Since today is St. Patrick's Day and tradition dictates that we do all things green and as Irish as possible here are a few things green from my garden!
We have green in the vegetable garden in the form of sugar snap peas, spinach, and lettuce! Other things haven't come up yet for a visit like the asparagus (which I just planted) and the potatoes. Time and the warm weather coming will give our plantings a growth spurt.
I've mulched lightly around the sugar snap peas with grass clippings for an organic fertilizer (approximate NPK: 4-1-2) and for increased water retention in the soil.
Little 'Tom Thumb' lettuce is coming up! When it's time to harvest the lettuce these little lettuces will be somewhere between 3-4 inches in diameter. It's a cute little lettuce that kids should love. If you need ideas for a vegetable that will encourage your kids to garden 'Tom Thumb' is a good choice. They can sprinkle it (scatter sow) and watch it grow!
Here comes the spinach! It's growing it's first new sets of leaves since the cotyledons (that's a fancy name for the first leaves the seed sprouts to collect energy).
More lettuce seedlings are coming along. These should be one of my favorite lettuces Rouge D'Hiver. It's a red romaine lettuce with a delicious taste. I know, we said today is for green right? Well the seedlings are green - for now!
How about some extremely green grass! How does this happen so easily and without fertilizers? Through good mowing practices, overseeding in the fall, and allowing the grass clippings to break down where they land. In the fall I overseeded with fescue and rye. The rye grass is an annual and will die off in the heat of summer and supply the soil with more nutrients! Of course it also makes holes in the soil where its root system burrow which has an aeration effect the soil over time. The aeration makes the soil easier for the fescue to grow roots which should enable it to get more water from deeper in the soil! Exciting? Well, I think so!
Maybe watching the green grass grow isn't your thing but you have to admit watching things green up and come alive is pretty cool.
And why not take a look at some green in the blue garden shed? We'll start with one of my favorite viburnums a 'Mohawk' Burkwood (Viburnum x burkwoodii). It's a fragrant viburnum that is fairly easy to propagate in the late spring and early summer from greenwood cuttings. It's actually a hybrid of the Korean Spice viburnum (Viburnum carlesii) and Viburnum utile. I have two in my garden shed that I propagated last year and they are looking fantastic! Follow the link for a picture of our Burkwood Viburnum from last April which I'm hoping will be much more showy this year!
And or some variegated greenery here are some variegated dogwoods! These came from my Tatarian dogwood 'Elegantissima' (Cornus alba). Shrub dogwoods are extremely easy to propagate in the fall. Just take hardwood cuttings from the red stems and stick them in soil in a pot! It just couldn't be much easier.
So there's a bit O' green from St. Patrick's day! Now no pinching - I'm wearing green!
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Thursday, March 17, 2011
A Little Green for St. Patrick's Day!
Dave is the author of Growing The Home Garden and runs a small nursery business growing vegetables and herbs for local customers in Spring Hill, TN. (Blue Shed Gardens or FB page). He has written for gardening publications, Troy-Bilt and Lowe's and is available for edible garden consulting. Dave gardens organically and when he isn't writing, collecting seeds, or propagating plants he's parenting his 4 children as a stay at home dad.