Lessons in gardening

Lessons learned:

  1. Don’t put out Impatiens seedlings out in the sun. Despite copious amounts of watering, the tender leaves faded, threatening early seedling demise. I immediately moved the impatiens flats into the shade of our photinia hedge, which seems to have improved their outlook.
  2. Dianthus seeds do not need tray starting. However, since we are talking about starting an uncommon or rare dianthus seed here, I did not want to take any chances. The seedlings would have probably started just as well in Jiffy pots or in the 3″ pots they are currently inhabiting. As they are now, they are slow to adjust to the sudden transition from indoors to outdoors. I am hoping they will perk back up soon. It’s been a week since I moved them outside…
  3. Fresh salvia cuttings need to stay in shade for a period of 1-2 weeks during spring. Getting full sun tends to dry them out too quickly. Also, it helps to direct their energy to rooting and leafing, so pinch off any buds that develop. The cuttings I took from Hot Lips all budded, so I had to nip those right away. Luckily, the cuttings took root, and they are now residing outdoors to harden and grow. I have also half a dozen red salvia greggii cuttings that I’m waiting on to root, before they can share the sunlight with the other babies.
  4. If you see a plant you want at the store, don’t hesitate to snap it up right away. Especially Nepeta (a.k.a. Catmint). We saw several Walkers Low specimens at Covington’s a week or two ago, and were dismayed to learn they had been sold out on another visit yesterday. If it looks good, chances are it will sell right away. With this pleasant spring weather, consumers are flocking to garden centers in droves and picking up the prettiest plants currently in full bloom.
  5. Take pictures of your garden frequently. I can’t stress this enough. The garden looks different every day. Flowers are ephemeral, lighting differs, new foliage continuously appear on old plants. And your perspective will change throughout the day. Beauty is fleeting, and a picture captures a single moment in time to preserve it forever.