Warmer days seem like they are here to stay, then another cold front dashes hopes for a few more days. Our average last frost date is April 15th, and I have seen snow in April in years past, so I don’t get started on outside planting until later in the month. Until then, I rely on the bulbs to give me spring flowers, and beauty while the trees slowly wake up. These double daffodils keep blooming in the planter box.
Right before a freezing night, I decided to cut some flowers to bring inside. I don’t usually do this as they last longer in the flower beds. But, nothing to lose when the temperature was going to do down to 20 degrees in late March.
Two hyacinths and a bunch of daffodils made a pretty display, and filled the rooms with their sweet fragrance.
The red bud tree out front is preparing to bloom now.
The purple iris is putting up bud spires.
The tulips are going to be lovely.
The first iris bed is going to bloom soon too.
This little guy is actually a weed. It is a wild violet, but I like it, so it gets to stay.
In my seed starting area, calamity has struck for the umpteenth year in a row. I really do not know why my little seedlings start out so great, then just croak.
I do everything the book says. They get regular watering, a moistening every day, not standing in water, 16 hours of light, 16 inches away from the light, soil mix with fertilizer and drainage per the instructions, and still most fail.
Before they all died, on a warm day last week, I transplanted the still living ones into Miracle Grow seed starting mix in new peat pots.
The ones in the old pots needed thinning anyway, and since so many are gone, I picked the strongest looking ones of what was left.
Back under the grow lights, will hope for the best for another couple of weeks while I wait for the last frost date to pass by.
Amazingly, my geraniums have survived the winter, and this one has begun growing with the warm up. It may even flower before I can move it to the veranda.
More geraniums, my parsley, and the spike dracaena are doing well still.
Glorious blooms are on the way, and I look forward to their appearance. What is blooming in your part of the world?
26 thoughts on “April in the Garden”
Wild violets? Well, growing up in Austria, springtime meant going out to pick wild flowers, such as snowflakes, snowdrops, crocus, lily of the valley, narcissi, etc, all of which were native, as were the dark, heavily scented violets.
I am doing my best to grow violets here in my garden in Australia, though with mixed result and any colour – be it scented or not, would be welcome
FYI – Your seedlings need to be one inch away from your grow lights at all times (16 hours/day) so they do not grow tall and leggy and fall over and die.
Just daffodils and hyacinth here. My chives have started coming back up. I like your garden posts because it shows me what I have to look forward to in a couple weeks!
It’s been a long time since I tried to grow things from seed but I do remember that everything has to be sterile – the soil, the pots. Meaning new soil, ultra-clean pots if they have been used before. And the pots needed to be close to the grow lights at the beginning. Good luck. I don’t bother anymore – just go to the grocery store or the farmers market.
So fun to have some color showing up outside. You seem to be a bit further along than us. Have a vase of mixed daffodills and jonquils sitting close by and the redbuds are just starting to show. Supposed to be 79 today! The only thing I would check on with your seed starting is that you only use a soil-less mix. It looks like damping off, which only happens in the presence of soil. You mentioned soil once or twice. I mix my own: 1/2 peat and 1/2 vermiculite, put it in a 5 gallon bucket and bring in to use to start everything – even cuttings. I usually boil a quart or so of water and pour it into the bucket to mix just so it is a little moist to start. They don’t need any nutrients until repotted or planted out. I am having a heck of a time trying to get lettuce to start…other things are doing pretty well.
Carole, your garden is so going to be beautiful when everything is bloomed out! I love the wild violet!
The bulbs are always such a welcoming sight after the winter months. Yours look beautiful. Good luck with the seedlings. Looks like you got some good advice from the comments.
Wow, iris buds already. I finally got to cut off the raggedy Helleborus leaves and today will tackle cutting down the ornamental grass. We’ve hardly had any days when it was warm or dry enough to do outside work. Crocus and miniature iris are blooming and the daffs are budded. No tulips here because of the deer. I agree with two of your other commenters that the problem with your seeds is damping off and that the grow lights need to start much closer to the pots then be raised as the seedlings grow. I used to start lots of seeds, but don’t anymore because it’s too much work and I don’t grow vegetables any more (again because of said deer).
Your flowers always encourage me that spring is coming! We had rain last night; raindrops on the roof is once again such a welcome sound now that the roof is sound!
Looks like others have given you some ideas to try with your seedlings. We planted the sunflowers and peas yesterday, we are still I. For more frost, but they will miss the possible snow this next week, still safe in the ground, so fingers crossed. No sign of the lettuce or spinach yet, but maybe today? The garlic is up, which is. First for us, so pretty exciting.
