Saturday, March 14, 2015

More Snow to Come ?

Oh please don't snow on my Daffodils again.
Sitting bundled up on the couch, l wonder if there will be more snow to come in Central Virginia this year. It's highly likely that we will at least see a frost or freeze up until May 1st and serious Spring poo-pooers will even extend that date to May 15th. At the end of April when I was born, my mother almost named me Bridget because as they were driving to the hospital across the New River Bridge in Radford, Virginia I was nearly born in a raging snowstorm.

Me and my Grandmother Mimi's Mums.
I use my birthday as a planting barometer, waiting a week afterwards and watching the weather forecast 10 days out from that point. If no frost is forecast then I go to town with my vast array of shovels, forks, and spades. If a surprise frost hits then I have old sheets ready to cover up plants.

Beautiful yellow Peony and vintage border I designed.
Right now in Virginia, Zone 7a we can direct sew a few seeds like lettuce, peas, onions and some perennial flowers. According to this study waiting even a few more weeks will provide you with greater and faster seed germination rates. I also plant some perennial flower seed outside in a recycled greenhouse using a milk jug. I start my tomatoes, peppers, herbs and annual flower seed in my basement in my portable greenhouse, under a grow light system.

Tree Swallow checked into one of our houses last year.

This time of year when the itch to plant hits, I attempt to shift my focus to cleaning and repairing bird houses and tidying up spent flowerbeds. Check bird houses for leaks and especially roof damage We have accumulated a table full of houses that need repair. The majority of birds prefer a clean house each spring, there are exceptions.

There are some flowering plants you can buy early and plant out. Pansies are the top seller since they are hardier than most other readily available flowering plants.

Sorry to be a Spring spoiler but don't get too anxious and plant too soon, losing your carefully grown seedlings to an early frost or freeze. Instead, enjoy this beautiful weather and get out and tour some fine Virginia Gardens.



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