I always feel like I can’t count on January. I just never know what to expect and this year is proving to be no different. We have gone from 70 degrees the end of December straight to sleet, snow and ice in January. Its tough enough to know what to wear each day–but my garden’s head is spinning!
The problem this year for my fall-planted spring blooming garden is it grew more than I wanted as we are heading into winter. Small established plants thrive through winter. Larger plants with lots of top growth–not so happy.
We experienced fall like conditions until last week, this is good for some plants and bad for others. Many of my plants are actually considering blooming, but that notion will be but a memory come tomorrow night with single digit wind chills.
So what can you do? I went out yesterday and double covered all of our beds with 2 layers of floating row cover to help buffer the extreme swing in conditions. All of these plants are winter hardy (remember my book Cool Flowers-right?) but I am pretty sure they are going to get a headache at a minimum with this drastic change and the covers will help minimize the suffering.
English Sweet Pea Mumsie just sprouting.
The fun chore for this month is I started a whole bunch of our new English Sweet Peas. I have experienced 96% germination (wow!) and cannot wait to plant them out in early February. We usually fall-plant sweet peas but just received our seeds from England and couldn’t wait till next fall– so I am really excited to get them in the ground.
I will start a few other seeds in the next 2 weeks (sweet william, stock, and strawflowers) for early spring planting and then onto finalizing my planting plan for 2016. January is the month I plot our course for the entire season and it is almost gone–yikes!
2 week warning–if you would like to receive a paper copy of our 2016 catalog sign-up now! We only mail once a year so don’t miss it! Suzanne has outdone herself this year–more pages and it launches Farm Dog Babs new book!
The hope of spring is coming,
Lisa Mason Ziegler is a commercial cut-flower farmer in Newport News, Virginia; she lectures and writes about organic and sustainable gardening. Lisa is the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director of the ASCFG. You can email Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org , call her at 757-877-7159 or visit her website www.shoptgw.com .
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