Preparing for Spring in the ORV-What are you doing?

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Pre-spring garden chores are consuming my time as of late, and I'm recalling how I always forget to do something at this time of year. Let's share what we're doing now and plans we're making for spring! Love to hear what everyone is up to, and hoping we can remind each other of tasks we need to get done.

Thus far in my spring preparations I can check off my list...
1.The majority of my Winter Sowing of seed. Just took count, and have 109 containers done, and less than a dozen to go.
2. Pansies, Snapdragons, Broccoli, African Foxglove, and Vinca all germinated indoors, and have just begun transplanting those.
3. 2nd batch of seeds sown under lights, Browallia, Torenia, Nicotiana, and several varieties of Salvia.
4. Checked Dahlia tubers in storage; a few were looking a little shriveled-misting those and keeping an eye on them, but the rest look good.
5. Took cuttings from Persian Shield and Rosemary to use for bedding in spring. I would be doing the same with Coleus, but all of them got nipped by cold when the power was out. Most look like they'll survive, but no propagating them now.
6. Got the plant room cleaned out, the lights adjusted, and ready for use.

If this thread proves helpful, I'm thinking a monthly thread for "It's time to..." could come in handy, especially if you're forgetful like me, LOL.

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

I think its a great idea Neal...

One of the main things to do, if it wasn't done in the fall, is to sharpen all of your tools, mower blades etc..and oil them...Poppa used to sharpen his shovels and hand plow blades on the big wheel and then he kept them stored in a big wood box full of sand and used motor oil...I use WD-40 on all of mine...

If you are going to order humus or mulch, now is the time to place the order for your delivery date before they get backed up...

I band seed packs that are going to be direct sown into bundles according to when they need to be sown...Some earlier than others in the veggie garden especially...and if you garden by the moon cycles, you need to get your calender marked as to what gets planted when....**Always plant peas in the dark of the moon** was Poppas mantra...

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Ah, tools! Yes, good thinking. As they gradually get dull, I don't even realize it till they're sharpened and jobs are sooo much easier.

Great reminder- I hadn't thought a thing about the tools!

I've been sorting seed into bundles too, to start now or later, direct or wintersow. I can't seem to stay ahead of that, but am really wanting to explore planting by the moon. So often the weather doesn't cooperate and I'm too impatient to wait till the next ideal time. Good idea to have a special calendar just that.

Flora, IN(Zone 5a)

It was 60+ here today rather unusual for Feb. in my zone.
I took some time to clean/orginize the garden shed.
Planted a few more winter sown containers
Made a couple catalog orders

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

Great thread gem!

I haven't done a thing, but your list is good motivation for me!

I did receive a notice that the CHOPTAG tomato seedling meet-up and swap is coming up in May, so I put that on my calendar! If anyone is interested in heirloom tomatoes it sounds like a great get together. I think VGMKY is one of the organizers.

I also made a list of all the bird friendly shrubs I'm going to install this spring. And priced out some new spruces (they are on half off now, but I wonder if they can be successfully planted in February? must look that up.) that will have to go in to replant some we lost in the drought.

I will get my seed boxes out tonight and get going. I need to get my wintersowing set up right away, I guess.

And get my garage cleaned out and my tools oganized. I always avoid that like the plague!

Have a nice weekend! (Now I have quite a 'to-do' list!) Tabasco

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

tabasco, I think as long as the soil is workable February should be fine for planting spruces. They're very cold hardy, and coming out of dormancy in their new home would probably be a good thing. I've got about 30 tomato varieties (most of which are heirlooms) collected to try this year, planning on getting those started sometime in the first couple of weeks of March. Oh, those tall Alyssum you sent me are germinating in their WS jug!

I've been bringing some pots of tulips, daffs, and hyacinths up from the basement. They were B&B sale bulbs I received when it was too cold to plant. They've all been down there rooting for 6-8 weeks, so I'm sticking them out in the little zipper greenhouses for the sprouts to get some sun. There are 50 Valerie Finnis Muscari among the bulbs that had all this pale winter foliage and they're already greening up nicely. Been wanting those for several years, and finally they didn't sell out before sale time! I planted 2 or 3 bulbs per 4" pot so that I could place them better where I want them- Oooohh...and have a ton of Pansy seedlings I should cluster heavily around them!

