They say April showers bring May flowers & we are certainly getting our fair share of rain. We did have a few good days this past week, however, and I was busy getting the garden ready for planting.
|Raindrops on spruce trees...|
|Other than plant specific soil amendments such as manure,|
the beds are all ready to go...
I also made a start of one of the beds in the front garden. Last year we had our front walkway redone and I’m now on a mission to finally deal with a long 43’ x 6.5’ shady bed that runs between it and the house. The beds in front of the house, especially this one, are littered with inherited invasives. Since this area doesn’t get much direct sunlight (many sections don't get any at all), I’m thinking the previous owners tried to plant it up with readily available perennials and shrubs that are known to handle full shade.
The bed that I’m tackling first is overrun with periwinkle & ribbon grass. On the surface, both of these look quite pretty, what with ribbon grasses variegated blades and periwinkles glossy evergreen leaves and pretty blue flowers. Those unassuming vines & grasses, however, quickly take over an area & are a right pain to remove. I can't believe that I still see periwinkle at some garden centres even though it's specifically listed as an invasive in Ontario.
|This is one of those embarassing "before" photos taken back in 2013.|
You can see the ribbon grass together with a carpet of periwinkle
(and a very weedy bed on the other side of the path - yikes!)
Moving from outside to inside, there is a lot of promise for the coming season under the grow lights.
The peppers were started late this year and are still rather small but they will bulk up quickly once I repot them (on the schedule for tomorrow), so I’m not worried:
|This year, I'm growing 8 varieties of peppers (all sweet)....|
|and 13 varieties of tomatoes.|
|Aspabroc became a favourite last year - it was so delicious!|
It’s a rare year, however, when the odd seed-starting issue doesn’t arise, especially when trying new varieties or some seed packets are a little bit older than they should be. I’ve started 6 varieties of lettuce, but 4 of them are having sporadic germination....or are they? When I went down to check on them today, some of the empty cells had tiny seedlings coming up.
|Black Seeded Simpson and Freckles are two of the four lettuce varieties|
that are especially slow to get going this year.
I've also had in issue with a couple of ornamentals where germination was barely 50%.
|It's my first time growing Honeywort (Cerinthe major) & the seeds are large and hard as a rock.|
I did soak them for a few hours before sowing, but that may not be enough to crack this particular nut 😉
|We are in for lots and lots of zinnias this year!|