Sprout Farm Newsletter sproutfarm.net May 15, 2022
Some like it hot! I know my plants do and I enjoy the wind chill temps above the 40's. Everyone was smiling today with the return of the sunshine.
This week's sale (Sunday - Saturday): Proven Winner 4 1/2" grandee pot, 2 for $9.00. Jay just couldn't resist putting our Proven Winners on sale. You are free to check out prices for these plants at places like Shaws supermarkets. Oh my, this is what happens when you start with plugs and grow up the plants yourself.
We're starting to bring out our the warm weather veggie plants. We are still a little way from summer squash and zukes and we won't start the winter squash until after Memorial Day. I brought out the first planting of Benary's zinnias, the yellow and orange plants are in the second planting. If you are adventurous, I have some sugar snap pea seeds from last year. I'll make up some bags of seeds and you can have them for free. Just one bag/family/visit. It is not too late to plant peas and these peas will climb four feet tall so they will appreciate sun, water and support. I don't know if they will germinate but you have nothing to lose. Give me a few minutes on Sunday morning to make up the bags.
This is a beautiful time to plant perennials. It is also a good time to make a list of your perennials and check out if they need any special springtime care. Our Montauk daisy tips will soon be ready for harvesting. We will root the tips for new plants and keep the parent plants nice and tight. I am still hesitant to tip our white hibiscus shoots. The plants are so beautiful and although the seeds produce beautiful plants the flowers do not always turn out that pure white that we all love. I will hold my breath and cut six tips and hope they root. The survivor perennial garden seems to be enjoying the occasional drenching with algae filter residue. The koi are happy to donate and I am happy to collect but sometimes I get splattered with green stuff. This is not an exact science and I am trying to figure out a schedule to cleaning the filter pads. I thought fish ponds were supposed to be a place of calm not work but seeing the fish swimming through clear water is wonderful. Hearing the beautiful new bird song is even better. I think it is a bluebird and it lifts my heart every time I stop long enough to listen to it.
Jay's experiment with covering part of the garden with a black tarp continue to pay off. The new plantings of lettuce, leeks and kale are still weed free. Now if we could just plan what section of the garden will be used to plant onions next year, I will help lay out the tarp myself. Jay will plant carrots in the uncovered section this week. Let's see if that will work out for us. Carrots have always been an issue because they are so slow to germinate that the weeds show up before the carrot sprouts and shade them out. I recently read a tip that you can trick carrot seeds into sprouting early by putting soil a plate, sprinkling the carrot seeds on the dirt then placing the plate in your freezer for 24 hours. This will trick the carrots into a post winter growing cycle. Take the plate out and seal it in a plastic bag and place the bag in a warm dark place like the top of the refrigerator. Check the seeds daily and it is time to plant them when you see tiny white shoots appear. Prepare your bed with a shallow trench and gently push the soil, shoots and all, into the trench. Lightly cover the shoots and gently press down to make sure they make contact with the soil. Keep them moist for three days and after that they should be fine. Carrots benefit from occasional dry periods as it makes the roots grow down in search of water.
Ziggy is still gestating. She will spend quiet time out at the stand sleeping on the counter. Life is beautiful even on this small scale. We watch her fur and every now and then we can see some movement that nothing to do with her breathing. It won't be long now. Stirling and his sister are enjoying the upstairs guest room and Jay and James are making great progress in handling them. I wish I could say the same. It will be graduation day when they come to me without hesitation.
Shelly joined us today and she will be with us the next few weekends to help with your gardening questions and garden design tips. When people come up to me and start a sentence with, " I have this garden area..." I mentally freeze. Shelley dives right in. We each have our gifts. I wonder what she would say if a person asked her, "Could you paint me a sign by tomorrow?"
Different gifts and talents develop over time and you learn who you need to ask for tasks and projects.
Stop on by and we will be happy to help you. We have lots of lettuce and it is a pretty as a picture.
See you soon.
Jay and Phyllis Sprout