seem to be very happy after a few days in the ground.

Then came the snapdragons, stock, and sweet peas which can also tolerate colder weather. This was my first experience with doing snapdragons in those little 3/4″ soil blocks, and I was totally surprised at how well they did. Definitely a game changer for me. An old gal CAN learn new tricks! I wasn’t as happy with the stock in soil blocks, but they did well in the row trays initially and then were transplanted into a plug tray. Extra work, but when space is the biggest issue and time is not, it was the best method for my situation. The sweet peas were seeded 2 seeds to a 2″ pot, pinched at 6″ and planted cheek to jowl.

Sweet peas “Mammoth Choice” will climb the trellis. “Madame Butterfly” Snapdragons top two rows, stock “Anytime” center row and more snapdragons bottom three rows fill 5d.

These plants were only minimally hardened off, spending a couple of hours in partial shade with just a bit of breeze for a couple hours two mornings, then moving to the greenhouse with a fan and open door, and now in the ground. But, notice the hoops and floating row cover which went on as soon as the planting was completed in bed 5d. It will allow the plants protection from full sunlight and wind until they get established and the temperatures settle more. This actually acts as a hardening off period.

This may look like the same bed…but it isn’t!

Across the main path, bed 5c also got sweet peas on its trellis and a row of stock in the center, but there are “Liberty Bronze” snapdragons on the left and “Benary Princess” asters on the right. You can see that the hoops and row cover extends over all three beds, 5a, 5b and 5c. I wasn’t sure about planting the asters out this early, but a flat of plugs in the greenhouse showed absolutely no effects of a 24 degree night in the greenhouse so out they went!

Another bed of stock.

There weren’t quite enough plants to finish this bed, but there is another flat or three of stock coming on that will finish that row, and on the far left will go a row of annual phlox that just need to get a bit larger before going outdoors. I switched from the potager beds to another job that really needed to get done.

A new bed dug and planted!

While the soil was perfect for digging, and before the next rain arrived, these “Summer Berries” yarrow plants needed to get in the ground. The plants were set, a few layers of newspaper fitted around them and a layer of mulch were added. These are on the end of one of the former berry rows that are currently planted in daffodils.

So that’s six crops planted in Mid-March (maybe it’s March Madness, but we’ll see!) 1) Ranunculus 2) Snapdragons 3) Sweet Peas 4) Stock 5) Asters 6) Yarrow!

If you’d like to see what other gardeners come up with for a Six on Saturday post, visit The Propagator, who hosts this meme.


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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12 Responses to Six on Saturday: The planting has begun!

  1. bcparkison says:

    Blessings to you and your energy. It will be beautiful when they bloom


  2. Su says:

    Wow – you’ve been busy! You’ve inspired me to install some raised beds this year, but still won’t be planting things out in March.


  3. Going Batty in Wales says:

    I haven’t sown anything yet! Jiust planted some onion sets out. But the last couple of days have been dry and sunny colled by a stiff breeze and the rest of this week looks to be the same so I am going to start a few things off in the greenhouse. I am looking forward to seeing your bouquets – you have lucky neighbours!


  4. J says:

    Wonderful to see you off and running with your planting and all those lovely seedlings! Looks like you’ll have some lovely flowers this year! I’ve been holding off planting things out here as it’s been quite cool until this week – I’m planning on getting some things in the ground next weekend, weather permitting…..


  5. Kit Miracle says:

    What varieties of green beans do you plant? I’ve planted Jade Bush the past few years which do really well. Prolific, string less, and not affected by bugs or disease. BUT….this variety doesn’t have much flavor. What would you recommend?


    • carolee says:

      First planted is always Royal Burgundy because it can take cold, wet soil and the bugs don’t seem to bother them so much, and since they are purple they are easy for me to see to pick! Plus they turn a lovely dark green when cooked. Provider (white seeded) or Top Crop (brown seed) are my standard. Many people feel beans with dark seeds have more flavor than white seeds, and I agree but Provider is so prolific that I always plant them.


  6. Pingback: “Cool Flowers,” Cold temps & “Hardening Off” ! | herbalblessingsblog

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