Happy 2008!

January 15, 2008

Oh boy, I’m already excited about spring! It’s been a while so I’ll just give you an update on my gardening activities for the past few months. Due to some technical problems I unfortunately have limited pictures to document all my hard work.

Tuber Storage

I dug up my dahlias after the first couple of frosts and was surprised to see how big the tubers had grown. I used a garden fork about 1 foot away from the main stem and gently pried the tubers out of the ground. Since I hadn’t labeled the plants, I decided to throw them all together and sort it out next year. I washed the dirt off, clipped the main stem and let the tubers dry for an hour or two. Then I packed them in a plastic storage bin with vermiculite and separated the layers with newspaper. I’ve been checking on them about once a month and they haven’t rotten at all. Woohoo.

Bulb Planting

I decided last fall that I was going to plant some spring bulbs for a bit of colour during the dreary beginnings of spring. A couple of different varieties turned into an avalanche of bulbs and a marathon of planting before the frost.

I scraped away an area of soil, dug down to the planting depth for the bulb. I spaced them evenly, grid-like, on the area and gently swept back the displaced soil. Using bamboo skewers, I outlined the four corners of the bulb area and prepared some chicken wire.

We have a big problem with squirrels around our house thanks to the black walnut tree two houses over so I had to find a way to protect my precious bulbs before the ground froze. There were many options from spraying the area with a repellent to wrapping the bulbs individually in soil and chicken wire. I decided to cut out pieces of chicken wire and lay them down over top of the area where I had planted my bulbs. Then using rocks I could weigh the wire down and hopefully stop any little critters.

I missed out on planting the garlic and other bulbs which have since sat sadly on my shelf.

Indoor Plants

Before the weather turned cold, I trimmed my Sambuca nigra ‘Black Lace’ shrub and kept the cuttings in water. They’ve since grown impressive roots and I’ve potted them up in to plastic pots to start their new lives as individual plants. I’ve got five cuttings and they seem to be doing well.

I got a poinsettia during the holidays and am trying to keep it alive. I’ve never had much success and so far things seem to be going well. The soil dries out so quickly that I think I’m going to give it a bigger home.

I overwatered my lithop one day and it turned its insides into a mucky mess and died. I really liked those ‘living stone’ plants.

I knocked off one of the ‘leaves’ from my succulent garden and planted it in soil and it seems to have taken root.

I was given a tiny African violet plant from the Montreal Botanical Garden that was in the smallest pot I’ve ever seen. I bought some African Violet mix that has peat moss, humus, compost, perlite and vermiculite.

Then I potted it up into a slightly bigger pot:

I also pinched off that extra-long leaf, snapped it in half and potted up the top half of the leaf to see if it’ll root. Once it gets bigger I’ll pot it up into a self-watering pot.

Lots more to come!

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