However, before I get to that fun part, a HUGE thing on my to do list for the next few weeks is to work on my entrance. It's a horrid mess! First the big back hoe mess in late fall, that first entailed cutting 5 spruce trees out of the area (that were all way too close together, too close to the house, and under a huge water Maple) before digging every thing up and leaving me with a mud path into the house! Then we've just had the house re-roofed, so there was all kinds of foot traffic, piles of shingles- old and new, ladders, and activity right in some beds around the house (most of which was around the entry). There's still a railroad tie laying askew that I need to re-install, and I've got to install the brick walkway before the mud drives me completely insane. Well, I guess thoughts of flowers for the area will inspire me to get on it.

Still several limbs out there to drag to the fire pit too. Some are on top of a bunch of crocus and daffs that are coming up, so there's the fire under me to get those moved!

t, glad to see ya getting your garden groove back!

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

We've not done anything outside other than trim damaged trees and clear debris. The limbs were burned in the garden though, so hopefully a little bit of an ammendment. I'm hoping we get out cows sold SOON, so I can move the vegie garden to a new location next year.

Inside, I've started peppers and long season tomatoes. I'll start mid season tomatoes this week, I hope, and cherries in March.

I've got flower seeds that should have been started a long time ago for what I want them for, so I'm not sure I'm even going to bother at this point. That's about it here.

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Hey Melissa! Will your veggie garden go where the cows are now? That should work out beautifully! I was planning to start peppers around the first week of March, when do you aim to set them out? What kind of flower seeds do you have?

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

I need to get photos of the Witchazels with my new macro lens!

Need to uncover the hellebores from all the fallen leaves

Need to remember to plant Mom's sweet pea seeds this year! Last year I didn't remember to plant them until June. Bad Girl! They didn't do to well.

Also to prepare a new place to plant our garden lettuce. Am thinking of putting it as an edging in the flower bed. As I am getting rid of much of my bed area, need to think of consolodating...

Then, comes the task of cleaning off all the beds for spring. One of the few things I can still do fairly well. I don't clean off leaves and old stuff in the fall - I do in early April instead. So, it can be quite a task. To many birds take cover in there, plus eat seeds and so on from the perennials in the winter, so I leave it all on over winter.

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

I don't clean in the fall either Juli...Same reasons as yours...
I can see I am going to have a goodly amount ofdebris to clean up..That ice took out alot of small brances etc...Plus when Cookie moved, she took most of the plants, so there are alot of holes needing to be filled, mulch to replace etc...It is going to be a several days job to clean up the pond and the waterfall as well...

There are several plants that will need to be moved also...and I have the new garden between the house and the garage that needs to be tilled up, and the hole dug for that small preform pond I brought with me...There is LOTS to do...

Neal .. I'll have you know I have some Castor beans ready to start that I just got in the mail from a friend this week...
I have a ton of seeds to sow...many of which you mentioned that you just broadcasted on your new leach field??? Can I do that now with the new snow coming this weekend??

Good to see you posting Judy...You have been missed!!

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Dusty, I think anything that tends to reseed naturally would be fine to go ahead and sow. Larger seeds may need a light covering (as much to hide them from birds as anything), so that may depend on the soil being workable. I lucked into a good day for it- not frozen and not muddy, a short window of opportunity!

I leave all the fallen leaves in the beds till spring too. They seem to be a benefit through winter. And I like seeing the seed heads standing in the winter landscape. This time I plan to just use the leaf sucker-blower to suck them out, mulch them up, and re-deposit them right back on the beds.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6b)

Jules I'd leave (lol!) the leaf litter on the Hellebores for a bit.
Our newly emerging buds were hit hard last year by late freezes.
I always leave the previous year's growth on too.
I figure they are getting every last mote of the sun energy that way.
Once the new growth is up and protecting the buds I strip it off.
There is a huge display of Hellebores and Daffs dating from the 60's at the Cincy Nature Center.
Quite impressive!

