I finished Block 6 of my “Vintage Memories” BOM and have started on Block 7. The Block 6 kit makes four 6-inch blocks that become part of the center medallion. The center of these blocks is comprised of one-inch and one and one-quarter inch finished squares and rectangles.
The Fairy Gardener’s Chores for the week: Daylight Savings
1) This is a good week to prune fruit trees and blueberry bushes if you can get to them and if weather permits—some places still have deep snow on the ground as we do in NH. Remove the old canes from raspberry and blackberry bushes, that bore fruit last year. These are usually very thorny, woody and brown, new canes that will fruit this year are still green.
2) Prune fruit trees and ornamentals so that branches do not cross or rub against each other and air can circulate. You can also apply a first application of dormant oil spray to fruit trees this month on a day with no wind. Burn any branches that have egg cases of tent caterpillars attached to the bark.
3) This is also a good week to repot houseplants, if they need it. Look for roots coming out of drainage holes. You can also resume fertilizing houseplants on a monthly schedule now that the days are getting longer. For indoor plants I use Neptune's Harvest mixed half-strength or Miracle Gro. I water plants well before the first application of fertilizer after winter. I also hose down hanging houseplants in my kitchen sink or bathtub to remove dust and give them a boost of humidity, ferns and spider plants especially love this hosing.
I will set aside a half-day just for “plant housekeeping” this month. I repot, clean, prune, fertilize and divide all plants that have outgrown their pots or their designated spot. If a plant is not doing well for me, I discard it. Sick and dying plants aren’t a good decorating strategy for me and according to Thalassa Cruso, there’s no shame in this.
This is a good time to take cuttings of houseplants like Xmas cactus and root in time to give as gifts next Christmas.
4) Look for the earliest spring bulbs starting to peak out of bare ground in sunny areas. These include snowdrops, winter aconites, crocus and the beautiful scilla siberica. You might also see the tips of tulips and daffs just starting to poke through. Isn’t it a great spiritual inspiration to see this renewal of life?
5) I’m starting a few seeds indoors now but because I don’t have a lot of natural light and I don’t want them to get leggy I’m only starting seeds that can go outdoors early. These include snapdragons and ageratums. I won’t start my zinnias till late April. Now is also a good time to start a few perennial seeds indoors too (more on this in a later post). If you are a veggie gardener and don’t have a greenhouse, now is the best time to start your tomato seeds and cruciferous veggies, i.e. broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts. For better and quicker germination place seed trays on a heating pad.
Please get your kids involved with growing a few seeds indoors from an early age. Watching a tiny green plant emerge from a tiny seed is the most basic life lesson you can teach them.