Garden.True.North is about gardening in Zone 3,
sharing thoughts, ideas and tips for all northern gardeners.
sharing thoughts, ideas and tips for all northern gardeners.
Late summer garden chaos.
There are times I am a green-eyed gardener, jealous of others picture-perfect gardens. I know from my own photography that it is easy to move the perspective of the lens to avoid the messiness. I define my garden as natural, with weeds, untrimmed shrubs, and plants helter-skelter. I am comfortable with that style of gardening. It is also true that I am in awe of perfect layouts. Just as a model in a fashion magazine looks more like an average person without make-up and good lighting; I know the flawlessness shown in the garden magazines may not be so real either. Anyway, here goes with my garden envy list.
The first leaves of our common lilac have emerged. According to phenology in Wisconsin - this is a good time to plant beets, carrots, cole crops, lettuce and spinach. Wait to plant beans, cucumbers, and squash seeds until lilacs are in full bloom. I tested my soil temperature and it was consistently around 45 degrees in the garden. That's just above the minimum for those seeds to germinate. Let the gardening begin!
Check out this UW-Extension Horticulture article "Phenology".
Do you enjoy gardening or want to start gardening? Have you watched the TV show Escape to the Chateau? If you have, then you would recognize the term “potager garden”. Join us on how to Create a Potager Garden presented by Sue Reinardy, UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteer, virtually on Zoom on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 10 am to Noon as part of a celebration of National Library Week at the Sherman & Ruth Weiss Community Library. Attendees will have a chance to win a special Library T-shirt!
Potager is a French term for a kitchen garden. These gardens can include not only vegetables but herbs, fruit, berries and cutting flowers. During the presentation you will learn where to site your potager, what plants to include and how to maintain it through the growing season.
For the first 15 people who sign up, we will offer them a Take ‘N Make Kit of a Potager Starter Garden. The kit consists of a container, donated by Marketplace Foods, and seeds and a planting medium donated by Sue Reinardy.
You can register for the event by going to the following link – https://bit.ly/3rtyZq9 or by calling the library to register and to receive the link for the Zoom event. We suggest that if you don’t have the free Zoom app, download it before the program begins and go to the presentation at least 5 minutes before it starts. If you have any questions, please call the library at 715-634-2161 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Gardeners are getting their seed starting supplies put together and in early to mid-April will begin the process. I don't have the room or patience to start seeds indoors so I have embraced an outdoor seed starting method.
I originally became aware of this method reading about the Winter Sown method. But even that proved to be too much for me since I can never get around to putting my containers together until right about now, early March. Since those seeds sit around doing nothing until the temperature is about right - no need to rush into this method.
How does it work?
Websites to learn how:
Here is the line-up:
This arrangement includes: Nigella, Dahlia, Zinnia, and Borage.
Every year I try to grow something new. This year's experiment included Nigella (Love-in-a-Mist) and Borage. Both have proven to be winners for putting in flower arrangements. I've also added a few new varieties of dahlias (“Park Princess”, Bush ‘Cancun’, and “Melody Dora”) that have been producing blooms since mid-July. All are represented in this bouquet.
Both of these flowers attract pollinators so they are good additions to a garden insectary. See this blog post from the North Country Master Gardener Volunteers on what is an insectary. For more information on Love-in-a-Mist; the University of Wisconsin has a Garden Fact Sheet.
I have left some of both of these plants to go to seed and am looking forward to seeing how readily they both self-seed. However, I'm not going to take a chance; both will be on next year's seed order.
On May 1, Noon to 2:oo pm online.
Registration & Fees for this course through WITC - see below.
Discover plants suitable to the forest edge or under a shady tree in your yard. Sue Reinardy, a UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteer, will guide you through various topics, including how to add bulbs, ferns, perennials, grasses, sedges, trees and shrubs for three seasons of color. If you have light to medium shade, this program will give you ideas on how to incorporate these plants in your garden.
Class # is 24553 Registration for this online course is through WITC. Register online at courses.witc.edu; Search for and choose your course; add it to your cart. Should you need assistance with registration, call the number provided on the WITC web page for the campus closest to you and leave a message. Your call will be returned. This class is online using the free BlueJeans software. Sign up, receive your log-in information, and attend from the comfort of your space. You will need reliable internet service, a camera and microphone on your device. To learn how easy it is to use our BlueJeans software to take classes from your home or work computer, view the free video tutorial at http://learningcommons.witc.edu/bluejeans
Note: On May 29, Noon to 2:00 pm will be another gardening program online through WITC. You can register for both at the same time.
Class # 24464 Create a Potager Garden -
Potager is a French term for a kitchen garden. These gardens can include not only vegetables but herbs, fruit, berries and cutting flowers. The program will cover where to site your potager, plants to include and how to maintain it through the growing season. These gardens can be an attractive addition to your yard and provide your family with food and flowers throughout the growing season.
Going Native –
On April 23 – 10:30 am to Noon, the Sherman & Ruth Weiss Community Library-Hayward in partnership with the UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program is providing an online gardening program via Zoom, as part of National Library Week, "Find your Library at your place".
This program will cover what, when and where to cultivate native plants that provide food for butterflies, song birds, hummingbirds and beneficial insects. Also learn about phenology: the study of the development of plants and animals as affected by our climate and weather. By using your observations you can know the best time for planting, the blooming cycles of plants, and the emergence of insect pests. All will help you become a more natural gardener. The presenter will be Sue Reinardy- UW-Extension Master Gardener Volunteer.
Register in advance for this meeting: https://uwextension.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcvcO-hrTouG9YSWNKCXExwjkDrGV5XA-q4 in order to receive handout materials, the Zoom link and password.
Spring started this week which gets gardeners excited like kids anticipating Christmas. Except it is still way too early to start gardening. Even starting seeds is at most about 6 weeks before planting and we usually can not plant until late May.
I’ve always thought the astrological seasons were off kilter; even meteorological seasons are too early for those in Zone 3. Yesterday we received about an inch of snow which is now melting on top of the foot of snowpack left from our winter that started before Thanksgiving (i.e. “fall”).
What can a gardener rely on to determine the proper planting time?
Handouts for this year's programs are on the