Northern Gardening forum: A mid winter spring in the North!

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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
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CarolineScott
Jan 24, 2015 9:36 AM CST
We are having a warm spell right in the middle of winter.
It looks and feels like Spring, but we know that winter will return.
Good weather to continue clean up that did not get done in the Fall.
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
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chelle
Jan 24, 2015 10:10 AM CST
nodding I agree

I'd have rather been winter sowing seeds, but today it was still nice enough outdoors to clean out my truck -it needed it badly! Whistling Three to five snowy inches, and lows in single digits forecast for tomorrow though, so winter returns.
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Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
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mcash70
Jan 24, 2015 10:35 AM CST
Warmed up here too, some melting yesterday but we still have tons of snow on the ground so definitely no gardening. Thumbs down
Name: Susie
Leonard, Minnesota (Zone 3b)
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4susiesjoy
Jan 24, 2015 10:42 AM CST
It warmed up here too for a few days, but to much snow to do any gardening. The grandkids are having a great time being pulled on sleds behind the four-wheeler though. Big change from last year when they couldn't get out to play at all because of the bitterly cold temps. We'll enjoy it while it's here! Smiling
Name: Dora
Calgary (Zone 3a)
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dorab
Jan 25, 2015 10:42 AM CST
It's going to be 13C today, so there goes the last of my snow cover on my beds. I'll be glad to see all the ice gone, but I'm a bit worried about the perennials "waking up."
But it is nice not to have to bundle up all the time.
Dora
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
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Oberon46
Jan 25, 2015 12:11 PM CST
teens here following a nice little snow dump to keep all my gardening babies nice and warm for the next couple of colder months before spring. Working on my plant database, building new reports and forms that relate to vegies and seed growing, especially winter sowing, succession planning, companion planting, etc.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
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
Jan 25, 2015 7:40 PM CST
Gardening really is a full year hobby!
I am researching best germination conditions for seeds I have acquired.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
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Oberon46
Jan 26, 2015 10:19 AM CST
I am doing the same thing looking up advice on planting daylily and iris seeds. Never grew them from seed before. I know I have to be patient but since a couple of DG'rs were so generous with their seeds I am determined to do the best that I can to grow them. I will post a picture of one of my reports on a specific vegetable with all the advice I found on line for growing it. They will go into a three ring binder to make it easier to consult as I plant each one. Same for flower seeds. A fun way to spend the last winter months. Although I am running out of time for some seeds that need a long long time for germination.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
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
Jan 26, 2015 10:25 AM CST
Yes, some seeds need starting now too.
I am going to start Laurentia (Isomeris axillaris) which takes a long time.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Jan 26, 2015 10:26 AM CST
This has definitely been a much better winter than last year! And it's almost February -- I'm starting to feel like there isn't enough winter left to get all the things done that I had planned for the "off season" Hilarious!
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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
Jan 26, 2015 10:28 AM CST
One swap sent me Iris seeds, so I will be doing a winter sow of those.
I will need to collect seeds from the few daylilies in my yard and do them another year.
I think that they need a cold start also.
Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Anderwood
Jan 26, 2015 9:51 PM CST
We have a south facing front yard, so we have no snow! Nice to see the grass, but I'm worried about the perennials. It reminds me of the winter of 2011 that ended early. I just feel do bad for those on the east coast! Behind the blizzard they will be frigid cold.

But ego am I yo talk. MN winters can turn in a second!!!
(Zone 4b)
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GardenLiz
Jan 26, 2015 10:26 PM CST
It certainly is feeling like spring here too..the roof gutters were dripping all day. I went out with the kids and attempted some winter hardwood cuttings of hydrangea, forsythia, red twigged dogwood, euonymus, and blackberry (I've never done it before, but it takes so little work I thought I'd give it a try). We still have a little snow and I'm hoping we won't lose it all. We can still get very cold so I would hate for the snow to all melt and then get a bad cold snap.
It is really hard to see it all melting knowing it isn't the end of winter by any means!!!
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
Jan 27, 2015 9:53 PM CST
Liz, it's not but then again, it sort of is (the end of winter, that is); by the time February rolls around if the weather hasn't been all the bad to date (like this year), I say "bring it on, it can't last all that long!" Big Grin
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Jane
Tobyhanna, PA (Zone 5a)
The "Garden" is my Happy Place!
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PAgirl63
Feb 6, 2015 11:39 AM CST
Hi all,
I just stumbled unto this forum. I'm in zone 5a and live in the Pocono Mtn. region of PA. I live in a town called "Tobyhanna", but during winter we call it "TobyHORROR" cause the weather can be downright weird. During winter we get freaky snow squalls, thick fog, ice storms, and average pretty heavy snowfalls. Our winter goes from late October til mid-May. Spring is usually cool and rainy. Summers are nice, but we seldom have very hot weather, maybe 4-5 days at the most. And fall, is the most beautiful time of the year.

Just like you guys, growing things here is somewhat of a challenge. I don't have room for starting seeds indoors, but I do winter sow. Other years I started in January, but I'm thinking about starting closer to mid-March. Just curious as to when those of you who do winter sowing, start?
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
Feb 6, 2015 5:16 PM CST
Hi Jane, I didn't think anyone had much worse weather than where I live, but you got it, although I see it's not as cold as your 5a. I live in a small town at an elevation of 3500 feet, long cold snowy winters, last frost date in spring is May 24th, it has been later at times, we can get frost in mid August. The area is semi arid, summer days are hot, dry, and windy, the nights cool. Despite that I am successful at growing a wide range of shrubs and plants, they just have to be tough. Hilarious!
[Last edited by mcash70 - Feb 8, 2015 10:23 AM (+)]
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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
Feb 6, 2015 6:07 PM CST
Winter sowing can get us through the dreary parts of the year.
I have started some in January--mainly things which require a cold period for germination.
March is soon enough here for WS most things , but I do some each week through February too.
Name: Jane
Tobyhanna, PA (Zone 5a)
The "Garden" is my Happy Place!
Garden Ideas: Master Level
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PAgirl63
Feb 6, 2015 7:04 PM CST
Thanks ladies. I feel better now about waiting til March to do some WS. Over the past few years I've discovered a lot of the hits and misses as far as plants and shrubs go. My biggest problem is not so much the weather, but the wildlife. I've had to resort to fencing a lot of things because of the deer and groundhogs. I've tried the sprays, soap bars, etc., but the fencing works the best. And their tastes seem to change from year to year. Deer never bothered my hollies and rhodos, but last winter they ate both. I lost the rhodos, but salvaged the hollies with the fencing. What surprised me the most was one or both of them ate snapdragons this past summer. They had never ever been touched before, and they are supposed to be pretty deer & groundhog resistant plants. I guess nothing is absolutely Sighing! foolproof!
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Feb 7, 2015 2:05 PM CST
I also started wsing in January the first year. Now I agree, March is plenty early enough, even for stuff needing a cold snap. I do have some seeds that need about 6-8 weeks to germinate after being potted up so might start them a little earlier.

Yup you weather may even beat outs. Winter sets in about the end of October and snow isn't gone til first part of April (except for little spots behind or under something. Some early flowers are blooming especially the evergreens like aubreita (sp) and arabis. I think the arabis is the first to be covered in tons of little white flowers. Give them a haircut when they are done and they rebloom in the fall. Wish I had some that were a color. I think mine is called Snowcap.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
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
Feb 7, 2015 3:14 PM CST
Aubrieta and arabis are flowering in Alaska? Wow
Today is a warmer day ,but I think they are still beneath the snow.

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