Timing the Garden

Seeds in baggies_LAH_6137The calendar may say “Spring” but here in Colorado it’s still winter. Still, the first signs of spring are there if you look for them. Days are getting longer. Birds are wearing their courting feathers and breaking into spontaneous song. Buds are swelling on bare branches. And gardeners are reemerging from their winter hibernation.

Hopefully, you’ve already tested any stored seeds for viability, then placed your seed order or picked from the racks at your local garden center. When your packets arrive, store them in a cool, dry place. I like to sort mine into zip-lock baggies, then arrange the bags in a clear plastic shoebox. Colorado is naturally dry, but reusing the bags of desiccant that come in products such as new shoes and purses will help in more humid regions.

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When Is the Last Frost?

frosty-tree-home-2009-02-14-lah-253

This last week of gorgeous spring weather has certainly brought out the crowds at the garden centers and home improvement stores. When I visited last weekend, carts full of geraniums, tomatoes, and other tender annuals were lined up at the checkout.

Today, the forecast is for snow. It was 30 degrees when I got up this morning. There was frost on the parked cars. As I type, big flakes are softly landing on the freshly turned soil out my window. I wondered how many of the people I’d seen at the store had gone home and planted their flowers, only to find them blackened after the sub-freezing night.

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