Sunday, March 18, 2012
Garden update: March 2012
Believe it or not, I'm gardening -- in early March! Usually March in Iowa comes in like a lion, out like a lamb. But this year, the temps are in the 70s and even in the 80s this weekend. And the soil temperatures have hit 50 degrees, which is when it's warm enough for seeds to germinate. I'm trying to resist the urge to start planting my vegetable seeds, though, since the average frost date in central Iowa isn't until the first of May. However, I'm thinking about planting a few lettuce seeds, just to see if anything grows.
Last week, I read on Facebook that the Earl May garden centers in central Iowa just received pansies for sale. Pansies are extremely cold tolerant. Last year, I planted pansies in April, then we got a couple of inches of snow. But by mid-May, the pansies looked gorgeous. I've also planted pansies in the fall, and after an extremely snowy winter, they bloomed again in the spring. So I couldn't wait to plant them again this year.
I also found a pack of lettuce seedlings at Earl May. I thought it would be fun to plant an edible arrangement. (Pansy flowers are edible, too.)
I especially loved the large orange blooms on these pansies. The plants should grow and fill up the container as the weather continues to warm up.
I also checked on my tulip bed in the morning on a 70 degree day, and I didn't see any sprouts yet. Then three hours later, I went back outside and saw these little tulip shoots. Can't believe they popped up from the ground so fast!
Unfortunately, I learned last year that the rabbits really love to nibble on tulip shoots. So I bought a cheap roll of wire garden fence to keep the buggers out. The fencing wasn't long enough, however. So the tulips I couldn't protect were gone by the morning, thanks to our neighborhood rabbits. But most of the tulips are safe for now.
It felt so good to get my hands dirty in the garden again. Even a short winter is a long time to wait before it's garden season again.