Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Gardening is Happening! April 1

Hello again,

Here are some "real life" Gardening is Happening stories and questions and answers. I would love to publish frequent dialogues between you our gardening friends and us here at Skillin's! So, keep your questions, stories and comments flowing to us at info@skillins.com or leave a comment here at the Skillin's Garden Log (click on The Pencil at the end of this post!)

*BB wrote the following about "Lettuce Under Lights":

"Last summer my husband built me a cedar flat with a screen on the bottom and handles so I could have more lettuce and move it into shade when needed. This January I filled with your ProMix and planted a packet of mesclun and some arugula and placed under fluorescent lights for l4 hours a day. I thinned it and used thinnings for salad. Now I am scissor cutting it every couple of days for a handful to add to salad. I water it with a 1/4 solution of Peter's 20/20/20 when dry. It's great to be harvesting something now. I am going to try the peas thing."

Thanks BB! The peas thing BB is referring to is planting some peas in a container. I will admit the snow over the early part of last weekend discouraged me a little but the warm weather of this week is invigorating me and I am about to embark on my peas in a container project. I will use a large plastic pot (about 16" or so), some excellent Bar Harbor Blend potting soil by Coast of Maine and some Sugar Snap Peas by Botanical Interests. For fertilizer, I will use the Neptune's Harvest Fish/Seaweed Blend (probably about once a week).

*LK chimed in with some great questions for this time of year. Here are her questions and my answers:

Hi Mike -

Spring's here and I'm ready to get planting. My Spring Bonds are burning a hole in my pocket - but I know I have to be patient!

I have a question about fertilizers. I typically use Pro Gro in the Spring and the Fall and then use Neptune's Harvest every week or two. My first question is - is this a good fertilizing plan? Am I missing anything?

Secondly - Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to put Pro Gro down last winter before the first snow fall as a prep for Spring - so should I get that down as soon as the snow falls?

One more question. I did a lot of planting last spring and as the snow is melting I'm noticing that some braches of a few bushes (Andromeda and Mountain Laurel) were snapped off from the weight of the snow. Besides a bit of pruning once it warms up so they're not so lopsided - is there anything else I need to do for these new editions.


I think you have a great fertilizing plan LK. I am not sure what you are using the Neptune’s Harvest on but it is a great fertilizer and I think frequent feedings of it for flowering and even vegetable material really help during the season. We have a short season and our plants and soil need all the boost they can get.

I would get that Pro Gro down as soon as the snow melts. Just follow up with a second application later on this year.

Great question about the shrubs. Again once the snow melts I would get some Holly Tone by Espoma down around the base of your Andromeda or Mountain Laurel. These are acid loving evergreen plants and they will really need that Holly Tone. Follow up with a second application later on this year.

*JP has the following question about bulbs and I have included my answer:

"I have a variety of potted bulb plants (daffodils, tulips etc) that have died back. What do I do now with them so I can plant tem outside?"


Now is the time to get some fertilizer to those bulbs. Don’t cut back the foliage just yet—nutrients are flowing back from the foliage to those bulbs causing the bulbs to gather nutrients and to actually grow. You can aid this growth by giving them a good liquid fertilizer like Schultz Houseplant Food or Fish/Seaweed by Neptune’s Harvest. Continue to water the bulbs when they are dry to the touch.

This summer you can plant the bulbs outdoors in a sunny spot. Plant them plenty deep so they can stay as insulated as possible from hot temperatures and cold. When you plant them put a generous portion of Bulb Tone by Espoma into the planting hole.

1 comment:

Mike Skillin, Skillin's Greenhouses said...

Well folks I did it today! I planted those peas in a large container. Very simple. The container I used is a 12" pot that I filled halfway with Bar Harbor Blend by Coast of Maine.

Then, I put a couple of scoopfuls of Plant Booster Plus by Organica (Plant Tone by Espoma would also work) and mixed that with the soil. I filled the rest of the pot with Bar Harbor Blend and then mixed in a little Plant Booster Plus.

I put about 8 or 9 peas seeds about an inch or so in the pot. I used the Sugar Snap Edible Pod peas because I love those pea pods.

I will then mist with water to keep the soil moist but I have left my container in a very sheltered yet south facing spot!

I will also use some Neptune's Harvest Fish/Seaweed fertilizer with my water when misting once the plants start to grow.

I will keep you posted on my project here at Skillin's Garden Log and I hope if you have a garden project going you will do the same!


Mike Skillin

I will eventually feed with