Gardener's Grapevine 2014.03.05

Once again it’s crazy weather week or status quo for us, so I’m getting a little gardening fever. I received a Facebook photo from my friend Carol this week that said it all. It was a lady in full gardening regalia—hat, gloves, apron—holding a shovel. The kicker was she was out in her garden that still had snow drifts and ice present. The caption was something like “I’ve had it, I’m ready for spring.” My friend could not have sent anything more appropriate.  Really I do like the change of seasons, it’s just that I’ve gotten used to not dealing with constant foul weather and am without tolerance anymore. Every day should not be like going off to war just to get to work.

This past weekend I ran across something I had seen quite some time ago. It was a short article about growing a garden in bags of Miracle Grow soil. It is a very simple idea: you lay the bags on a flat surface that will not be harmed by plastic or water. The center of the bag is split in half and whatever seed you are using is sprinkled inside and lightly brushed into the soil. Prior to splitting the bag, punch a few holes in the back to let excess water out. Keep lightly watered and a crop of vegetables is yours, mostly weed free. It will work with shallow root vegetables like lettuce, some herbs, and flowers.

I really thought I was going to do this the first time I read this, but given all the time I’ve had to think about my gardens this winter, I’ve come up with some ideas. In front of our house I have flower beds that are mostly miniature roses and lavender, with a few odd perennials thrown in. I need to rework these beds and it was one of those things I never got to last summer. I want to take some of the old soil out and put some new in so I'm thinking with the sidewalk running around the house it is the perfect place to try out the soil bag gardening. I will put flower seed in and see what we get. If it doesn’t work out, what have I lost? The price of seed is not much and I need to replace the soil anyway.

I know that the roses out front need a good dose of food, some new soil, and some will need to be relocated to give others more room. I love lavender but as it grows it needs more and more room. Then you have the added issue of the roses spreading out. I really have left these beds to themselves for too long and they need  a lot of TLC.

I tend to lean towards red roses so I also need to be thinking of yellow flowers to incorporate with the lavender and roses. I’m thinking yellow day lilies as they are very low maintenance and they will go well with the front entrance of our neighbor's home which has a front walk lined with them. Planning is a huge and fun part of gardening and it helps the winter blahs.