Even though the store is closed, your Green Team has been busy preparing for the upcoming season. Deliveries of planting supplies such as potting soil and empty planting containers are rolling in, signaling the beginning of another growing season. Fresh young plants arrive in another week and the greenhouse planting begins. We start with geraniums for our beautiful combination Container Gardens. We want them to be large enough to anchor all the other plants in the combination. The largest containers get planted first, then on to medium size and right on through to the smallest pots. That way, all the plants are perfect for you to take home and enjoy on your porch or patio when the weather warms up.
Perennial plants are next in the planting line-up. Some of our perennials where planted last year and are now being over-wintered in protected growing areas. These plants include many of the larger pots of perennials. Even though it is cold and the tops have frozen down to the ground, their root systems are still actively growing all winter. When temperatures begin to warm up in the spring, these plants will have a head start to take off and produce big, full, healthy stems, leaves and flowers.
Winter planting of perennials now is mostly for our 4.5” pots. The young starter plants have been growing in an un-heated greenhouse before we receive them. As soon as we plant them in the warm greenhouse, over 250 different varieties of perennials will take off and grow into beautiful plants that will be ready for planting in your garden by April and May. Just in time for another gardening season.
Seed sowing is underway now as well. A few long-term varieties need an early start in January. Plus we sow an assortment of herb seeds so that we have fresh plants available year around. Next month the seed sowing for vegetables begins with peppers and the cool season crops like broccoli and kale. A couple of weeks later tomato seeds are sown. Cucumber, squash and melon seeds do not get sown until April because they grow so quickly and don’t get planted into the garden until late May. Greenhouse planting in the winter is always exciting!