February 16, 2011
Drip, drip, drip. I'm getting lulled into a false sense of spring with all this melting... Reason enough to start planning for it, though!
First thing on the agenda since some of the 55 inches of snow has melted away:
1. Pruning, followed by:
2. Seed Starting
4. Ice Melt, Firewood and the fun Facebook giveaway
1. Pruning commences with a last minute pitch for our Basic Tree Pruning class with Jon Bratt, of Bratt Tree Service next Tuesday, February 22 at 7pm, Riverview Wine Bar. Please register by email, all class instruction is free. More details: click Seminars on the home page.
The basic story is that now into very early spring is the time to get out your sharpened and cleaned tools and prune up those fruit trees and grape vines. If you have not cut back your spirea and hydrangea, cut those babies back to the first pair of buds above the ground. Brightly colored dogwood and willow that have winter interest benefit from pruning as the newer branches are brighter in color.
Forsythia, azalea, lilac and other first flushes of spring are not to be pruned until after they bloom. Pruning them now will be to cut off the buds they set last year.
Click here for a nice, easy to understand guide from the U of M: www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/DG0628.html.
2. Seed Starting: February is the month for endive, escarole, onions and leeks, late February to early March for eggplant from seed. Do not attempt to seed start in this excessively northern state without artificial light - you will be disappointed with a leggy, weak crop. Just saying.
On our website links page, you will find a convenient seed starting guide.
3. Houseplants: They're alive! Yes, they are stretching and yawning and curious about all this extra light they are getting. You may fertilize in a watered down kind of way, and if they must be repotted, now and into spring is a fine time.
4. We have beet covered ice melt that is salt, and we have traction grit, also known as poultry grit. To control the lake of ice outside your front door, this is the least harmful way you can go environmentally (along with sand), it is just crushed granite. We also have firewood, because after all, it is still officially winter.
The last thing on the agenda is a great Facebook giveaway - become eligible to win tickets to the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment's Momentum Series: www.facebook.com/pages/Mother-Earth-Gardens/329738524737. Just "like" the post and you are registered. And while you are there, like us too!
Hope to see you at the store soon.