Northern Gardening forum: April in Northern Gardens?

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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Apr 11, 2012 8:59 AM CST
What are the northerners doing in April of 2012?
This forum seems very quiet?
Here, not much is happening outdoors, yet.
Indoors---starting seeds under lights.
Purchased some basket stuffers and geraniums.

Prediction for rain tomorrow, so need to direct seed some wildflowers and poppies.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Apr 11, 2012 6:21 PM CST
I'm here, Caroline (jumping up and down and waving arms!). Not as far north as you are, but the Mich. Upper Peninsula is still pretty far up there... I have 12 flats under the lights in my closet (peppers, tomatoes, herbs, petunias, impatiens, etc), plus a flower box of lettuce that I started in early Feb. and 3 flats of onions started from seed out in one of my hoop houses, also protected by some 'floating row cover." Bought some onion sets a couple of days ago that I want to put out ASAP; my asparagus is coming up, about a month early, and is also covered by Reemay over some hoops. Johnny Jump-Ups have been blooming for a while now, and the garlic is about 4 inches tall (also under row cover, planted last fall). Daffodils are also up about 3 inches in my flower garden, along with Centaureus montana and Allium giganteum.

We had a pretty good snowstorm right at the end of February but that melted away pretty fast and it has more or less seemed like spring ever since (which in my mind I know should not be until about May, even though my gut always says March should be spring time...) I have a feeling a lot of people will be planting at least a couple of times this year, the greenhouse owners should be happy about that!

Really dry here right now, so I hope to run my tiller through the garden in the next few days and then probably one more time before serious planting starts. Otherwise, nice to have time to do spring cleanup, there is always plenty of that!

Smiling

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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Apr 12, 2012 5:45 AM CST
Wow! that will be a lot of plants to set out when your weather warms!
I have not started any veges yet.
Mostly petunias for hanging baskets.
I have lots of Wintersowing perennials---so far the only shoots are verbena bonsariensis.
Our daffodils and tulips are beginning to show above ground. Alliums too.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Apr 12, 2012 7:34 AM CST
I tried some winter sowing this year for the first time, I have poppies and foxglove and a few lupines sprouting, not sure if everything I planted was appropriate for doing that way... but nothing ventured, nothing gained!

I won't (fortunately) be planting everything myself, I start a lot of stuff to share with friends and family members -- I enjoy doing that because it gives me an excuse for starting more varieties than I would if they were all for me, and I always seem to get more in return than I give away, everything from fresh eggs to maple syrup to dinner invitations. (I did have to draw the line at the suggestion of growing "medical marijuana" in my greenhouse, tho... Hilarious! )

Happy gardening!
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Name: stephanie king
cut bank, MT z 3a-4b
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rebloomnut
Apr 13, 2012 6:40 PM CST
Cleaning out the flower beds. We built several raised beds last fall for vegetables and today I received the onion starts. I was a little surprised as they said they would ship end of April. The nights are still getting down into the 20's. Do you think it would be safe to plant them or should I put them in a cool place and wait. They appear ok for now but might lose a few if I wait too long. Any idea what night temps. should be before planting onion and also garlic cloves?? We have not done a lot of Veg. gardening in years but we both retired last year and want to do a lot more now.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Apr 13, 2012 10:35 PM CST
Stephanie, I might wait just a little bit longer, but our nights are still going below freezing and I just noticed an onion growing in the garden that must have been missed last year, so I actually think you would be okay to plant them -- well, disclaimer, are you planting sets (little bulbs) or plants? I would definitely wait a bit before setting out onion plants, but think you would be okay with sets. Garlic should definitely be okay, I plant that it the fall, same time as I would daffodils, and it survives our winters just fine. (I normally cover it with "floating row cover" - Reemay or the like - or with something like pine branches to hold a good snow cover over it). (I've been in zone 4b for years but the new revised map shows me to be in 5a, so who knows? - I think zone 5 plants are still pretty iffy for our area!)

"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
Region: Canadian Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tip Photographer Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member
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mcash70
Apr 13, 2012 11:06 PM CST
We had a few nice days this week, I got the beds cleaned up, looks like most of my daylilies made it through the winter, not too sure about the seedlings yet. Got the 3 large crab apple trees pruned, that was quite a job. The past couple of day weren't that nice, a little of everything, sun, clouds, rain and hail.
Name: stephanie king
cut bank, MT z 3a-4b
Life is what you make it, so make i
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Enjoys or suffers cold winters Roses Clematis Region: United States of America
Peonies Daylilies Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Echinacea Irises Cat Lover
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rebloomnut
Apr 14, 2012 11:00 AM CST
Sandy these are Onion Plants so I will wait a bit and plant them if they start looking stressed. The garlic is Elephant garlic. I have never grown Garlic before so it should be fun. Thanks for the great info. I was thinking about getting some reemay covers sometime so this may be a good time to do that too.

Hi Marg. I checked yesterday on a daylily seedling bed and started cleaning it out. Way more survivors than I thought there would be so I am happy. Nice here today, rained yesterday and supposed to again tonight or tomorrow.
Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
Region: Canadian Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tip Photographer Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member
Morning Glories Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants Butterflies Garden Photography
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mcash70
Apr 14, 2012 11:11 AM CST
Hey, Steph that's good news on your seedlings. I noticed my rhubarb was coming up yesterday, I was really pleased about that, I only planted it last year, then in the fall those nasty little voles ate it down to the ground, I was so mad!! Grumbling

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