Sunday, April 8, 2018

Today in our Garden #GardenCuizine #stormrecovery #NJ #gardenchat celebrating #nomorewetsnow

Fallen Garden for Wildlife post with sign and birdhouse after Winter Nor'easter
Today in Our Garden
South Jersey
USDA Zone 7a (formerly zone 6b)
The sound of chain saws still echo throughout our neighborhood. We've been dragging fallen tree limbs to the curb every chance we get. Yesterday was no exception. The recovery from the damaging NJ Winter Nor'easters will still take us some time. 

Piles of tree trunks and limbs can be seen in front of just about every house. The mounds are piled high and look like beaver damns!
Piles of white pine limbs throughout our hummingbird garden
Luckily, we didn't have any limbs fall on our house, so for that we feel blessed. 

During the last storm, at the exact time, both Harry and I watched the heavy weight of the wet snow slowly tip over our entrance arbor! Right before our eyes the metal completely bent and collapsed. In the video below you can see the arbor (at the beginning) full of wet snow before it went down. And, near the end of the video, you can hear the horrible cracking of the pines.
Harry cut apart the arbor's metal. And, I pruned away the vines leaving the roots and about 4 or 5 feet of stalks. A fragrant Jasmine and clematis were well established on that arbor. It was sad dragging away the chopped off remains to the curb. Now, it looks so bare. 

On a positive note, Harry may try to custom build us a replacement arbor. I found a plan online for one that he may use.
Meanwhile, Spring has sprung! Hyacinths are blooming, Daffodils are up, even the first dandelions are blooming. Lots of green growth can be seen on shrubs now.

Inside we have lots of coleus cuttings and veggie seedlings. We are growing salvias and heirloom tomatoes as usual. And, a few new things, including Rutabaga and Purple Peacock open-pollinated broccoli. What are you growing?

I'm not happy with the soil mix I'm using for the seedlings. The soils today all have moisture crystals added, which keeps the soil too moist for seedlings. If I don't water enough, the soil becomes the opposite extreme - dry and hard - and the seedlings die. 

Before these types of soil mixes, I never had this problem. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear what works best for you.

Over-wintered indoors:
Avocado * Bay Laurel * Coffee
Our Avocado tree is growing well in a large pot. It even bloomed this winter! Just one bloom and it didn't last, but none-the-less, it was exciting to see.

Potted next to the Avocado tree stands a tall bay leaf tree. Bay Laurel grows well in a pot and is one of my favorite kitchen garden plants.

A small coffee plant from a plant swap a few years ago will finally be transplanted soon. If only we had a greenhouse.

We keep a pot of Stevia on our deck during the summer. At the end of the season I take the pot inside and let the seeds fall from the dead stems. The Stevia regrows right in the same pot every year. 

The new growth looks a bit straggly now, but will perk up and bloom in summer once we put the pot back outside when the weather warms.
Happy Spring and Happy Gardening!
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