The Garden Knows. How Could It Not?
As I’ve become more acquainted with life in the garden over the years, I realize that there are constant cues, prompts, and nudges just waiting for me to pay attention. And what could provide better gardening tips than nature itself?
This is known as phenology—the observation of natural events through the season. You can read how to use it to improve your garden here.
These wisdoms used to be passed along as universal guides for all gardeners, but they really are regionally-specific and don’t work for every zone.
When The Daffodils Bloom
Where I live (Ontario, Canada), the daffodils usually bloom in late April. This means there has been enough light and constant warmth to coax those blooms open. Once those yellow flowers appear, I know the soil is warm enough to plant the first peas.
Soon after I start other early crops including cabbage, carrots, lettuces, onions, parsnips, radishes, squash, and turnips. We may be cursed by a late spring snowstorm, but if we all waited until it was safe, we wouldn’t have enough time to grow anything at all.
Apple Blossoms Means Time To Plant More Veggies
In May, when the apple buds plump up and the blossoms start to pop open, conditions are right for the next group (and some succession plantings) of veggies.
This includes arugula, asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, corn, cucumbers, lettuces, mixed greens, mizuna, potatoes, snow peas, spinach, swiss chard, squash, zucchini.
Clematis — Watch Before You Prune
When you don’t know what type of clematis you have, its blooming time can help guide you to the right pruning time. If it blooms before June, don’t prune! In other words, don’t clip off forming flower buds in late spring if you know that’s when it flowers. Wait until the plant has finished blooming to tidy it up. Dare I say, it’s just common sense if your goal is flowers, flowers, flowers.
If you know what type you have, look up the instructions for that specific type.
PSST! The Birds Are Trying To Tell You Something
Seed saving can seem daunting to the new gardener. How and when to do it? The birds will tell you when. Watch as your flowers fade and seeds form. The birds go for the dry, toasty, delicious seeds. I watch for their pick of the day, get a container and some scissors, and clip off those flower heads. The seeds are kept in a cool, dry place indoors, ready for planting in the spring.
What cues to you take from the garden?