STARTING BULBS INDOORS
It remains cool here in Gloucester, VA but looks like we may have ‘turned the corner’ and it may warm up soon – thank goodness! But in the areas where the weather continues to ‘see-saw’ and remain unstable, we have had questions about starting bulbs indoors and which way is best. Here are some hints:
1. If you are starting lilies or gladiolus, choose deep pots because lilies make stem roots and having those stem-roots below the surface of the soil helps to keep the lilies standing when their huge flower heads form. Gladiolus also have a tendency to flop over if not planted deeply enough, so planting them in deep pots will also help them to stand up once they bloom in the garden.
2. No matter what you are starting, most summer bulbs benefit from bottom heat to get them going, so a heat mat under the pots will encourage their roots to emerge and the plant to begin to grow. Heat mats specifically for this purpose can be found at a good garden center. Here is one we offer in our catalogue.
3. If a plant doesn’t have enough light – that means daylight hours – they will ‘search’ for light, elongating their stems looking for the light. That’s the reason many plant get really tall when they are grown indoors. A ‘grow light’, which often comes with a stand especially created for growing plants indoors, helps give them enough light to keep the plants compact. If you start plants indoors often, acquiring one of the grow lights and stands may be worth the investment. I think most good garden centers have those available.
4. Once the weather is stable, you can then transplant the individual pots of bulbs to your garden much the way you’d transplant a perennial.
Good luck with this project.
GETTING HEALTHIER IN THE GARDEN
Yes, it has been a LONG, COLD WINTER and we have been STUCK INDOORS! Those of you who have had a lot of snow have gotten a ton of exercise from shoveling and bless your hearts for surviving through it all! We in the mid-Atlantic coastal states have not! The most exercise we got is from running to the car or to the building through driving, super cold rain or tippy-toeing across the ice! Now we are looking at our untoned bodies AND our gardens which are in need of help but NO ONE HAS TIME TO EXERCISE AND GARDEN!!! Exercise will help tone our muscles, creating more mass, which the experts say helps us live longer. We at Brent and Becky’s Bulbs think that one can get some good exercise AND help clean up the garden at the same time. While no one here is trained in the medical or physical therapy world, we do know that being outdoors, bending and stretching, if done carefully, helps keep our joints ‘well-oiled’ and our bodies more flexible, as long as we don’t overdo any one muscle group. We have also heard from the experts that getting our hands in the soil where beneficial bacteria reside help to improve our immune system. Here is a little video that we put together with thoughts about why we think being outdoors, stretching, bending and gardening will help us live longer, healthier lives. See our latest video on this here.
FRIEND OF THE GARDEN
We have so many people that we have become attached to because of their relationship with us and our gardens. Some are gardeners; some are artists and some are both. I’m not an artist and I have SUCH admiration for artists who actually use their talent so the rest of us can enjoy their creations, helping us to smile! One such person is one that I have never met! Brent met him at a conference and Brent shared with him my vision for this garden. He decided he wanted to contribute one of his creations to help with the message of ‘gardening WITH nature as opposed to AGAINST nature’. Because my garden used to be a big field where corn, wheat and soybeans were grown, there are ditches left by the previous farmer. In those ditches, cattails grow freely, so our friend, ‘Hap’, created a beautiful sculpture made of iron with cattails and with an amazing dragonfly! Here are images of his creation.
If you come here to see the garden, you will find this right at the end of the Chesapeake Lounge Garden and right across from the Rock Garden. I had a lady tell me yesterday when I pointed it out to her that she had admired it before but didn’t realize that they were not real! Wow, what a compliment!
If you would like to get in touch with ‘Hap’, his phone # is 631/466-2075