Spring is sproinging – planting thoughts for a new year

I’ve been needing to think of happier things lately, so I was delighted to swing by the local Home Depot today and see spring planting stuff being stocked in legion.

For the last couple years, I’ve had a plant called Million Bells in the hanging baskets on my porch. These plants are native to South America, so I figured they’d die off when the weather got cold. They didn’t … I trimmed them up last spring and they bloomed just as beautifully their second year. Ditto for this past year, though the winter was so mild I would have been surprised if they hadn’t lasted. Today I repotted them in larger baskets, trimmed them off again and fertilized them.

The Depot also had some early spring food and herb plants. I chose some oregano and a lavender plant, which is something I haven’t grown before.

Last week we picked up a peach tree and a blueberry bush from the local grocery, Food Lion. These plants are cheap and we’ve always had good luck with them, so it’s an annual tradition to look over the Food lion offerings and see if there’s anything we want. My husband planted the peach last weekend right after we got it, and I mulched it today and put up the deer barrier so they don’t eat all the leaves off the baby tree. I planted the blueberry today, which proved to be a lot harder than I thought it would be – every time I sunk the spade into the ground, I hit a rock. I’m used to clay, but the rocks were a surprise - that’s not typical here. A dozen dug-out rocks later, it’s finally in the ground and mulched.

The lavender and the new oregano will go in pots on the back porch this week. A record number of herbs overwintered this year – thyme, the last couple years’ oregano and chives, and parsley. I also have some strawberries that are several years old now. I just need to clean up/repot the old stuff and I’ll be well on my way to this year’s herb garden. I’m on the fence about getting new chili plants this year since they always produce so well here I end up with a ton of extra fruit – I still have a bag full from last year’s jalapeno and cayenne plants and I only had one of each.

One new thing I am trying this year is mushrooms. I went to a mushroom log-making class yesterday and have a log of shitake spawn percolating now – the earliest they will fruit will be fall, but maybe not until next spring.

So I’ve been busy already – you? If you can’t plant yet, are you at least planning?

Are you kidding? You shoulda seen the creeping whatsit I hacked back last week; it had inch-long thorns (my wife calls them “jaggers”) and the stems were too thick for the hedge clipper. And I swear t’weren’t like that the week before. You know how long it took me to pull the stickers out of the soles of my shoes?

Gardening sux.

The plant light shelves in the kitchen have had the winter accumulation of assorted miscellaneous shovelled off them and are now full of flats seeded with, at this point, mostly onions; also parsley, thyme, oregano; and there’s lavender stratifying in the fridge.

Next up is four flats of first lettuce planting, which will finish filling up the indoor shelves. Later in the month all of this first round gets shlepped out to the (unheated) greenhouse, to be replaced with tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil; which will be replaced in their turn with melons and winter squash; interleaved with more lettuce and various brassicas.

Planning? I’ve been planning since last fall. :smiley:

I’ve never grown onions or garlic. Maybe I should try it this year.

I’m missing a good chunk of spring planting. Mr.Wrekker is doing it for me.
This week will see spring greens popping up. The onions were nearly ready to eat last week. Garlic bulbs have long fronds already.
By the time I get home my tulips will be showing.

Onions should be planted very early in the spring. Garlic gets planted in the fall, and overwinters underground, growing roots whenever the soil’s thawed enough. Spring-planted garlic may produce something, if planted very early, but it won’t produce much.

I was hoping to get to the Desert Botanical Garden’s annual sale, but there’s a conflict with Luke Air Force Base Days, so maybe not. Darn, although the man would say I have too many plants now.

I tried transplanting some teeny creosote bushes, but then the water leak and subsequent madness that had us moving out of the house for a month, left them with no water, they died. I’ve spotted some bigger ones I plan to grab from the desert. Can’t have too many.

My old friend Larrea tridentata is great but I never had to plant any - they surrounded my 29 Palms shack. A big one loomed alongside; cherry tomatoes climbed 12 feet into it and produced for 20 months. Yes, I needed a ladder to pick tomatoes!

Spring tries to approach here in the central Sierra Nevadas but recent snows may continue. We’ll know it’s spring when bears browse our garbage can again. When/if they move uphill, we’ll set some veggie and herb pots on porch railings, out of deer range.

I can always cheat and get some that’s already started from the farmer’s market!

