Take a pretty close look right about now and you’ll see it everywhere – spring is just poking it’s head out of the ground.  The daffodils are 4 or 5 inches tall in some places, the crocuses were up this morning and probably open by now and one of the more bizarre wildflowers – the skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) is suddenly snout out.  A few of the tulips in the Rose Garden are even showing some serious leaf – I hope the deer don’t notice…

pockets of daffodils in the BosquetCrocus are coming up under the Osage orange and maple by the North Gardenskunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)Rose Garden tulips

And in the greenhouse spring is poking out of packs and our new coir pots — we switched to coir fiber pots from peat for a couple of reasons:  Coir is a renewable resource (coconut husk) whereas peat is not – peat sources are definitely dwindling.  Also the peat pots don’t break down quickly enough to even throw away in our compost and we’ve been told that the coir pots break down so fast we can actually plant them.  I’ll keep you posted about how we like them.Sweet peas in coir pots

Gail and a few volunteers did a bunch of seeding last week while I was away and I thought I’d share their list of accomplishments with you really so that I could have a better idea of who’s who on the benches.  Many of the seeds have already germinated because we had a 3-4 day stretch of sun and heat after sowing – for some seeds that’s all it takes.  – By the way, the sweet peas Gail and I sowed with our no-soak method on February 24th, germinated in about a week .

Warning – this is a long list in no particular order (aside from the date).

March 4th:  pennyroyal, hollyhock, Rudbeckia, Asperula, parsley, Viola, Salvia, Eryngium, Centranthemum, kale, cabbage, lettuce, Phystostegia, Lysimachia, statice, artichoke, dahlia, petunia, Swiss chard.

March 6th:  Artichoke, Eryngium, leeks, Orlaya, Calendula, Dicranostigma, Asclepias, dahlia, kale, cabbage, Aquilegia.

and this week, March 11th:  beets, California poppy, lettuce, creeping zinnia, annual Phlox, Nicotiana, Ipomopsis, fountain grass, Gomphrena, pink paintbrush grass, Asclepias, Salvia.

We do start things early because of having the greenhouse but even if all you have is a sunny windowsill, artichokes could be/should be started now because the seedlings need at least a 2 week period of cold (no warmer than 50 degrees, but not freezing) after germination in order to produce flowers the first year.

If you have any questions about the list – if want more details about anything in particular, please let me know.  Have you seen spring emerging?  Have you started any seeds?

seedlings emerging