Gardening Plan week of 3/5/2017

Save the hydrangeas!!

Save the hydrangeas!!

We have some CRAZY weather right now. It forced me to change some plans.  It’s been so warm and nice that some of the plants are ahead of themselves and budded out.  Well, we are supposed to get some cold – tonight is supposed to get down to 22 F!!!

That is bad.... I think it will top kill all my hydrangeas.  The roots will survive – but it means no blossoms this year and a bunch of dead sticks to cut out.  I tried covering some of them with a tarp to see if I can save them. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I want my blossoms gosh darn it!

The good news? My husband built 6 new raised bed forms for me and expanded the vegetable garden fence around the loose bed that ran along the back of the old fence – so now I have 688 square feet of fenced in, protected vegetable gardening goodness! That's just the growing space people - not including the walkways. Still a bit of work to do, but very exciting.

This is my wanna-be farm

This is my wanna-be farm

On to the gardening plan....

Plan for this week:

Much of this week’s plan depends on the weather. I have some prep work I want to do on the new vegetable garden beds. You can see there is still some work to do, but it’s important not to handle the soil too much if it’s wet. You can destroy the soil structure and end up with a remarkably cement-like substance.

  1. Amend and level new garden beds (weather permitting)
  2. Try again to expose lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and onion starts to the outdoors to harden them off. Plant them out at the end of the week.
  3. Treat for evil, seedling eating slugs...
  4. Of course – more spring weeding...
  5. Take time to admire all the spring bulbs
  6. I also signed up for 2 garden design classes at Longwood Gardens.  Guess what? They give out homework! It's a good thing, but more to add to the to-do list.  (Why are my kids so gleeful that Mom has homework?).

How did I do last week?

  1. Start some Zinnia seedlings in peat pellets – done!
  2. Meet with the school to talk about the plan for their vegetable garden – still working on this one... This is a Catholic school in Chester where friend and I organized a vegetable garden last year. We worked with the boy scouts to have the beds put in last spring and did some gardening with the kids during their summer program.  We want to make some improvements and refine the plan for this year.
  3. Treat my vegetable garden for slugs – put this on hold because of the cold weather. I want to wait till I know the slugs will be around to take the bait.  Did see some of the slimy buggers while I was out there on Tuesday though... yuck...
  4. Spring weeding (weather permitting) – I can’t say done (is weeding ever really “done”?) but I did make progress that I feel pretty good about.
  5. Start exposing lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and onion starts to the outdoors to harden them off – I did this, but again can’t say “done”.  Since the weather is supposed to turn so cold, I decided to keep them sheltered in the house a little longer and wait a week to set them into the garden.
  6. Fertilize apple and pear trees (need to buy more fertilizer) – Done!