We have closed the shop for the past 4 mid-winters (Christmas-March). I’ve used the time to catch-up on bookkeeping, administration, filing, orders, articles, hand-outs and a few projects (and have a little free time). We probably won’t continue our winter closures in the future (we’re here and watering the house plants anyway) and this winter there was certainly NO rest. This week (3/25-30) we emptied the inside of the shop and we’re painting the floor. We intend to put it all back together next week and start re-opening a little by 4/4 (10-5). We’ll leave a number of items in the POD for an early spring garage sale. Many indoor lighting and hydroponics supplies for 50% off (or more).
We’ll work on removing the snow from the soils area to bring in our first loads of Topper, Gromulch and Bumper Crop. We have pallets of pottery, statuary, gifts and fertilizers arriving starting next week. There is a truckload of fresh tropical houseplants arriving in mid-April (delayed due to floor). Our 2019 seeds actually started arriving in February. We have seed starting supplies – starting soils, trays, tray covers, peat-pots, vermiculite, perlite, liquid seaweed, etc… It IS time to start a few types of seeds if you want the “full experience” and the thrill of growing food or flowers from seed to harvest. It’s also the least expensive way to go about it. If you choose to wait, we will have seedlings of appropriate plants available for sale as planting timing dictates.
Start these seeds indoors from late February through April. Plant these seedlings outdoor starting in mid-late April: broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, Calendula. Plant seedlings in early May: celery, leek, lettuce, onion. Start seeds in March for planting mid to late May (with frost protection): pepper, eggplant, tomatillo, and tomato. Hardy annuals and perennial seeds can be started now for planting into the garden in early May.
While it is fine to plant trees, shrubs and bulbs ANYTIME you choose, and plants are always happier in the ground than in pots, it is important to never dig or work “wet” soil. Disturbing mud,
destroys soil structure, the arrangement of the soil particles into aggregates of various sizes and shapes that allow for aeration and drainage (air is as important to roots as water is). FYI: Soil texture is determined by the ratios of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter that determine a soil’s water and nutrient holding capacity as well as it’s workability and more.
IF you have some bulbs (as I do) that you did not get into the ground in fall, plant them as soon as the soil is workable (remember: moist but not muddy). They will not keep much longer.