The cool soggy spring has bottled up everyone's ability to get out in their gardens and start planting. Friday morning's frost was the last expected obstacle for many, but other veterans of the field are still cautious. Many garden centers offering live plants are moving from the 'come and see what we have' mode to the 'the big push is over and let's get rid of what we have left of the perishable inventory' mode. SFAGreenhouse decided long ago to maintain the quality of their plants as their selling tool instead of offering huge discounts to move remaining inventory. They hope you will come out and support their efforts to keep prices as low as possible from start to finish
Although that brilliant glowing globe is casting its rays of warmth in our direction, the full moon is brushing our yards with a frosty covering at night. Soon it will be summer and we can expect to put our plants out without fear of freeaing, but when? It is always better to be safe than sorry
The colder than average and cloudy skies continue into mid May. What do you do with your plants when it is so crummy outside? Some are fortunate to own a small greenhouse to hold them until they can be put in their rightful places, but others endure the hardship of moving them in and out of the garage each day. This is Wisconsin and it is mid month May. Only one time in the last thirty years has last frost been during the first week of May at the greenhouse location and more times than I can remember, it has been the first week of June. Bear with the cool weather conditions, provide plenty of air circulation for your plants, keep them on the drier rather than wetter side or they will dampen off (do not let cape daisies dry out too much), and before you know it, your plants will be basking in the warmth of summer where they will be enjoyed for months to come.
After a busy opening weekend including Mother's Day, there are plenty of plants and hanging baskets available. Fresh baskets are brought out as space on the hangers becomes available. There are later plantings being brought out as they mature. Vegetables are in high demand, but it is early in the gardening season for this area. Several varieties have been planted over the past few days and should be of optimum size in the pot or pack when the weather allows for them to move directly to your garden.
The flyers have been sent out and we are open for business. The cloudy, drizzly opening day kept a cool interest in plants, but like the weather, interest will be heating up as Mother's Day approaches. It is a little early for most vegetables, but broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower can tolerate cooler temps in the garden than plants in melon and cucumber families. The cloudy days over the last week has slowed germination and growth of many of these varieties in the greenhouse, but they will be ready by time the outside temps allow transplanting to the garden.
Snowflakes lazily drifting down...is it May 3rd already? No, the two are not or should I say should not be related but it is a reality in Central Wisconsin on Northward for early May. Plants purchased at a greenhouse are tender and do not tolerate the strong winds and freezing temperatures that often accompany this calendar month. Should you find yourself the caretaker of some luscious young plants, take care to acclimate them to challenging weather conditions by gradually increasing their exposure to full sun, strong breezes, or cold temps. Protect from freezing unles the plants are shrubbery or cold hardened perennials Keep smiling and warmer days will soon be upon us.
With opening day less than a week away, we are on track with development and quality of our plants. For gardens in central Wisconsin, the recent rains have left the soil too wet to work. It is best to wait until the soil dries some before toiling in the earth. Onion sets, peas, and carrots may be planted in the cool soil. Wait until the soil temperature rises for good seed germination of other vegetables.
Several close up views of flowers growing in our greenhouse are posted on the 'Photos' page. More pictures will be posted through the season. As I become familiar with features of the Weebly Website, I will add general growing information and links to help everyone have more success with their gardening enjoyment.
SFA Greenhouse will attempt to maintain this blog and keep everyone up to date with activities in the greenhouse.