Kate Stephenson is a retired writer who can’t seem to keep her thoughts to herself. She is clearly obsessed with growing all manner of plants, especially vegetables and other edibles. See for yourself if her enthusiasm for gardening is contagious!
Kate's Corner for April
My greenhouse is so full of little baby all kinds of things that I can’t stay away. I have to be out there, urging on all the flowers, herbs, tomatoes, and fuchsia starts. There are thousands of them, literally. I start so many seeds. I just cannot seem to stop myself! My favorite part of growing things (any things) is watching the seedlings break through and start to grow. I am ecstatic when true leaves sprout. I immediately get the Fish Emulsion going, since my seedlings get organic food. It may stink to high heaven, but it is so good for everybody. It just keeps them humming along. Every year it seems like I have some kind of destructive something in the GH that I have to figure out how to contain without pesticides, killer traps or other such. One year I had to corral and relocate mice seemingly every day. Last year it was aphids. Yikes! They almost got me down. You think aphids are a pain in the garden, imagine them in a greenhouse. If you squirt them with a hose, they just move to the next plant. I got ladybugs, and after a while they settled in, laid eggs, and the teeny alligator-looking larva starting munching away at my aphid problem. They worked great, but they sure took their time getting started! This seems to be the year of the slug. It’s gotten so annoying that I may grab a flashlight and sneak into the GH under cover of darkness for some midnight maneuvers. No verdict yet on who will win this battle, but I am a fierce combatant when it comes to my seedlings. Plus the chickens will eat the slugs if I throw a few into their pen. They’re not the girls’ favorite snack, but chickens will eat nearly anything. Especially if Goosie has it and Sweetie wants it. It’s nearly time for the Spring Plant Sale. April 28th, this year. Hundreds of the little darlings in my GH will travel around and some will likely wind up in your yard, or your neighbor’s yard. Take good care of them! They’ll reward you handsomely with fruit, or flowers, or handfuls of herbs to season your soup. It’s a crazy but fun day, and we’ll have all hands on deck. I will see you there. One of the types of plant starts I have this time is hardy fuchsias. I just can’t seem to get enough of them, and I did probably 50 starts. We’ll see how many I can stand to part with. If you do buy fuchsias, pinch them hard and feed them weekly! They will give you lots of beautiful flowers that just call out to all the hummingbirds in the neighborhood. And the bees. I haven’t set plants out in the garden yet, but I will start this week. It’s early, but peas and carrots and greens will get going. I tried starting snow peas inside this year because last year the squirrels kept digging them up. The pea shoots are big enough now that they are starting to grab hold of the rack and sidle up it. Time to go outside! There is newly-cured chicken poop-based compost to add, which will make all the plants truly grateful. It doesn’t even smell bad, which is even better! Just wish the sun would come out and stay out. (Oh, yeah, remember where you live, Kate.) But it’s only the first week of April. There is lots of time. We are always in such a hurry for gardening season, aren’t we? Well, it’s the day for feeding plants and seedlings in the GH, so I must get myself away from the screen. I have taken enough of your time! Talk soon, and keeping digging. Kate