How Does Your Garden Grow? The Early Spring Edition

OK. Officially its not quite Spring but hey, I’m sick of Winter! I’ve been ready to bid it adieu for quite some time now. If I could give it a good kick to its hindquarters on its way out, I would!

My thoughts have been increasingly turning to green, growing things and purty flowers and warm weather. Oh, how I want warm weather! Not hot Summer weather, just warm enough where I can go out in my shirtsleeves and feel comfy. And I’ve been wanting to plant things and see them grow.

For all of you who feel the same (And who doesn’t feel this way by now unless they live in at least the subtropics?) I thought we could discuss what our early spring gardening plans here.

Last Sunday I went to ye olde Fred Meyer (like a Target) and bought a planting tray with 72 peat pots and some seeds. That night, I planted sugar peas (mmmmm, drool), blanket flowers and batchelor’s buttons. I set them on my table indoors since we’re still having some pesky freezing weather. I was surprised to see that on Wednesday, a scant four days later, the batchelor’s buttons had already all sprouted! Complete with little leaves! Wow! I didn’t know anything germinated that fast except the kind of sprouts you see on a salad.

A few stray blanket flower seeds show they’re off to a healthy, if slower, start and even a few of the peas have poked tender shoots up out of the soil. Wow! Ain’t Mother Nature something?

I moved into this place a year ago. Most of what I have outside is cement patio. There are two areas of dirt about 4x8 feet that I can dig in. I also have a bunch of pots for more planting room.

Some plants wintered over well and others, not so much. The four roses I got last year made it through with flying colors. They’re all pretty well leafed out now. My fuschias bit the dust while still attempting to bloom in mid-December,much to local hummingbirds’ disappointment. But I did see a hummer a week ago so I know they’re still around. I think my neighbor has a feeder.

My citronella, ornamental chrysanthemum, and purple daisy-like plant all were doing great until a hard freeze in late January. I’m hoping there are buds on the lower stalks waiting for warmer weather but I suspect not. I especially liked the chrysanthemum. It’s not a fancy flowering one but has striking silvery green-gray leaves with white edges. I hope I can find another one.

The wallflowers bloomed all though the winter and the little azalea I bought at Trader Joe’s last year bloomed in January. My big azalea that was here when I moved in, I don’t have high hopes for. The squirrels raided it pretty big this winter. I think they ate all the buds. Still, I’ll give it another month to see what happens. The two big camillia bushes are on the brink of putting on a big show. Huge buds everywhere, even though the squirrels had eaten some of those too. The bushes have been sporting some great advance-scout flowers for several weeks already.

So how does your garden grow? What do you want to plant this year? And, please, reassure me that it will warm up soon! Please!

Well, I am solely a pot-gardner, since I live in an apartment, but I was thinking about starting a thread like this, too!

I always do bell peppers, this year I plan to start them from seed. I also got some carnations, I want to try them as they are my favorite flower.

I will do a basil plant, probably.

Maybe some marigolds.

I have two hanging pots, which I plan to use for strawberry plants again this year.

Also, last year I had some mums, which didn’t do so well in the pot I put them in but migrated to a different pot and took it over, so I’m thinking I’m going to try that again.

With a spare pot nearby, of course. :smiley:

Hey, I bought one of those seed starter trays, too! Only at Lowes instead of Freddie’s. I sent away to Tomato Growers Supply Company and got some seeds for beefsteak tomatoes and four kinds of hot peppers. Jalapenos, habaneros, serranos, and Santa Fe Grandes. The sent me a free packet of persimmon tomato seeds, so I’ll try those, too. Everything this year will be in containers.
I’m also using a waterproof hot pad under the starter trays, and a grow light to get things off to a strong start, hopefully.
I wish I could offer you some assurance that warm weather will be here soon, but what with the snow and all we’ve had the past couple of days, it’s looking more like a late Spring this year.

I’m an apartment dweller too. This is the first one in many years that I’ve had any outdoor space to call my own. Not even a balcony. It’s nice having a private patio but the downside is that I have no view at all beyond it. There are tall fences on the sides and the wall of the carport in the back. I get a lot more shade that I thought I would except for high Summer. I didn’t factor that in last year with some of the plants I bought. They didn’t do as well as I’d hoped.

Growing bell peppers sounds good. They do well in this area so I might look into getting a plant or two. What type do you recommend?

If you have a nice east or south window, you could try growing a few peanuts on the sill. I did this a few years ago, using raw peanuts I got for the crows and squirrels. The plants grew quite well and I even got a few small, new peanuts growing on the roots. It was a fun experiment. Think I’ll do that again this year.

