|1st flower of the year: My hellebore bloomed in the unseasonably warm weather!|
Weird WeatherWhat strange weather we have been having! Here in Brighton, MI, it went up into the 60's F (16 C) for almost a week, then dropped back to the 30's F (-1 C). During the brief burst of premature warmth, it was so tempting to go out to clean all of the garden beds and start planting things... but I resisted! I am very glad that I did. The freezing spell that came next would be a lot harder on the plants if it weren't for the protection of autumn leaves and last year's stems. Any seedlings I might have planted would have been dead instantly. But that's typical Michigan weather for you. It can change in a blink!
|My temporary leaf bin made of chicken wire & stakes.|
I also collected some leaves that blew up around the house. These are being stored so that I can run them through the shredder in the spring to use as mulch in the garden beds. Leaves make an excellent mulch and soil conditioner. They protect the ground as with other mulches, but they also feed the worms, add minerals to the soil and enhance the soil biology. For more on using leaves in the garden, check out Mike McGrath's TED Talk: Click Here.
Seed StartingClick Here.) So far, I have started the following:
- Peppers: California Wonder, Anaheim, Hungarian Sweet, Scotch, Ancho, Jalapeno, & Cayenne.
- Eggplant 'Black Beauty
- Rhubarb 'Victoria'
- Celeries: leaf celery & celeric
- Alliums: Leeks 'American Flag', Onion 'Burgundy Red' and Onion 'Golden Globe'
- Perennials: Pelargoniums (geraniums), Red Valerian, Common Valerian, & Wood Betony.
- Annuals: Coleus, Stocks, Blue Pimpernel, Chocolate Cosmos & Toothache Plant
Click Here. If you are interested in growing it yourself, you can purchase the seed from: Johnny's, Baker Creek, or Strictly Medicinal.
Backyard Wildlife Count Update 1/1/17 - 2/26/17
|Blue Jay |
- American Tree Sparrow (Spizella arborea)
- Black-Capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
- Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
- Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)
- Dark-Eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)
- Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)
- Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)
- European Starling (Sternus vulgaris)
- House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)
- House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
- Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
- Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
- Purple Finch (Haemourhous purpureus)
- Red Bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
- Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor)
- White Breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
- Canadian Geese (Branta canadensis)
- Redwinged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
- Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis)
- Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)
18. Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) - See pictures & more info. at this link.
19. Humans (Homo sapien)
For more photos of the creatures that I have found, scroll down to the end of this blog entry. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to photograph every one. Some are just too quick! But that doesn't stop me from trying!
What are you doing this month, reader? Are you starting seeds? Have you seen any interesting birds or other animals? If so, please comment, and tell me which ones! I would love to hear from you.
As always, happy gardening!
|White Breasted Nuthatch|
|Left: House Finch, Right: House Sparrow|
|Red Bellied Woodpecker|