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Showing posts from March, 2012


I tried to post a photo directly from my 'smart' phone last week that showed my spring indicator plant, my little Iris reticulata bulbs, but it must have gotten lost in cyberspace somewhere.  Anyways, it needs to be recorded here that they bloomed on March 19th, about 3 weeks ahead of last year!  It is March 29th and today I was thinking the grass almost needs to be mowed.  Unbelievable.  At least the temps are slightly closer to normal now so things slow down a bit.  No more 70's every day like the previous couple of weeks. Last week on one of the nice, sunny days, my Girl and the dog played in the garden while I pruned and cleaned out the entire row of raspberries.  Today, we mulched them with straw and I feel so accomplished.  At least we'll have raspberries this year, if nothing else gets done.  Also today, at T-minus 6 weeks until last frost date, we planted seeds downstairs under the grow lights for: Tomato- Roma, Super Sweet 100, Brandywine, and Sup

Early Spring

The weather is crazy; we've been having 70 degree days for the last week and a half.  It is making me nervous that we're gonna really get it later...It's only March, after all.  We could technically still get a foot of snow, although at this point it's hard to imagine. The Girl and I planted lettuce and spinach out back yesterday in one of the raised bed squares.  Pretended to be fancy and rowed it in an X pattern corner to corner in the box.  This photo is what inspired me although I'm nowhere near this ambitious: Fancy lettuce bed at Glensheen Mansion, Duluth, MN, Summer 2009 We also planted our pepper seeds two days ago (roughly 8 weeks ahead of last frost free date) - Jalapeno, California Wonder, and Carnival, 3 pack cells of each type.  Spring, I love you but I'm not sure if I'm ready for you.

Starting Seeds

My Girl and I (with Daddy's help setting up tables and lights) started our first seeds of 2012 last night.  We planted Onion Candy Hybrid, which I thought I had more seed of, but it was only a partial packet left over from last year so a rather sparsely filled flat.  I think I'll buy more (this seed was from the Jung's catalog) and direct sow more onions outside later for another crop.  The seed packet recommends starting indoors 8-10 weeks ahead of last frost-free date (around May 10th here), so we're around the 9 weeks mark.  Weird, I'm on time for something.  Just for the heck of it, we also planted some old perennial seeds I had on hand.  Alchemilla mollis 'Thriller' was 2009 seed, but I am hopeful nevertheless.  It is supposed to germinate in 4-5 weeks at temps between 60-70 degrees, which our basement laundry room, location of the seed starting project, is.  I ordered the seed online way back when from Swallowtail Gardens in Santa Rosa, CA.  I thin

Mpls Home & Garden Show Tour

Here are highlights from my favorite plant displays at the Minneapolis Home & Garden show 2012.  Since I attended the show to work in the trade show booth with my employer, and while there got to tour the displays on his dime, I guess I feel the need to include a boring disclaimer:  I don't endorse any of these other businesses; but if their signs ended up in my pictures, so be it. Their displays were awesome!  You should definitely get in touch with me when you need landscaping though, just so we're clear : )      Each garden had a movie theme; This one was 'Camelot' The castle walls, built of Dwarf Alberta Spruce (note the every-other upside-down spruce to make solid walls of green) and crazy awesome weeping evergreens up top. The view of the castle wall from the other end  Monkey Puzzle Tree - Don't get too crazy fellow Northerners, it's only Zone 6. Sigh. Inside the castle walls was the Round Table, built around a

Green Expo, Part II. Czech Republic

I long to travel, but circumstances to actually do so are limiting these days, so traveling vicariously with U of M Professor Neil Anderson to the Czech Republic for an hour at the Green Expo was a wonderful trip.  Neil lived there for a year while on sabbatical doing research on the invasiveness of Phalaris (Ribbon Grass) and blogging about his experiences and findings at .  Neil's talk at Green Expo was not about the Phalaris findings, which he covered in the blog, but about the country itself and some neat Horticultural practices he observed there.  Here are the highlights of note to me from his talk, in my random cobweb-brain order: The Czech Republic has the highest per capita consumption of beer of any country in the world (I thought that would be Germany, or perhaps the U.S. since I live here, but no).  Well, that's all I need to know; the Czech Republic is cool and must be visited someday.  And so my bucket list gets longe