10 February 2009

IN THE GARDEN TODAY
This afternoon I took a stroll in the back yard to see how many daffodils were showing. Along the back fence everywhere I removed the heavy oak leaf mulch there were clusters of yellow-green daffodil stems. Some were just barely peeking out and others were two inches tall.

In the newer beds that weren't heavily mulched, the stems are at least two inches tall and dark green. Yellow and white crocus are blooming here and there and dozens more will bloom as the weather cooperates.

Photo: White Garden, Honor Heights Park, Muskogee, March 2008

The garden shed is a glorious mess of planted seed trays, seedlings, plants that overwintered and now are producing fresh spring leaves.

Our friends, Lora and Matthew Weatherbee, owners of Blossom's Garden Center, got me a large heat mat so this year we have pepper seedlings up and making me optimistic about a summer full of grilled vegetable sandwiches.

USDA SOIL INFORMATION
One of the many blogs I peruse is The Slow Cook. Ed Bruske, the author in D.C. gave readers the scoop on an online service of the USDA's collection of soil data.

Their online tool is "Web Soil Survey" which allows you to enter an address and pull up all kinds of information on the soil in your area, including organic content, pH, and whether it rates as suitable for growing food.

I went to the site and spent 20-minutes messing around though I think our location is low on the kind of information available for other areas of the country. Click here to see what you can find out about your location. Thanks to Bruske for the scoop.

NATIVE PLANTS BY MAIL
There are two native plant nurseries I know of that sell a variety of habitat, bird, butterfly and Mother Earth friendly stock for the home gardener.

Click to see the online catalog of Munchkin Nursery and Gardens
and
Click to see the online catalog of Pine Ridge Gardens

Here's a link to the column I wrote last year about Pine Ridge and its owner, Mary Ann King, whom I like and respect.

It's time to put natives in the ground so when the butterflies arrive they will have a happy home at your place.

Mary Ann is offering the book, "Bringing Nature Home" by Douglas Tallamy. It is a must read for plant lovers. Here's a link to the column I wrote about the book.

What's peeking out of the cold soil where you are?

No comments: