I planted a mixed variety of lettuce in my garden this year and as I watched it grow I wondered exactly what kinds of lettuce it was. One of the plants in the row didn’t look like a type of lettuce, so I wasn’t sure if I should pull them out because they were weeds or leave them because they were some type that I didn’t recognize. I decided to find out – after all, I didn’t want to eat it and find out its poisonous or something! The package said “Mesclun”, which I knew meant “mixed”. I dug out the seed packet and in fine print it listed quite a few types. I looked for pictures of them on the internet just to be sure. This is what I found.
Gardening has been a lifelong passion for Wende and she’d like to share her passion with her readers. Follow her as she writes about her gardening adventures, lists tasks to do depending on the season, and gives easy to understand gardening advice.
Now that Spring is here (almost) I'm sure the gardeners reading this are starting to dream of beautiful flowers blooming in their yards. It's also the time for gardening catalogs showing up in mailboxes, sales flyers for Steins and coupons from smaller greenhouses. I always treasure The Gardener's Idea Book from Proven Winners that comes in the mail. I got on their email list a few years ago and they automatically mail it out. http://www.provenwinners.com/ Proven Winners are particularly hardy annuals, perennials and shrubs and are available at several outlets. Their website will search for retailers near you. If you are a beginning gardener, they have lists of the easiest plants to grow and will make you look like a star if you follow their advice and water and feed your plants correctly.
It's time to start some seeds indoors if you are the type that likes to do this. It's not for everyone, but if you have the time it can be really rewarding. I find it really helps pull you out of the winter doldrums most of us gardeners have as it gets us actually "doing" something garden-like instead of just dreaming about it!
There's still time to plant fall bulbs - the ground doesn't really freeze until about Thanksgiving. Water them well and mulch after planting for great results in the spring.
I've been asked this several times and last week I responded off the top of my head azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, and some types of berries. But then I got to thinking.... it would be nice to be able to plant a bigger variety of things under pines, since that understory of empty space seems like such a wasteland. I did some online research and came up with many choices and some that I will definitely try!
Great News! After 20 years, the USDA has updated the Plant Hardiness Zones! Beware, our Zone 4 (or 5 depending on where you live) has now become Zone 5b (-15 to -10F). The new 13 zone map has been brought into the internet age with GIS-based interactive maps and more accurate zones that take into consideration things like elevation, terrain, and closeness to bodies of water. Using a 30 year timespan (unlike the 1990 version that used a 13 yr span), many more weather stations, and expert input from the climatic and horticultural community, the map is much more accurate than it was plus it shows a 5 degree increase (warmer) overall for the US.
With all this warm weather lately, the plants think Spring is almost here! I noticed buds on trees that are easily seen as I drive by, tulips are trying to poke through the ground, and my parsley is still green and growing in the back yard!
This list is from the calendar that Steins Gardens & Gifts posts online to help remind you of gardening tasks that should be done... Not much to do in December, but these are good suggestions to keep your gardening thinking cap on! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!