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Dallying In The Dirt, Issue #317 - I think it's finally spring and we are busy planting.
May 11, 2018

Spring has been such a mad rush this year with its late start but I have finally planted all the sub irrigation containers with the early season vegetables. The warm days have woken up the Asparagus and we have had a few tasty dinners that featured this wonderful perennial vegetable. Still awaiting attention are some of the perennials. There are Peonies that are 20 cm (9") out of the ground but have most of this growth hidden by the still present stalks from last year. I will get to them soon. The warm season vegetable vines have all been seeded in the basement and the Peppers, Tomatoes, Eggplant and Marigolds have all moved out to the cold frame. The first of the miniature Iris blooms appeared yesterday. It’s amazing how much quicker Mother nature catches up than I do. I wrote about the tiny but beautiful flowers on the neighbourhood Maple Trees last year and when checking the pictures I found them dated 10 May and walking around the neighbourhood today, there they are in bloom on the same day. Amazing.

Sometimes we do get stuck in a rut. Hosta has become the go to Perennial for shady places. There are many wonderful varieties but there are also alternatives. Consider this lovely Brunnera. Not only does it have the variegated leaves of many Hosta but for a few weeks it is crowned by an airy display of delicate blue flowers. This one has thrived for years under my Crab Apple tree and the flowers in mid May are a real treat. There are several varieties available, this is Jack Frost, with differing leaf patterns and I have never seen a slug eating them.

This is a picture of a mistake. My front perennial beds are filled with Tulips at this time of year and they create one of my favourite colour diplays. If you look between the Tulips and the large foliage of the Allium Giganteum emerging you will see what looks like tall grass growing everywhere. That’s my mistake. That is actually hundreds of small Allium seedlings. There are some Alliums that are sterile and some that are very prolific seed producers. If we insist on growing those prolific ones, we have two choices. Learn to like or at least tolerate having the perennial bed filled with those seedlings or be diligent and get out into that bed with the snips and remove all the seed heads from those prolific Allium. That was my mistake several years ago. I didn’t dead head them and now I’m forced to constantly try to dig them out or learn to tolerate them. I find myself somewhat intolerant sometimes. Now for the incessant digging.

Now it’s time to answer a few of my reader’s questions. To ask a question just “reply” to this ezine. Don’t forget to check the front page of the Website for frequent short ideas for current gardening activities.

Laurie Asks? My Amaryllis seems to have created a second, smaller bulb, and they are slowly growing leaves. Should I split them in the fall or is it best to keep a "double bulb"? That could explain why it was so late, maybe wanted to get bigger in the larger pot! As I gain experience with amaryllis, I am constantly surprised!

Ken Answers! I let my double bulbs stay together until they start to break the pot. Could be 2-3 years. You could then move them to a larger pot. I once had 10" pot with multiple bulbs that produces 20+ blooms.

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