Is it spring yet?

First Saturday in a while that looked promising. Daytime temps are slowly rising, and in some spots the ground is defrosted enough to hoe. So, after a loooong walk with the Gabster, I worked outside for a little while. Picked up fallen branches. Raked out the raised bed and planted a couple of rows of mesclun, then went around to the east side of the yard and planted some hardy ferns that had arrived in yesterday’s mail. I also checked the plants–ferns, some hellebore I think–that I put in last fall. No sign of sproutage yet, but it’s probably way too early.

The problem with not knowing much about ferns and buying grab bag plants from an online vendor is that I can’t tell the root clumps apart–assuming that’s even possible–so I don’t know what I’ve planted where. Some of the ferns grow to 2 feet in height, others to 3 feet, and while I tried to spread them out and not put plants in front of others, there’s still a chance I will wind up with a jumble. Nothing I can do except wait for them to come up, then transplant as needed.

The raised bed was still frozen in spots, but there was enough loose soil on the lower level to risk a few mesclun seeds. Despite the ongoing cold and frozen ground, the Indestructible Chive is putting forth shoots. I cleaned out some of last year’s dead vegetation, but left enough to shelter and feed the new growth.

Indoors, I am going to have to remove the lid from the seed tray this weekend because the Paul Robeson sprout is already hitting it. The parsley had some sort of infestation–aphids? mites?–but a couple of applications of insecticidal soap seems to have taken care of them. The thyme, which I thought was a goner, is putting forth a healthy cluster of leafage. Yesterday, I gave the King gardenia–the gift from my vet’s office–a dose of acidic feed. A few of the lower leaves had yellowed, and I hunted online for info about gardenia diseases. I couldn’t find a match for the appearance of those leaves–yellow, with green spots–so I attributed it to 1) old leaves, or 2) leaves close to the ground that maybe got too wet, or 3) the need for soil acidification. Possibly a little of everything. Anyway, I moved the gardenia to a 5″ pot with plenty of new potting soil. I also made sure that the pot had a drainage hole so that the excess water can drain. Root rot is apparently a possible issue. Want to avoid that.