Valley Gardening: Catching spring fever

Life is good in the neighborhood—that’s LODA—otherwise affectionately known as Lower Downtown Alamosa! Otherwise known as the area that will not be included in any downtown revitalization, or architectural planning, or anything! I just don’t get it! Because the “traffic pattern” is different on Eighth and State we are not a business district, like downtown. People walk differently down here, and I guess they drive differently, and ride their bikes on the sidewalk. It just seems like the folks in LODA spend their money same as the people in downtown. Oh, well.

We do have a little bit of spring fever down here on the south side. I’m hoping to fill up the “trash planters” with some new soil this weekend and also plant a few seeds. It is kind of early, but it always seems like flowers coming up from seed are pretty acclimated to the weather. I’m going to throw out some alyssum and calendula seed because both are real tough. Might really take a risk and do some marigolds and zinnias, too.

I will also be planting some pansies at the Bistro Rialto. My good friend Sandi has had a pretty tough six months, so her flower planters are on the very top of my priority list! Actually, I have enough projects for the weekend to keep me busy for months. Might be burning the midnight oil! 

The 15-day forecast doesn’t show any trace of a frost—yahoo! When you really think back, it seems like every spring is like this—we just don’t remember from year to year—at least I don’t! If you are planting your garden, be smart and be ready to cover if a frost is predicted. The best stuff I know of is Nsulate cloth. It usually comes in a 12’ width, can be thrown over the entire garden, and even left on for a few days. You can even water over the cloth. It also helps to protect seedlings from that awful wind that we get once in a while.

If you are planting tomatoes, the best protection I know of is Wall o’ Waters. Planting your tomatoes now, and planting them deep and then doing the WOW will allow the plant to begin developing a root system so that when it really is summer, you should have a 3-4 week head start.

Mom’s Garden is coming along. Getting ready to water there this weekend, for the first time this year.  I will also be spraying the mustard? weed that is coming up on the north end. I will be calling for a locate from the utility company so when I get Scott with John Deere over there to break up the soil no one will pull up any utility lines, etc. Also getting a locate on the west side of Ef’s Restaurant so we can get started planting there. The weeds were sprayed at Ef’s almost two weeks ago. The cold evenings have slowed down the dying but now I am seeing yellow! If you plan on doing some new landscaping, always call for a locate—I have been looking for the number and can’t find it, so will get it for next week.

My husband Larry donated a bale of Soil Conditioner in memory of his mom, Charlotte Brown, who passed away the beginning of February. That means I also had to buy one to honor my mom, who passed away nine years ago on the 12th of this month. Even more than remembering our moms, is the gift of two bales in memory of Eric Knapp, who passed away almost 14 years ago. When I think of Eric, I see the smile, and that crocodile hat that he wore for years (or so it seems). Eric was a special young man who was taken way too soon from the world. He is missed. And now I will think of him more often, as I work in Mom’s Garden.

A LOT of lawns are needing some TLC this spring, everywhere you look. Come by and take a look at the BioBlend Garden & Turf Organic Soil Amendment I have in my cooler. It’s a product that Tharin Mortensen out of Center has been working on for a number of years. This year he is swamped applying it to lawns and gardens. I’m hoping Tharin will be at the store NEXT Saturday to answer your questions about what this product can do for your lawn/soil. Probably 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Keep those prayers coming for Peyton. He just started his new business, kind of called PIN, this past week. He is CEO, his Grandpa Neil is the dog walker, me, Larry, Grandma Arla and parents, Charlie and Sheila are worker bees and brother Landon is the guard—while out playing ball. Thanks to O&V Printing and Sally Lopez, owner of Papers of Distinction for their help/donations to this business endeavor. Peyton is such a fighter! He wants a business so he can earn some money for himself (because he’s given so much away) and he also wants to donate part to charity. He just turned 12! As always, my inspiration!