Basically we are in holding mode here.
Bulbs are coming up and several winter buds are showing so I hesitate to get in the beds.
The leaf litter we blow in for warm is still about 6" deep.
We will vacumn it up in a month of so and after a top dressing of compost add it back to the beds as mulch.

A new plant we're trying out..... any guesses.... shot two days ago outdoors!


Thumbnail by henryr10
Cleveland Heights, OH(Zone 5b)

Haven't done anything outside here either of course. Still have snow on the ground and a forecast for 4-6 inches of lake effect this weekend.

The only thing I have done is gotten the supplies for my starts and bought a new 4 ft. grow light system. Got the supplies pretty much organized in the garage and have shelving in the pantry in the basement cleared to house seedlings.

I don't think I will be able to get out and do a yard cleanup until maybe April when I hope to put in my raised bed garden. That should make the chick next door wig out. LOL

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

Toni... I hope by April you are moved SOUTH!!! I want you down thisa way big time!!!


Cleveland Heights, OH(Zone 5b)

me too Sis me too.

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

ric, those look like the leaves on the orchid on my dining room table. But it can't be, can it?

My pro-active February gardening:

1. We received 5 new seed catalogs over the weekend, so I've been perusing. Does that count for something checked off on the 'to do' list?! And my "English Gardens" magazine came and I looked through that, too! Does that count?!

2. We cleaned up a bit outside yesterday. Doesn't look any better though, and it's so cold and gray outside it's hard to believe that we are talking about our spring gardens! And we are collecting sticks to make our garden stakes and tripods. Plan to go very 'rustic' this summer.

3. We changed our front door evergreen wreath for a pussy willow wreath. Ta da!

4. I read in the Cincinnati Enquirer garden column that it's time to order your mulches and composts for spring delivery. That sounds a bit premature to me, but maybe not. In any case, we're trying to make our own compost this year, but it doesn't look like we'll have enough.

5. Oh, and I see Costco has a coupon in the mailer for a backyard greenhouse. Not for me this year, but maybe somebody is getting a green house and wants it~~I think it said $300 off. I'll check if anyone's interested.

So that was a busy February Saturday's worth of work for me!

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6b)

That's plenty of work for a rain/snow day like today!

Not an Orchid though there are some hardy to here... I wonder if they'd work at your place?
A few hints....
it's in the same Family as Lily of the Valley, Solomon's Seal, Mother-in-Law's Tongue and Black Mondo.....
it's evergreen obviously.....


Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Yes t, that counts- I consider catalogs and magazines part of the planning process, LOL.

Ric, that looks so familiar, but its not coming to me. Very typical for my brain though! Reminds me of something I used to see growing in the woods.

We had a sunny window of opportunity yesterday and got out and cleared all the limbs and debris. Its all piled around the fire pit- gonna have quite the bonfire this spring! Also worked on clearing crap from the entrance and got the railroad tie back in place. Temporarily placed some flat stones to step on there too so at least the mud won't be quite the issue.

A few days ago I turned the compost pile and its looking really good under there! I think its about time to start a 2nd pile next to it and let this one "cook" to perfection.

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

Okay... If door wreaths can count, then I got that covered too, as well as a coat of primer on the door and frame...AND I changed my gooses dress and hat... LOL so there... ;-P

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

A little more progress made in spring preparations (...hmmm...Preparation S? LOL). Got a couple more flats of seedlings transplanted. I'm determined to end up with nice transplants this year- last year everything was pathetically small at planting time. My snapdragons are already as big as when I set them out last year!

Repotted the begonias yesterday. Didn't really need bigger pots, but they've been growing in the same compost for almost 2 years and the soil level had dropped. Now they're in fresh potting mix and ready to get gorgeous this summer. The Rex types are getting lots of new leaves!

