It is NOT a good day for gardening in my area today! We have a mixture of rain and snow which I know will be good moisture, but it would sure be nice to get out there and finish getting my garden beds ready for planting.
Before I get too far into today's post, I just want to let you know about a group page I have started on Facebook. If you are interested in the variety of gardens and gardening methods from different parts of the world, join today.
In my part of the world, the greenhouses are starting to open their doors. It is bedding plant season! I have a few favorites I like to buy each year, and I will even try something new once in awhile. Some of my favorites are:
- Lavender - this is one I love, but have never been able to grow easily. It is a low-growing shrub-like plant and comes back year after year. Several years ago a friend from Ontario sent me some dried lavender she had grown in her garden; I still have it in a cloth bag in my dresser even though the scent is all but gone.
- Chives - the past couple of years I have overwintered them inside and have been able to enjoy them fresh in meat dishes and dips. I have grown both onion and garlic chives.
- Strawberries - these are great for hanging baskets and vertical planters in addition to raised beds and traditional rows. My Grandma had a 3-tier circular strawberry planter in her garden; it produced a lot of berries which were easy to access as the bed was only four feet in diameter.
- Marigolds - I have been planting these amongst my vegetables as they help keep the mosquitoes away. They are not 100% effective, but are pretty and do help. Not only that, certain varieties are edible.
- Citronella - A very aromatic yet effective form of mosquito control. Keep in mind no plant seems to keep them all away, but I am happy with the results nonetheless.
- Tomatoes - I usually plant a few varieties of these; cherry, Roma, and Beefsteak are my favorites. The homegrown tomatoes have so much more flavor than store bought. It is important to pinch back side shoots and the tips when the plants have reached the height you desire. This will encourage bigger fruit and less rampant plants. I also suggest caging them when planting as they tend to grow fast and are harder to cage when bigger.
- Fuschia - These are one of my favorite flowers. My Grandma had one hanging in her living room and I can recall squeezing the buds so they would open faster. They are very pretty; especially the double flowers.