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What's Growin' On Stony Brook?

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." - Anne Bradstreet

Although it is hard to think of the spring when the ground is frozen and the days are so short, there are a few things we can do to inspire us for the warm days ahead.

As you curl up by the fire, get motivated! Make sure to get on the mailing list of your favorite catalogues. Whether you love heirloom veggies, Dutch bulbs, or rare specimen plants, this is a great time to gain inspiration for spring planting through catalogues. At the same time, begin a journal. Keep track of plants that catch your attention and bare areas you would like to fill in come spring.

As you were ordering your spring catalogues by the fire you were also creating a great soil additive! Although wood ash does not contain nitrogen, it does contain about 25% calcium carbonate, a common liming material. Acidic lawns would love the neutralizing benefits of wood ash as well as your plants that prefer a more basic soil, such as Asparagus and Iris.

Winter is also a great time to give a little attention to your indoor plants. Consider giving your plants a shower to wash off the dust and dirt that has collected on their leaves. The dry heat is not a friend to most indoor plants either. Humidity trays are a great way to increase the moisture level for plants that prefer a damp environment like orchids, peace lilies, ferns, and African violets. Don't forget to turn your plants every week or so to keep them from establishing uneven growth.

If you have a compost pile, get out and turn it to keep it active. If you have not yet started one, place a small covered container outside and start collecting natural food scraps like lettuce and egg shells. Compost is a free additive that will greatly increase the production of your soil.

Lastly, I find nothing more inspiring than the incredible flower shows that start in the next few weeks. Keep your eyes open and do a little research. Planting Fields has beautiful Camellias in their conservatory, Macy's Flower Show in NYC is the glitz of the plant world, The New York Bronx Botanical Garden offers their breathtaking Orchid Show that will always amaze and inspire! So whether you want to curl up with a pile of catalogues, or travel to the glitz and glamour of the Flower Shows, there are so many ways to begin thinking spring!

Hope to see you at the shows!

Article Written by: Andrea Petterson, Landscape Manager

Tags: Grow Red

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