Also started dumping out the pots of tender bulbs to replace the compost in them this year. Some of the Callas look to have shrunk in size, but others have gotten huge- strange?

Franklin, OH(Zone 6a)

I'm going to go shopping at Neal's house....

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

Not without me you're not....

Franklin, OH(Zone 6a)

Okay, fair warning Neal....

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

No joke y'all, its looking like I'm going to have plenty of extra bedding plants. And it would be great for y'all to get some earlier than the RU. I've got more Black Prince Snapdragons than I'll ever use....and Browallia, Vinca, Lions Tail, Pansies, Torenia, some Salvias, and all kinds of other stuff if all goes even half well.

Franklin, OH(Zone 6a)

Road trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Dusty, some Salvia coccinea would be great for your Patriotic Garden, its a nice true red that hummers like. Browallia may be blue enough too, but I haven't seen the blooms except in pics.

Joyce what are your spring plans with plants and colors and such?

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

I've got custody of the car... Be right there!!! Aren't we going to Neals in May when we go to John Rices??

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Thinking of red blooms reminded me I need to take a bunch of cuttings from the red dragon begonias. Love those! Will be rooting extras of those too.

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Just what I was thinking :-)

Franklin, OH(Zone 6a)

Right now the only plans are to see what survived. :O) I do have lots of brug starts in the window and I'll be planting them where the pond was going to go. :O( No $$ for fun stuff. I think I'm going to be begging for EE's too. Doesn't look like much is overwintering in the basement very well. We'll have to see once I can get them outside.

Yes, May would be perfect.

I need to go get some starter mix, cause I got some seeds the other day. I have a grow light, but it didn't get put up after the move. Now is a perfect time for that, as soon as I can get Mom home and settled.

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

I think I am going to be good on White plants, especially if all of my seeds come up...It's the Blue ones, or deep Purple that I may have a problem with, but I have Cosmos and Batchelor buttons and a few others...That Salvia would be perfect for a low grower...;-)) I am going to be on a hunt for lots of perennials...and one thing I do want is a red Witch Hazel in the worst way...There is also a bush I saw that I can remember the name, but it has bright red branches in the winter...

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Is it Red twig dogwood? I love those, and there's a variegated form that grows slower and is showy at all times of year.

Brownstown, IN(Zone 5b)

Morning all I am new on this forum. I think I only know Neal. Well I am in the Ohio River Valley too so to speak about 40 miles N of Louisville
Neal I sstill have not started my snaps. Is it too late. I see so many conflicting times and now am worrying about leaving unsprouted and sprouted seedlings when I go to FL in March. I will only be gone a week so do I need to worry. Right now I am leaning to WS ing some of these seed but not the snaps. Should I get right on them so to get them transplanted before I go. I't talking snaps here
As to what I am doing to get ready for spring (other than stressing about my unplanted seeds) yesterday was nice and I pulled up my last years alyssum. Does that count?

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

Yep I think that is one of them...but doesn't that one send suckers?? I think that is the one you can use to build a hedge if you plant them fairly close together...

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

Welcome to the ORVG Tribe Veronica...Come join us in the Coffee House and meet the rest of this extended Family...

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6b)

Veronica Wecome!

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Dusty, the variegated one I grew didn't sucker, just formed a wider shrub each year. I don't know if that was indicative of the cultivar or not.

Hey Veronica! Glad you joined us! I don't think its too late to start your snaps. I think Karen wintersows hers in Cincy. And mine grew so slow last year that I started earlier this year, but these are already bigger than what I set in the garden at the end of May last year. Last year they bloomed beautifully almost all summer, even with the late start.

Cleaning out last years Alyssum counts, but it sounds better to say "I worked on cleaning out the beds" LOL

Brownstown, IN(Zone 5b)

I worked on cleaning out the

Brownstown, IN(Zone 5b)

Is the coffee house another thread.

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

Yes it is, and you found it... LOL It is an ongoing Chat Thread, where we chatter about anything and everything, so as not to chat on important threads, and disrupt them..

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or register to post.

Upload Images to your reply

    You may upload up to 5 images