Have You Planned Your Garden Yet?

Author: Meera, March 5, 2014

 

 

Convergent Lady Beetle hunts for aphids on a blood orange tree leaf

A Convergent Lady Beetle hunts for aphids on a citrus leaf

 

Ladybugs and honeybees occasionally meet on the same leaf when both forage for food. The ladybugs dine on aphids while the honeybees seek the sweet nectar of blossoms; orange, tangerine, and lime trees are favorites.

 

Hive with frames and bees

Styrofoam super with wood frames and bees

 

 

The bug and bee traffic has been steadily increasing now that showers and warm weather have triggered blossoms opening on the fruit and citrus trees around the farmette.

 

 

Spring doesn’t officially begin until March 20, but with the weather forecasters predicting upper 70′s Fahrenheit later this week and nighttime temperatures in the 50′s, it is time to consider options for your garden. Many DIY centers are already offering vegetable seedlings, herbs, and berries for planting. Some have markedly discounted their bare-root fruit trees and roses.

 

 

 

Sunflowers can be planted now in Bay Area gardens

Sunflowers can be planted now in Bay Area gardens

 

 

I’ve already planted seeds in flats for germination and scattered flower seed (collected from last summer’s flower garden) around prepared beds. When the outside temperatures start to climb, I’ll be rewarded with blooms from nasturtiums, petunias, zinnias, and sunflowers.

 

 

 

Handel climbs along a trellis made special to support its upright growth habit

Handel climbs on a support, providing color from spring to fall.

 

 

 

The climbing roses are already past the red-leaf stage and are producing the first flush of blooms for spring. The wisteria vines have plump pods ready to unfurl with gorgeous tracts of purple blossoms. And the first green tips of leaves are beginning to sprout on my apples even as the early peaches and apricots already have fruitĀ  forming.

 

 

The white blooms herald tender pods of peas to follow

White blooms herald tender pods of sweet spring peas

 

 

This time of year holds the promise of new beginnings, and you see that in every step you take in a garden. Because I prefer to grow plants from varieties of heirloom, open-pollinated seed, I save it from the best specimens grown in the previous season. Of course, some plants freely re-seed themselves. That’s why I now find lettuce and onions and even sweet peas coming up in expected places on the property.

 

 

Have you figured out what veggies, flowers, fruits, and berries you’ll plant and grow in your garden this year? If not, now’s a good time to get started. For ideas, check out, http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/plan-beautiful-vegetable-garden.

 

If you prefer, as I do, the non-GMO and organic seeds, there are many excellent sources for them. For heirloom and rare seed, check out http://www.rareseeds.com/store/vegetables/. Also see, http://www.victoryseeds.com/aboutus.html and http://www.anniesheirloomseeds.com/

 

 

 

 

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