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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Splish Splash I'm a takin' a Bath

This is what my potting area looked like yesterday morning. Not nearly enough pots for our plant sale but I was scrounging around for pots and potting soil costs a fortune (along with multiple trips to the garden center to buy 3 or 4 bags at a time).

I've made two trips so far to Home Depot, both times I bought 3 50 lb. bags of potting soil plus some other amendments. That's about all I can handle in one trip.

Thanks to Rich Fulfarr and Zaino's Nursery in Westbury, NY I am now set up for some serious potting. These huge bales of potting soil weighed between 100 and 150 lbs. Most of them had small holes torn in the plastic so water had gotten in and soaked the potting soil. The soil is fantastic, it was just almost impossible to lift these bales.

It's a good thing nobody filmed a youtube video of the contortions I went through trying to get these suckers out of the truck. One bale was so heavy that I seriously considered leaving it in the truck and getting a bucket and shovel and lifting it out by the bucket load.

There were lots of pots for me too and of course I was totally energized when I saw the bounty of working materials.

The weather here has been delightful, perfect spring temperatures flirting around 70 degrees (21 Celsius) but the ground is oh so dry. After potting things up, they go in the kiddie pool for a nice hydrating bath. Once I know they've soaked up lots of moisture I put them in a mostly shady location for at least a week so they can get past their shock of being chopped up.

I'm off to pot up Rudbeckias (Black eyed Susans) now. They look like scraggly nothings at this time of year and we have a hard time selling them but I consider them a "must have" in the garden. Maybe I'll find some Echinacea to pot up too.

Yesterday I took inventory and had 265 pots ready. That's way behind what I think I should have. In past years I've had my mom's help to pot these babies up. She's coming in this Saturday but will be staying in the city for the two weeks she's up here. I only get her for one day and hate to have to tell her that we have to pot plants all day. Hopefully I'll feel caught up by then and we can spend the day doing something else. Today's goal is 60 pots. Wonder if I can make it?

Here's a list of plants that are potted so far (in no particular order):
Polygonatum (solomon's seal - need more!)
Hosta - medium green
Oenothera (Evening Primrose)
Sedum 'Matrona'
Centaurea dealbata (Bachelor's buttons)
Geranium cantabrigiense 'Karmina'
Heuchera (lost name, green marbled variety)
Phlox paniculata (several varieties)
Lychnis 'Jenny'
Nepeta mussinii
Stokesia (big fat blue seedlings)
Euphorbia polychroma
Corydalis lutea (yellow)
Violas (black and lavender)
Campanula punctata
Ferns (don't know the variety)
Salvia lyrata purple knockout seedlings
Digitalis (fox gloves)
Heliopsis - summer nights seedlings
Iris Germanica (sky blue)
Iris Siberica (deep blue)
Daylilies (81 pots so far, lots more to do)

On my "to dig" list are at least as many plants as are listed above. Hope I can get to all of them. Next week they are forecasting showers, I can work in the rain and the garden needs rain so I do hope we get some moisture.

Happy digging!



redrahde said...


Did you dig the entire clump to get those daylilies you potted? Also, I notice you didn't cut the tops back. Do you not cut them back when replanting in your own garden?

I envy your energy. After seeing your work, I realize that I really am a lazy gardener.

Frances, said...

Wow to your potting achievements. I don't know how you got that potting soil out of the truck at all. You have a great selection of offerings, I have plenty of the solomon's seal you could add, if only we were closer, it spreads so. You are a workhorse!

Laura said...

I wish I lived closer so I could come to the sale! What a great idea to use the kiddie pool- I may have to find one too!

Connie said...

Wishing I lived close enough to come to your sale...I would be there bright and early to browse your lovely selection of plants!

Gail said...

melanie, that's a great deal of hauling, to-ing and fro-ing, digging, planting what will you do after the sale to relax?


Melanie said...

Hi Pauline, yes, I dug the whole clumps but on some of them I put pieces back in the garden. By next week I'll probably have to cut the foliage back, right now it was still short enough to work with.

By the way, I'm not sure that you could let them sit in water like that in Texas with your heat. Here though it's just fine, they seem to thrive with extra hydration.

Frances, my right arm is aching right now. I don't know if it's from hauling those bales, scooping all that soil, cutting the plants or a combination of all of that. I sure wish I lived near you, I can't pot up enough of that Solomon's seal, we sell out in the first hour.

Laura, I bought that kiddie pool for $7.99 for my doodle and she thought it was just a big water bowl. She hates getting in it so I decided to use it for the plants instead. This year I might get a second one, it really helps the plants soak up water and I feel like I'm conserving more water because I don't use an overhead sprinkler.

Connie, it would be nice to see you here but on sale day I never get the time to talk to people like I would like to.

Gail, great question! After the plant sale I'm going to work in my garden for relaxation :-) Just putter around, spread compost, buy some new plants, rearrange one or two areas and have a pina colada or two.

Dave said...

Melanie that is a huge undertaking! Are you doing this all by yourself or are you putting the kids to work at all? I have to echo Connie, I love to be able to visit your plant sale, although I'd probably buy too much.

Barbee' said...

Melanie, you are amazing!!!

Don't bother to answer this; you don't have time. Just smile. I'll catch you another time.

Anna said...

You met your goal today--congratulations!! It takes someone special to keep at it like you do and you seem like a one person show. All us plant lovers appreciate you and especially us kid lovers. The school better put it to extra special good use.