Trying to keep up

– Posted in: Plant info, Uncategorized

Yesterday I potted on 140 assorted zinnias, most of which I had assumed would not be sprouting. The newest seed was 2 years old, the older seed went back as far as 1996, I think. The zinnias don’t really want to be potted on, they want to be planted. I refuse, though, to plant something that’s not frost hardy before the end of the first week of June. Even if we haven’t had frost for weeks, whoever is in charge of cold weather likes to stick in one last parting shot before summer really starts. Usually it’s just a light frost, but sometimes it’s a hard frost that kills anything it can get its hands on. However, most things have been staying outside in their little plastic cells 24/7, because I don’t see warnings for frost. If the weather forecast says “overnight lows in the upper 30s,” I take everything in. Chances are, it will really frost. The only exception is the 30+ basil plants. I’ve learned that if Basil plants have to cope with temperatures lower than 60 degrees, they remain stunted for the rest of the season. Needless to say, I don’t want my basil to get stunted while it’s still the size of my thumb.

My dad just went and bought more marigolds. I don’t think he realized I already had 80 marigold plants.

About the Author

Talitha spent the last few years doing an absurd combination of work and school, and found it wasn’t very pleasant. Now she’s doing work, school and a garden, and life is a little better! She also enjoys photography and hand feeding her ducks. USDA Hardiness Zone: 4 AHS Heat Zone: 3 Location: rural; Southern Tier of NY Geographic type: foothills of Appalachian Mountains Soil Type: acid clay Experience level: advanced beginner Particular interests: herbs, vegetables, cutting garden, cottage gardening

Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.

~Adrian Higgins in The Washington Post, November 6, 2013

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