Monday, March 19, 2012

It's So Hard to Wait

In our region master gardeners tell us that May 15 is the magic date when it's safe to plant outdoors. Supposedly that's the latest date when a frost could still occur. This year, it's been so beyond spring, summer-like that it is nearly impossible to hold myself back from planting. Easter is still two weeks off, but the daffodils and star magnolias have already bloomed and gone, and the forsythia, cherry trees, and hyacinths are now fired up and dancing gaily. Even the peonies and the day lillies are beginning to poke their way up. I think they're about two months early. I'm excited to see that the blueberry bush I received as a volunteer appreciation gift from the NC Arboretum last year is sprouting new growth. All seems right with the world, no matter how unnatural this seasonal pace may be.

Highbush Blueberry
I've controlled myself on my frequent visits to the deck garden. I've only trimmed a bit of dead wood, reduced the mulch cover from the potted strawberries and dared to sprinkle some marigold seeds collected from last year's plants in the pots where I hope they survive to get an early start. But I won't plant new veggies or flowers until, well, at least till Easter has come and gone. I promise.

Instead, I've begun to turn the sunroom into an incubator. Cuttings from my wintered over geraniums, begonias and even impatiens are taking root in short glasses filled with pebbles. I'll transplant them to outdoor window boxes later on. The two tomato seeds I planted in peat pots last week have put out their first two cotyledon or seed leaves. So exciting!

I rotate the tray daily to encourage them to stand up straight as they wait for the more-recent plantings to join them. They also get spritzed every morning, along with the tray of peas I've prepared.

These tiny plants will be separated into paper muffin tin liners and given, one per family, to the members of the High Vista Community Garden at our first organizational meeting of the season next weekend. This party favor is meant to reinforce my garden motto, "Give Peas a Chance." Honestly, the anticipation of all the fun to come is a force to be reckoned with.


  1. the "Give Peas A Chance", Sharon! Looks like your have some great seedlings there. It is very tempting to plant early this year...I did that once several years ago when we lived in Tennessee, then we went to Florida for a week. Came home to a dead garden, because of a frost.

  2. Sharon, if you love daffodils like I do, you can plant early, mid, and late blooming ones...then you have them all season (whichever season we're in - like you, I still don't know!)...I even have some that are called "Fragrant Rose" that smell like roses!