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The Beginning Of A New Gardening Season

Yes indeed! It may only be February, but, at my house at least, this year’s gardening season has begun once again. I’m not talking about house plants mind you, although they seem to have multiplied in the last few months, the poor souls. They have no idea how hard it is for a house plant to get a drink around here! They might well come to regret joining our happy little home. I am hoping that their sheer numbers will keep watering needs in the forefront of my mind rather than the casual “Oh dear. . . You really are gasping for water aren’t you?!” that tends be the norm around here.

A desperate, dehydrated primula.

To me a new garden season begins when my first seedling comes up.

Under lights in my cool basement

Starting plants from seed is sheer joy for me. Each time a new seedling emerges I marvel once again at the astonishing evidence of God’s creation. It never becomes boring or ho hum. Every new batch of seeds are scrutinized daily (regardless of the fact that they will need, at the very least, a few days to begin germination. . . ) Each and every seedling gives me a thrill.

This year is even more exciting as I am not only growing plants for myself, I am also growing a plethora of plants for this spring’s plant sale here at {growing} wisedom !

You might well think that it’s a bit early to be starting plants, considering that here in Edmonton, we generally don’t plant things outside until the May long week end, or, if you are the cautious type, the first week in June. The thing is, our growing season is pretty short, so I like to start things early and have them at a good size by the time they are ready to be planted out. It’s more work and takes up a fair bit of space in the greenhouse but the end result is worth the extra effort.

Of course these days when you by plants from garden centers, big box stores and the like, you will find the majority of plants sold are in much larger pots than they used to be. While you can still find the smaller six packs, four and six inch pots are much more common. Gorgeous, instant, expensive beauty. As I love lush plantings but have a rather small planting budget, I try to get the best ‘bang for my buck’ by shopping smart and growing as much as possible myself.

I rarely buy things in four or six inch pots unless they are perennials and even then you would be amazed at how fast a smaller plant will catch up with it’s larger sister (or brother. . .). Smaller plants tend to settle in much more quickly and so end up being a better deal for those with a little more patience.

If I am honest though, I always drool over the six inch geraniums. If I didn’t use them so liberally in my garden I would spring for them over seed grown plants. (They may be cliche, but for plants that perform through out the entire season under varied conditions, they can’t be beat.)

The first plants I start are perennials and a few annuals that take longer to grow, like geraniums, impatiens and petunias.

Next up. . . clay pots of basil which I hope to sell at an upcoming spring craft sale. Which, if I want them to be large enough, I had better get to right now!

What do you hope to do in your garden this year?

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