I noticed yesterday that I have some lettuce coming up - must have reseeded itself from last year.

We have beautiful clumps of pampas grass all over our yard. This weekend we cut down last seasons growth and started a new burn pile. We also landscaped an area where three trees were taken out recently and the stumps ground down. Plenty more to come.

We got snow last night. I’m still two months away from any permanent outdoor planting but i over wintered two jalapenos and a thai chilli and one of the jalapenos thinks spring is here and is covered in flowers. I started taking them outside for an hour or two of direct sun light this weekend to get them used to it again. I’ll probably replant them next weeks into the big pot for the season.

I’ve got a fist full of chillies I dried last year and I’m going to try and get those seeds sprouted in early April. Chillies are hard here since you only get a month or two of fruit before the snow returns. I’d get them going this month but I’m taking off on a trip for three weeks and there is no reason sprout them just to let my wife kill them.

This year the plan is all container gardening and hopefully we can keep the deer and elk away until we get our low fence up and then hopefully they aren’t motivated enough to kill the yard I’m trying to put in and my garden. In two years I should get my high fenced garden in but its a lot of fun planning something that permanent.

I’m still in dreaming phase, here in zone 5b. I’ve ordered dahlia tubers and some flower seeds for direct sowing. I normally start some indoors, but as a first time cat owner I’ve decided that the two things aren’t compatible. No big deal, I’ll just buy starts once our season begins.

I’m planning to enlarge a front bed and add two raised beds to the back (for veg). But for now, I twiddle my thumbs, look through catalogs, websites and gardening Instagram and just dream.

I’m so jealous!

I still have 2 feet of snow in my yard :frowning:

I’ve been thinking of my rock garden out back. It will have to be redone this year. Clear out the old mulch and weed barrier and redo both. Right now, I’m excited to do it but when the time comes I’ll hate it and procrastinate.

I did order a tray of Hens & Chicks though. Eventually they will be planted outside but not for about 2-1/2 months.

We are probably a month away from being able to plant outside. I do have several pots of this and that’s started inside.
Spent most of yesterday cutting brush and cleaning up. It was 57° and wonderful sun. More if the same today and I’m heading out soon to see what I can get into.

I saved two acorns from one of the immense oak trees at work, and I’ve planted those and crossed my fingers. I’ll probably also plant a few more cotton seeds this year, but can’t do that for awhile - likely not until May.

Be careful with your oak saplings!!

A few years ago I collected some huge acorns from a beautiful oak tree I saw while kayaking. I stratified the acorns, freezing then thawing them. Out of 15 acorns I got three to germinate. I was growing the saplings in pots on our porch. One day I witnessed a chipmunk digging up one of them. I chased him off, but all three saplings were destroyed.

We have squirrels that do the same thing with ALL my potted plants, and they’ll eat the tomatoes too if they can get to them. I have invested in a variety of different sizes of pest coversto keep the little bastards out!

Well timed reminder - I need to go out and get some seed potatoes very soon, so they have time for chitting before I stick them in the ground.

This year I’m planning to try planting through cardboard (not the potatoes - runner beans and mangetout, maybe.) Anyone got any experience of this?


I saved cardboard egg cartons all winter. Just last week I started seedlings of:

Nicotiana sylvestris
Nicotiana alata
Datura innoxia
Ipomea alba
Mirabilis jalata (white)
Zaluzianskya capensis
Alyssum lobularia
(fragrant white flowers for the porch)

Ipomea sp. “Scarlett O’Hara”
Tropaeolum specium
Salvia greggii “Furman’s Red”
(red deep-throated hummingbird flowers for the windowboxes)

Do you mean the onions? Yes, if somebody’s selling bundles of young onion plants for transplant, and your market’s open by April*, that should work just fine.

If you mean the garlic, I’ve never heard of anybody doing that, and suspect you’d still get small bulbs. Garlic does better getting its roots established over the winter where it’s going to grow. (However, if you try it, please report results to me at harvest time!)

  * it occurs to me that I don't know where you are. If you're far enough south to be growing short-day onions, I don't know when those get planted.

This is one of the nice things about plant light shelves in the kitchen. (Or wherever you can fit them.)

I don’t have two feet of snow in my yard right now – it actually hit 68ºF today – but sometimes we do have two feet of snow in March. Nice to have stuff growing inside while that’s going on.