Thursday, March 22, 2018

Spring is Here

Spring 2018 has officially arrived here in Pend Oreille County, but a glance outside suggests someone forgot to tell Mother Nature.  The snow is melting, but is still several inches deep.
The First Day of Spring 2018 - Photo credit: Guy Sims
Meanwhile, despite the wintry landscape that persists outdoors, indoor preparations for this year's garden are underway.  Tomato and pepper seedlings have sprouted and are off to a good start under the grow lights.

Tomato and Pepper Seedlings
Photo credit: Vicki Green
This year's tomato varieties include Abe Lincoln, Brandywine, Cosmonaut Volkov, Delicious, Early Girl, Legend, San Marzano, and Sweetie cherry tomato (my favorite!)  We loved the Early Jalapeno peppers last year.  They were so prolific.  We were getting 10-20 peppers per week!  So we are doing those again and are trying some Anaheim peppers for the first time.

Perennial seedlings
Photo credit: Vicki Green
Perennials have also germinated and some of the milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) already have their second set of true leaves (back row in photo) and will need to be transplanted this week. This year in addition to adding color and fragrance to the garden, the flowers I'm growing are all for the purpose of attracting and helping pollinators.  In addition to two species of milkweed Asclepias tuberosa and Asclepias speciosa, there are bee balm, (Monarda fistulosa), coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea), blanketflowers (Gaillardia aristada) and hollyhocks (Alcea rosea).

Pend Oreille County Master Gardener Demonstration Garden - Newport, WA
Photo credit: Vicki Green
 In addition to improving the  habitat for pollinators on our land, some of the plants I'm starting this year will be finding a home at the new Monarch Waystation at the Pend Oreille County Master Gardener Demonstration Garden.   Trying to do our part to help Monarch Butterflies and other pollinators.  I'll post photos of the Waystation in bloom later in the summer!

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