All posts by nancy o'kelly

Getting Ready to Grow Pruning & Soil

 blog post organic gardening

Welcome Spring

The Plymouth and Carver shops are open for business and they have color!

Not only does the calendar say its spring, but we can actually see sure signs that spring is here. That big, bright yellow thing in the sky keeps appearing every morning.  Yesterday I realized I’m actually warm. This morning I noticed little green things sticking up out of the soil in my gardens. I visited the Plymouth store and Gretchen has it going on!

Stocks
Stocks blooming in perfect pink!

Pansies, the ultimate harbinger of spring are there in full force. Alyssum, Dianthus and Stocks are all present and ready to go. Gretchen also has a number of fabulous perennials to choose from: Lupine, Heuchera, Columbine, Anemone and Phlox  top the list. With that said, we need to do a little work before we get ready to grow and Spring into planting.

Getting ready to grow

Over the next couple of days, I’ve got some work to do to get ready to grow my cool weather crops and summer annuals and vegetables.  This is actually one of my favorite times of the year to do yard work. When I rake out the beds and see green sprouting, it encourages me to make a tentative plan of what I want to grow in the coming months. I’m the queen of fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants home gardening. I know I want color and tasty veggies, but exactly what I never know until it’s time to go shopping and get the plants in the ground. But I do know I need to get the beds ready to grow, so applying some fertilizer and topsoil and pruning the shrubs a bit will get me on the right track. Here is where I start.

  • Prune

I start by pruning trees and shrubs of dead or diseased branches by cutting at a 45° angle. I take flowering perennials back to about 6” and grasses to about 4”. I use basic pruning shears and I’m kind of careful. I’ve actually pruned a finger before.

  • Rake

I rake out the beds to remove any sticks or branches, leaves and annuals left over from last year. I jettison anything else that sneaked in there over the winter. I rake the rest of the yard too, but getting into the flower beds is always first. I just like getting my flower beds done first.

  • Soil amendmentstone_plant_sbag-penobscot-new

I add organic matter to my beds. Compost, compost and peat, (The Coast of Maine products are excellent) and organic fertilizer, (I love The Espoma brands: Garden Tone, Plant Tone, they all rock!) I soil test every couple of years just to be sure the pH isn’t all wonky. Proper pH results in the plant being able to get all it can from the nutrients in the soil. It isn’t hard to get a good, healthy soil. And it does ensure your garden will give you its all!

  • Fun! Joy! Beauty!

Digging, planting, growing and caring for my garden is one of the things I do just for me. It’s fun, it brings me immeasurable joy and I revel in the beauty I have created. I’m serious. My garden is my spring, summer and fall home and I love spending time there. Whether it’s just sitting or working, nothing brings me to my happy place like my garden.

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI hung out with Margaret in the Carver shop for awhile the other day. She’s spruced up the place and is ready to go. Mike and Dave have been doing a little remodeling. The winter was tough on one of the buildings, but they said “Fear not! We’ll be open!” Margaret has some really cool stuff to show off.  There will be color in the form of pansies and violas, but I saw some super cute Posy Pots and lettuce bowls. I plan on grabbing one of those lettuce bowls for myself. I love that I can cut a bit and come back later for more. Margaret and Mike have so much in store and coming along in the next weeks and months. I’m excited!

geranium
The sea of Geranium

I walked through the greenhouses dreaming. Like I said before, I don’t plan much. But when I walked through all the houses, I got excited to get my hands dirty and get planting. I saw a sea of geraniums, an array of annuals just beginning to crack color and visions of yard beauty filled my tiny little head. It was ready to burst. Good thing it didn’t. Mike said he doesn’t have time to clean up the mess.

Nancy lives in Carver and works with  Mike and Margaret in the shops and greenhouses. She looks after the webpage and social media and does a bit of photography. 

Nancy&Chuck