I had it happen once, was told it was Verticillium wilt .I changed to starting seeds in vermiculite then transplanting into cleaned (bleached) pots. Pots were willed with seed transplanting mix.
Hope this helps.
Here my daffodils have been blooming since February. The iris are up but no buds yet and the day lilies leaves are about 6 inches. The violets are just starting to show their leaves.
In my experience you need the plants closer to the light, as close as 2”until they are an inch or so tall then gradually move them down and water them with chamomile tea….it kills any fungus or bacteria in the soil. The tea should be mild
Loved the beautiful flower and plant parade. I have no luck with plants, so I appreciate others who have the touch. Thank you.
What pretty flowers. Tulips are one of my favorites. ‘Hoping ours bloom this year. Oddly, some years they do not.
I live in Tucson, Az and there are no bulbs planted in my village. We have wild peccary called javelina (say Hava-lina) and they will have their way with anything tender! I’ve had to fill my pots with the “V” plants – verbena and vinca – they don’t like them. I learned the hard way once when I planted petunias which had lovely large blooms and were a tasty treat for the ‘pigs.’ When I next saw what remained of my blooms, there were only stems and dirt clods all over the front door walkway. Most desert plants have thorns and this is for their protection so that the plant can reach maturity and reproduce and not get eaten! We have, however, just recently enjoyed watching the citrus in bloom and the tree full of bees helping those blooms along.
Hello Carole, I always love reading your posts about your flowers and everyone’s comments. You have received so many helpful suggestions today, I hope that they help. I seldom pre-plant my seeds, I just plant them outside with all of my other flowers and have had a pretty good success rate. My daffodils bloomed out beautifully everywhere this year and we are now watching them begin to fade as the other bulbs are starting to show themselves. We have been receiving quite a bit of rain and it is still snowing a bit in the higher mountains and still cold enough to run our heat right now. Like you, until the end of April and sometimes not until the middle of May do we really start doing any planting outside, it is because of where we live on the mountain per say. I have been meaning to post pictures on my blog, but with Mom in the hospital it has been chaos. Thank you for sharing all of your beautiful photos and have a spectacular day!
How beautiful! So smart to bring those beauties in to enjoy before they froze!
I have always smiled at the garden instruction ” Plant out after the last frost”, those spring flowers are really beautiful, and inside before getting finished with the cold, good value. Ours are almost all planted, I have some special ones to go into pots this week.
Lots of pretty blooms there, and lots to look forward to, it looks like! My daffodils are just on the verge of opening up, and I’m so looking forward to that!
Hi, Enjoy your blog so much. I think your loss of seedlings might be something called damping off . I am not sure what causes it, but I know it affects seedlings just about the time they are ready to transplant. Your garden is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
Grass is growing!! I had to mow my back yard today for the first time this year. We had snow/rain last weekend and expect a few more freezes until at least May here in the high mountain desert of Nevada. I have a few iris leaves coming up, but even the trees are mostly still bare. Enjoying your flowers!!
I love the wild violets, too. Truth be told, most of our back “lawn” is wild violets. Hub and I have decided that nothing could be better than the green foliage and the beautiful carpet of wild flowers in the spring. 🙂 On your little seedlings, from the photo, I would say that they are too wet. They need to be moist, but not wet. Cold and wet is sure to get them. In the past, I have put my seedling trays on heating pads (turned low), esp at night. But best, just to not saturate them. My 2 cents.
I wish my weeds were that pretty. Beautiful blooms you’ve brought inside. There’s still a lot of daisies flowering in my garden, as well as salvias and our native murraya bushes.
You have so much to enjoy in your garden. Beautiful blooms.
Good morning Carole,
Your double daffodil is beautiful, I’ll be looking for some of them. The irises have come up but aren’t sprouting any blooms as yet, looking forward to them showing up. The hyacinths have come up but haven’t bloomed yet. Have a great day and smile at all the sunshine we are getting now, right? Phyllis
Carole, A note about your seedlings. Once they have sprouted (tomatoes) and have the second set of leaves they need to be transplanted. I put them in 8 oz Styrofoam cups after a hole is punched through the bottom for drainage. I use Natural seed sprouting soil as it is very loose. The transplant is put in up to the leaves, usually about half the plant goes in the soil. Set the cups in a tray and water from the bottom so the rooting is encouraged. They do not go under the lights until they revive. The transplanting is hard on them & then need to reestablish roots. Usually the next day they are ready for lights. Mine are just a couple inches from the lights. The first set of cups are already on the porch to toughen them up. More are waiting to be transplanted. Pictures to follow. Happy gardening. Love your blog! Bonnie
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