Oh, it’s deceptively sunny out there today but still cold. Come on! Warm up already!

I like the ones that are called “rosy blush” or something, as you get a couple of colors of peppers…they range from green to red, and sometimes are even yellow.

I’ll try the peanuts, thanks! I have a great east-facing window.

Godfrey, do you live on the wet side or the dry side of the Cascades? If you live on the wet side, can you share some tomato growing tips? A lot of people I’ve known haven’t had much luck with them. Thanks.

I agree with you about the outlook for Spring. Unfortunately. We haven’t gotten snow in the Seattle area but Johnny L.A. attests to the fact that other areas haven’t been so lucky. At least, this late in the season it isn’t likely to stay around for long.

My garden will be around 1/4 acre this year. My onions in the indoor greenhouse (spare bedroom) are just starting to get their second leaves, are about 4" tall. I snuck a few tomatoes in there too just to see how early I could get away with starting them, they are small yet, still first set of leaves. This weekend I’ll be starting the rest of the tomatoes (6 different varieties!) and a bunch of other things.

Yep, I’m on the wet side. This will be the first year I’ve grown from seed. I usually buy tomato plants from the nursery that are well started and hardened off, so I’ll be facing some new problems.

This isn’t PNW specific, but it has the guidelines I use.

Growing info

This is my first spring as a homeowner and gardener. I’ve gone all out with the mad scientist’s lair germination station - I’ve got healthy young seedlings of 5 varieties of heirloom tomato, three kinds of basil, sage, rosemary, and oregano. I’m waiting for the artichokes and parsley to come up. In the raised bed vegetable garden outside I’ve already planted (as in last week and today) salad mix, spinach, radishes, beets, and fennel. I am debating peppers. I’m planning on also planting Kentucky Wonder pole beans, pickling cucumbers, maybe some soybeans for edamame, maybe carrots, maybe, possibly watermelons. I have a metric assload of seed packets that I bought in a mad Internet frenzy, sigh. I mean, Brussels sprouts? Huh? I’ve never even eaten a Brussels sprout!

In flower news, my huge spring orders will be coming in any time now and I do NOT FEEL READY. Last spring frost is always a crapshoot here - we may have had it this past week, or we might get a sudden April snow flurry. Impossible to predict. My plan is to put out half of the tender plants first at the average last frost date (April 4) and then wait a few weeks to plant the rest.

PS - my camellia is blooming, although it’s very late for the variety that it’s supposed to be. (Hmm.) One of my alyssums that I planted last year is blooming also, which gives it the award for First Spring Perennial. It’s very exciting - I’m so proud you’d think it just graduated from college.

The house I rent has deep overhanging eaves. They prevent any side of the house from getting more than a couple hours of sun per day, and even prevent two sides from getting any rain at all. It is pretty frustrating.

Last Fall I planted a ton of flower bulbs. Some that I planted on the rainless side of the house started to come up, but seem to have stalled out. Some others on a side that does get rain are just starting to poke up out of the ground; I think those must be the snowdrops.

I think I will try some bell peppers in pots–that sounds like a good idea. I wish I could grow tomatoes, but there is no appropriate ground space and pots just don’t seem to work for them. They need room to stretch out their roots.

Let’s see here.

It looks like the garden this year will be mostly flowering things: we don’t have many good places to to put in veggies. (Don’t want to put them in the front yard, and the other places available don’t get enough sun.)

Picked up a bunch of cheap roses from Big Lots ($2.59 each, if I remember correctly): some tea roses, most climbers, all chosen for scent rather than looks. Figured that since the cheap twigs from Wal-Mart we planted last year went bonkers (6+ feet on one of the climbers before winter shut it down, and it looks ready to go bonkers again this growing season), we’d see how well these ones do.

Also picked up some jasmine (Carolina and Confederate), hopefully they’ll do well in the spot near the holly bush I gave a buzz-cut to.

The plantings from last year seem to be doing well: the roses that were twigs all went bonkers during the last growing season and all of them have a ton of leaves and even some buds (some a bit frost burnt from a sudden cold snap), and the lilacs (assorted varieties) are all showing signs of vigor, even the ones that were planted late and didn’t get a chance to grow very much.

I find it kinda odd though, that the lilacs and roses are going nuts in this soil, but nothing else we’ve tried has made it. shrugs


<< Disk Full - Press F1 to belch. >>

The kids and planted about 50 corn plants, three kinds of tomatos, onions, green beans, snow peas, carrots, radishes and okra. The plot is about 120 s.f.

So far everything is sprouting and we have bird ex net onver the top to keep the squirrels out.

Yay!