February 11, 2009
We finally had our January Thaw. It took until February to have it, but it is nice to see how much the snow has settled.
At this time of the year, the winter blahs really settle in. People just can’t wait for spring to arrive. There are a few things you can do to help you think spring.
If you have some forsythia bushes in your yard, you can cut off some of the branches and bring those branches indoors. Place the stems in a vase of water and in short order the forsythia flowers will be in bloom. You can also use the stems of flowering quince to get some spring color in your home.
You can still find paper white bulbs in stores. You can force these bulbs into flower in about 4 weeks. If you can find some hyacinth bulbs, you can force those bulbs too.
You will find pots of primrose in stores now. These plants come in a variety of colors. The flowers will continue to form if you give the plants some fertilizer every 10 days. The flowers do emit a pleasant smell. I don’t think I have ever had anyone complain about the scent of these flowers. Primrose is a plant that likes to have moist soil. If the soil dries too much, the entire plant will wilt. If this happens, place the pot in a saucer of warm water. The potting soil will absorb the warm water faster than it will absorb cold water. Once the soil is wet, you can drain the excess water out of the saucer. Within a few hours, the plant will have sprung back to its normal shape.
Many people will have spring fever to such a degree that they will want to get a head start on spring by starting many of their flower and vegetable plants from seed. For most plants, it is still too early to start them from seed. Most plants will only need 8 to 10 weeks to get to the size you want in your garden. If you start the plants too early, there is a tendency for the plants to get spindly. These plants often don’t transplant well into the garden. If you want to start some of the early flowering annual flowers, there are some that you could start from seed. You can start geraniums and pansies now. These plants take longer to grow from seed and will be ready when the weather warms up a bit. In a few more weeks, you can start snapdragons and sweet peas. Both of these plants will take some early spring cold if they are properly hardened off before you put them outside.
Well, this gives you some ideas of things you can do to help ease your spring fever. I’ll talk to you again next week.