February 2015 Garden

It has been too warm lately, and my irises decided to wake up and start growing.  Unfortunately, the weekend was going to be 8 degrees with snow!

Iris shoots

I asked DH to cover them up, and he had the brilliant idea of using clear, plastic, painter’s drop cloths with boards to hold down the corners against the wind. The little sunlight we are getting can get through the plastic so hopefully will keep them from freezing. I know it isn’t good to leave plastic on for a long time, so I’ll be taking it off as soon as the danger of hard freeze is over.

Iris shoots covered

Good thing we did, this was my driveway yesterday a couple of hours after I got home.  Good thing I left work at lunch!  I know it isn’t as much as some others, but this is enough to be a problem for driving on this mountain.  I found that out the hard way last year!  My Snow Day of 2014 was a bit of an adventure.


This morning the result of the overnight ice formation was actually quite beautiful.  Trees and limbs are coated with ice, and glistening in the early morning sun.


Looking toward the next mountain to the east, more ice glitters in the sun.


Inside is warmer and more inviting.  I am excited that my amaryllis has apparently decided to bloom! This little bud showed up a few days ago.

Amaryllis bud Feb 14

I can’t wait to see it, hoping it will be as beautiful velvet red as the flowers last year.

Amaryllis bud Feb 14 -2

I do have some flowers in bloom. The lovely ladies of my quilt group gave me this pretty red cyclamen.


Down in the basement, the little plastic carton greenhouses are waiting for their seeds.

Seeds stacked

Some of the seeds I ordered have shown up in the mail. I’ll get these going around Feb 25th, have to wait for the right phase of the moon, and not too far ahead of the last frost date.  I hope the tomato seeds arrive in time!


Last fall, I sent in a soil sample to the county extension office.  I got the kit at the Mountain State Fair.  North Carolina offers this service free to homeowners if you get your samples in before the end of October. I wanted to see if my soil was the cause of so few tomatoes and spindly growth of my herbs and peppers last year.


This looks like a difficult report to read, but the pages of information that came with it made it easy. My soil pH is OK, 6.5-6.6. No lime is recommended.  My soil type is mineral, a good one to have for growing things – not sandy or clay.  But, there is a deficiency of magnesium, manganese, and zinc in my soil. So, I’ll look for those and apply sometime next month when it gets a bit warmer. The report says a liquid fertilizer is ideal, which works for me.  I don’t want to dig up all the bulbs that are there.  The recommendations are the same for both tomato crops and peppers/sage crops.  Most extension services offer this service, some will have a nominal fee, and it is worth the time to do it when the information is specific to your garden.  I’ll probably have another analysis this fall, just to be sure that the fertilizer and supplements I put on this year corrected the problems.

Have you ever had your soil analyzed?

Linking up with the fun parties on my sidebar and ..

8 thoughts on “February 2015 Garden

  1. I’ve often thought about doing it… but since most of my gardening is now done in raised beds each one would have to have a separate test and that would just be too much hassle. Everything seems to thrive so I’ve stopped worrying about it. Our natural soil here is horrible… acidic clay that just refuses to cooperate with gardening. My bulbs have sprouted too and are now covered with 6 inches of snow and we are getting extreme colds this week 😦 I am so ready for WARM SUNSHINE !

  2. some of my bulbs have been popping up to. the hubs bought a bag of soil (it was frozen, so we had to wait until it deforsted in the garage) and he put a fresh layer over them.

    we got snow today so i’m glad he got the cover up.

    your cyclamen is so pretty, mine is purple, of course!!!!

  3. Our weather has been really warm too so I’m sure there are bulbs popping up here too. I don’t have a garden, however I’m sure there are concerned gardeners. I know there was concern about the fruit trees.

  4. Mary Jo

    Soil sampling and testing are one of the first things Extension Master Gardeners recommend in our area. Everything likes their “home” to be comfortable…and the proper nutrients in the soil make plant “homes” perfect…a great place to grow!

  5. Jean

    I love your photos of the ice/snow. We’re not getting much of anything this winter, darnit…I want SNOW!!! so bad. You are the first person I’ve seen that uses the moon signs, I have used them for years & years – can’t beat it..lolo

  6. Stephanie

    Your snow pictures are quite pretty! And how fun to have plants popping up. Due to the warmer temperatures we’re having the trees here in the mounatins are starting to bud which is way too early… hopefully they will be okay. Thanks for sharing at ROI. Enjoy your weekend!

  7. Mary

    We have had ice, no snow. Hate it. I saw a bulb peeking out the ice this am. Tulips are annuals here. It is not cold enough for a length of time. Your flowers look great. I have learned the best approach for lots of tomatoes is buy one of the plants that are already knee high or taller with lots of blooms. The CHERRY REDS AND YELLOW CHERRY WILL BLOOM AND PRODUCE UNTIL FROST. Last year, I had so many blooms and tiny tomatoes, at frost time I was sick. My plants and pomeranians are my children. I have peppers and meyer lemon trees started in pots. Good that DH is not worried about a “little” clutter. Pots everywhere. LOL
    Keep up the great blog.

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