It's almost Spring....

Ready-to-plant soil in the greenhouse
Ready-to-plant soil in the greenhouse

I actually thought about chatting with y'all a while ago, but with Susan gone I was boycotting Patch. SO happy she's back! This is all about local, and Susan does a great job with keeping us up to date with local news.

Meanwhile, I must confess that I did not accomplish something I set out to try this winter. I was going to try winter gardening. I researched, I prepped, I purchased the seeds for the plants most likely to succeed....and then winter hit. And I realized that there's a REASON people don't garden in the winter. Not only is it cold and nasty and miserable out, but the short days and general feeling of down-time are not conducive to getting out there and tending to greens in an unheated greenhouse that might or might not get over freezing in the course of a day.

Oh well! Lesson learned. Meanwhile, we have the greenhouses and today my wife shoveled a path to the doors for me. LOVELY! The air temperature was at least 15 degrees warmer than outside, and the soil quality was AMAZING! (See the picture.)

This is something I've never done before, but today I planted a bunch of "as soon as the soil can be worked" plants in the greenhouse weeks before the soil outside will be anywhere close to being ready to be cultivated. I love new adventures! Today I planted snow peas, spinach, lettuce, radishes, beets, arugula, parsley, green onions, and miner's lettuce. I've made notes and will keep track of how everything goes. I didn't plant too much of any one thing, just enough to get the wheels turning and (hopefully) grow some fresh greens for my family a month or so before I'd otherwise be able to do so.

Meanwhile, ONCE AGAIN I will stress what February is all about. It's all about pruning, people. Last year I wrote about it, and I always harp on it, yet I'm forever questioned about why I prune in winter.

Yesterday I actually had a WONDERFUL person come and help me with the pruning of the fruit trees. I have had several great experiences with Tree Specialists, Inc and I called them to ask for their guidance with my 3 and 4 year old fruit trees. Since I have peaches, plums, cherries, and Asian pear, and several kinds of apple trees it gets a bit overwhelming when I think about pruning and shaping them! I asked if they could send someone to do the work on a day I could follow him around, take pictures, and ask questions. They were totally OK with that.

Needless to say, I had a BLAST chatting with the person they sent to prune the trees. He seems to feel the same way about trees as I do about vegetables....each one is different, but if you just let them express their nature and pay attention to that, you can help them without too much trouble. The man actually asked me if he could prune my Kousa dogwood (which wasn't on his "to-do" list), as it's his favorite kind of tree!

Long story short, pruning is important. If you're not sure how to prune, read up on it, ask questions, ask me, call somebody....but PRUNE! In the past couple of days he and I have pruned all the fruit trees, grape vines, blueberry bushes, and a few others that I consider "ornamental" (i.e. they don't give me food!) in the yard. I am totally convinced that this will improve their health and over-all well-being.

Meanwhile, I'm getting ready to have a group over this week to chat about gardening....yea! This it totally the time to be planning for the spring and/or getting ready to start seeds, if you're into that kind of thing. I'll post more soon about what I'm doing and about how the meeting goes Thursday.


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Susan Petroni (Editor) February 23, 2014 at 11:34 AM
Renee: Happy to be back and happy to have you blogging again for Framingham Patch. I know readers' love your gardening blog!


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