FROM OUR GARDEN TO YOURS

Mon, 03/07/2016 - 10:09 -- dartyacke
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Education
Date: 
Monday, March 7, 2016

Forcing Bulbs - forcing bulbs enables us to enjoy the fragrance of spring during dreary days of late fall and winter. Bulbs that force well are paper-white narcissus, tulips and hyacinths. To force paper-whites, place the bulbs in a container 2 or more inches deep and large enough to hold 2 to 12 bulbs. Fill the container partway with pebbles, and then set the bulbs on top of the pebbles. Add more pebbles to cover the bottom third of the bulbs. Add enough water to touch the bottom of the bulbs. Don’t forger to check the water level daily to maintain the right level. Place the container in a cool, dark location for two weeks or until shoots are a few inches high. Move the container to a bright place to encourage flowering.

Seed Starting Tubs - you don't need individual plant pots or starter pots in order to start seeds.  I used to until I was looking for a way to start more seeds in a smaller area. I decided to try plastic tubs of various sizes.  I like the transparent ones because you can see the roots and moisture levels under the soil.  My tubs range in size from 8x12x6 to 30x24x6.  You can find these at thrift stores and yard sales some times for as little as 50 cents each. I fill them about 3/4 way up the sides with soil, any light soil will work and then plant the seeds in rows or randomly, labeling them by writing with black markers right on the plastic.  After they start to grow I use a spoon and 'scoop' up the plant and root system and plant it into its for-ever pot, basket or right into the garden.  When planting some annual flowers with very tiny seed, instead of scooping out the plant/roots, I just take a knife and cut as many squares into the soil as I need for my baskets; this works great with lobelia as no thinning is really needed.

IRIS - fertilize irises now on a broadcast basis with a slow release fertilizer 20-5-10. Also, iris flower buds set in the fall. Source: Ted Baker, BC Iris Society.

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