I’ve been fretting about the ferns in the shade bed. Since nearly everything but the ferns and hostas have emerged, I’m getting a little anxious to see if they made it through the freeze.
The ferns in question are of three varieties: two specimens of Japanese painted fern, Anisocampium niponicum, and two specimens of Silver Brake ferns, Pteris argyraea (?), and a clover fern, Marsilea macropoda,
The marsilea overwintered in the garage, but perished when I moved it inside in March. But I had already anticipated getting another specimen from Painted Flower Farm.
The Silver Brake ferns were marked for zone 9 hardiness according to the Lowes plant tag, so they could have been misidentified/mislabeled. Instead of Pteris quadriaurita argyraea, these may actually be Pteris cretica, at least based on the image lookups I’ve performed. Regardless, I didn’t expect them to resurrect. But I potted up the rootballs anyway to make room for an assortment of new plants.
The Japanese painted ferns were giving me the itch to go buy new ones. But I waited them out.
I’m always hesitant to broadcast seeds directly into the garden because of the risk of poor germination rates. Granted, previous experience had me neglect seeds sown directly into the beds, which need the right temperature and moisture to thrive. Daytime highs are in the upper 60s while nighttime lows in the high 40s and low 50s. It’s still too cold for some delicate summer plants to tolerate, as some of the starts are beginning to show.
I hedge my bets wherever I can, sowing indoors those seeds that I trust will germinate successfully and can handle transplant.
Seeds I’ve sown and re-sown both inside and out:
Agastache rugosa, Korean Hyssop
Salvia coccinea, Scarlet Sage
Salvia farinacea, Sirius Blue Sage
Monarda citriodora, Lemon Bee Balm
Gomphrena haagena, Strawberry Fields
Tropaeolum minus Nasturtium Black Velvet (presoaked)
The last vegetable seeds I direct sowed beginning of March were the bok choy Tiny Hedou and Purple Lady, along with bunching onions Tokyo White. They are finally beginning to emerge. Meanwhile I’m giving the Thai Long Green Eggplant another try although I haven’t had any success with the last batch.
Finally got around to cleaning out the stock tank beds of dead plants and withering leaves/stems. It looks like some veggies are extending their stay.
Brussel sprouts, red russian kale, kohlrabi, some Parris cos and red lettuce are being joined by some broccoli specimens. The wasabi radish turned out inedible, soft and mushy after sitting out on the counter. I’m not sure if the remaining specimen is salvageable, but I will leave it in-bed for now.
I lopped decaying tops and removed decaying leaves/debris to give the new offshoots some space and light.
In addition, I installed seedlings in the vacant square foot spaces, mostly lettuce starts and 9 chinese broccoli seedlings. I had to throw out my spinach and bok choy seedlings due to heavy infestations of aphids.
Instead, I direct sowed all my bok choy seeds into the stock tanks, along with some Tokyo White bunching onion seeds. Let’s see how these do.
Next time, I may have to buy a bag of ladybugs and a fine mesh cloth to clean up my beds, as suggested by my instructor from StartOrganic class.
Another useful tidbit I learned from garden class: certified organic means no applications of fertilizer/compost within 90 days of harvest.
March is the start of the busy gardening season. So posts come and go sporadically as I try to prep the garden, sow seeds, transplant starts and putter around back and forth trying to get as much yardwork done as possible.
But it’s also a chance to look, reflect and gaze upon the daily pulse of spring as it progresses slowly throughout the month.
Here are some new plants that I installed this week: verbena and delphinium.
Some emerging signs of life and budding from the golden oregano, lorapetalum, serissa, ligustrum, abelia, phlox, ajuga, shantung maple and redbud.
I’m also constantly working the flower beds, with special focus on the shade bed on the side of the house inside the fence line.
My order from Annie’s Annuals finally arrived, nearly a week later than the promised delivery date. I should have known that carriers are still dealing with large backlogs and delayed delivery schedules.
The plants didn’t look too good after unpacking, despite the great packaging. I reported the issue to the vendor and Annie’s was kind enough to offer store credit.
Good news for my tomato starts; 15g grow bags have arrived. I plan to transplant them around the beginning of April, once I have acquired cages and come up with a soil mix recipe.