One doesn't have to go far to hear moans and groans about our spring weather. Despite the rather cool and damp, the garden carries on.
By now most of you will have planted your veggies out, though the evening temperatures are still not overly warm. If you haven't put your tomatoes out or planted your beans, there is still plenty of time.
If you have had less than stellar germination, then sow again. Some folks like to put in staggered sowings of veggies so they are able to enjoy the fruits of their labour over a longer period of time.
You can also do this with sunflowers, for example, to have a longer show. I do find that sometimes the latter plantings have a habit of "catching up" with the former ones.
Remember to plant your tomatoes under cover to avoid early and late blight. I have seen entire crops ruined over the last few years when folks either watered them with a sprinkler or let the rain get to them. Either a physical cover or under the eaves helps.
Rhubarb is at its height right now with nice thick stocks and vigourous growth. Cut off the seed pod that develops to encourage the growth to go to the production of fruit.
Despite what some folks think, I have read that both red and green varieties have the same flavour. I have never found a difference myself, but yes, the red is much prettier in desserts. The leaves are fine in the compost (don't eat them!), but keep them spread out and not "clumped." If you let the seed pods develop, you can get seeds from the plant, and yes, they will germinate.
If you've had annual Forget-me-nots bloom in your garden, it's a good time to pull them out. The rule of thumb for these is when they've stopped looking fantastic, pull 'em out, and yes, they've already seeded. Proof of this will occur next year. I have pulled out all of my brownish tulip and daffodil leaves. They are not the prettiest things when they die down, but an integral part of the spring garden.
I'm sure the nurseries have missed the lack of heat as well, but this translates into great selection during an awesome time of the year to plant. The cool makes less of a shock for the plant and gives it a chance to adapt before summer. (Yes, it will come, and I told you to stop whining.)
My husband has planted his dahlia tubers in the ground, and I am vigourously snapping the seed heads off of Welsh Poppies in a rather futile attempt to stop them from spreading.
There is still plenty of time to put up hanging baskets and revamp pots. But remember, when you hang your baskets, make sure they are not obliterating your address and won't hit the letter carriers on the head. See you in the garden!
Deb Brodie is a local gardener and member of the Richmond Garden Club.