The weather is slowly improving as we get closer to the official start of spring, the vernal equinox, on March twentieth. Old man winter cold can still make a surprise visit but, as the days become …
The weather is slowly improving as we get closer to the official start of spring, the vernal equinox, on March twentieth. Old man winter cold can still make a surprise visit but, as the days become longer than the nights, the spring warmth will come.
One problem we could have though is if it gets warm for a couple weeks and then we get an arctic cold snap like a few years ago it could damage some already stressed plants from this winter. If the fruit trees start to blossom too soon, they run the risk of having the blossoms frozen off.
The trees themselves will be fine, but they won't have any abundance of fruit in the fall. So spring weather is better if it comes in like a tortoise not a hare, as slow and steady warming is the best for your trees and shrubs. We are starting to pot up perennials this week, but have already encountered the first problem of the season.
Our suppliers have not been able to provide us with the amount of plastic pots we need right now. They may be in by mid March, but that will back up our planting by two weeks, which means that plants that should be beautiful and blooming by late May, won't be ready until mid June.
Likewise, after the perennials, we have to pot up berry plants, grapes, rhubarb, roses and fruit trees if we can get the pots. If we can't get plastic pots in time, we will have to go old school and wrap the root balls with burlap to keep the dirt around the roots. This system takes more time and the burlap breaks down by fall, so if the plants don't sell right away they will have to be potted up anyway. Also, the burlap system is not practical for the berry bushes, roses and smaller items.
Either way, we will use Foxfarm Microbrew and Kangaroots which adds beneficial mycorrhizal fungi to the roots to help them grow quicker and fuller. This would normally also help the plants to become bigger and bloom sooner so they will look the best when we have the most customers coming through the garden center.
We have a planting schedule that we go by every spring so that plants are ready on time, just like you starting seeds at home. Timing is everything in the spring and sometimes it's not mother nature causing the problems. The international covid crisis produced multiple shortages last year, and this year looks like it will follow suit.
We have been stocking up on canning supplies now because they are already in short supply and truckloads of soils currently have an eight week lead time. We expect the demand for planting supplies to be even higher this spring compared to last, and we have been searching everywhere to secure enough product to meet the demand.
So, if old man winter wants to keep his icy hold on the weather a little longer it will give us a little more time to get everything in line for the spring. And don't forget on March twentieth we lose an hours sleep.