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Gardening column: Protect your garden plants from weather fluctuations

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Friday, March 03, 2017 03:04 am
This early warm weather and rain is causing tulips, daffodils and other plants to decide it must be time to get things moving. Wish I could say it is fine and spring has sprung. Facts are we live in northern Indiana and who knows what our weather will be like the next couple of months? What should you do? Here are some thoughts on that subject: • If it turns cold and stays that way for awhile, the plants growth will usually stop and wait for the soil to warm up before continuing to grow.

• If the cold spell deepens and lasts quite awhile, the green you are seeing may turn yellow and die back to the ground — but not to worry. The plant will have decided to go back into dormancy and wait to come back when the weather is kinder.

• You can provide protection if you see the plant setting buds by covering them with leaves or straw until the cold spell passes — then, of course, remove it when the weather warms up again.

• If it snows it works like a blanket and will help protect the new growth.

• If we get a freezing rain — well, that could do some serious damage to the new growth and I definitely would recommend providing protective covering if you hear that such a storm is heading our way.

I’ve recently been given a garden tip for an item that some of you might already be using, but these make it easy to plant or replant wildflowers and natives to beautify or encourage pollinators to come and stay. What am I talking about?

• Seed Bombs! I love these seedy truffles and can’t wait to use them this year. They come with a wide variety of seeds and soil coverings and most are either earthy brown or pastels. You can purchase them already made up, or make them yourself.

• These “bombs” aren’t just for wildflowers — they come ready to plant filled with perennial and annual and edibles seed. Just imagine having an herb/salad garden close to your backdoor that was planted by tossing a few of these on richly amended soil either in a large container, a raised bed or a specially prepared place in the garden?

• Home, Garden and Homestead News (www.HomeGardenandHomestead.com) tell us that, “Inside each Herb Seed Bomb (offered by Dune Craft) is a mixture of delicious non-GMO herb seeds such as Basil, Parsley, Dill and more. Also available are Salad Greens Seed Bombs that contain non-GMO seeds of Chervil, Red Lettuce, Cress, Swiss chard and Arugula.” These are being offered through web sites such as Amazon, Wal-Mart and American Meadows seed and garden suppliers.

• If you would like to make your own here is how to do it: (https://goo.gl/uzqsaE). This short url takes you to a site that actually has pictures and instructions for making wildflower seed bombs — but the same method can be used for any seeds you wish to use.

If you plan to attend the Home and Garden Show this weekend, and I hope you do, maybe someone in the Garden Hall will be offering seed bombs — if not, you can purchase them somewhere else or buy seed at the show and make your own. Master Gardeners sell seeds every year at their booth and they always offer seeds from special and unusual plants, and many of them were gathered from plants in the Display Gardens. Also, most or all of them are from organically grown plants — no GMOs in the lot.

Jane Ford is an Advanced Master Gardener. Email questions to bloominthing@gmail.com. She also answers gardening questions with horticulture educator Ricky Kemery noon-1 p.m. the second and fourth Thursday of each month on "The Plant Medic," a radio show on 95.7fm. This column is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of The News-Sentinel.



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