Tuesday, March 4, 2014
My Front Garden in Early March, the waiting continues...2014
Here we are on March 4th and as you can see in this picture, we are still waiting for spring. We received 3 inches of snow between Sunday night and yesterday morning but I am not complaining as the predicted snowfall was to be at least 8 inches with maximum final amount predicted to be 12 inches. Most of our streets and roads are already completely clear and the snow continues to slowly melt in the gardens. These are 'Jacob's Ladder' (Polemonium reptans) seeds, a beautiful spring flowering plant that is native to the east coast of the United States. Polemonium reptans will flower for about 2 weeks and then they have wonderful light green foliage that will be a great background color for other flowering plants throughout out the entire spring and summer seasons. Here is a picture from years past of one of my beds in my backyard showing the Jacob's Ladder in full flower. Germination media needs to be media that is sterile but yet can hold water for a slightly moist, not wet, stratification period. The best medium to use is sphagnum moss due to its sterility but you must be careful that you do not overpower tiny or small seeds during the stratification process. For smaller seeds I would suggest using either sterile, good quality sand or horticultural grade vermiculite to stratify your seeds but be careful not to over-wet these two media because they can hold large amounts of water. You can use a plastic bag to store your seeds during this process and I am using small locking sandwich bags that are then placed inside the original shipping envelopes to keep them separate from other seeds and for ease of identification. I have also ordered some bare root plants of Polemonium reptans (basically just the roots and the plant buds) and they will be going into my front garden sometime in April. Yesterday was another great day because I received my packets of annual vines from Swallowtail Gardens and I am excited to get some of them them planted in trays so they can go into the garden in mid-May. Again, once you get your package in the mail, check through the packets to make sure that they are all there and that there are no back-orders. This is very important at this time of year as you have a short window in which to get your plants and seeds out in the garden for a long and colorful season. I ordered my annual vines (more info on these in a past blog) and I also ordered a few Echinacea seeds to add to the garden in April. These will go right into planting trays as I find that Echinacea seeds will often germinate quickly with or without stratification.