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Bluebirds, Daffodils and Orchids, Oh My!


The weather outside is still a tad frightful, but the sunshine and the longer daylight this past week seem to have triggered Mother Nature. A pair of bluebirds showed up Saturday morning in our backyard where they explored one of our birdhouses. More bluebirds on Sunday morning flying from another nest box in our front garden, into the woods across the street. But indoors, spring has already arrived. Since my last post, Hope Springs Eternal, where you saw the bulbs in a window box, those daffodils emerged very quickly. Once the plants finish blooming, I’ll let the leaves turn yellow but will keep them barely moist. And when the ground thaws, they’ll go into one of the garden beds.

It’s still too early for that, so I suggest a great late winter fix — a trip to the Chicago Botanic Garden for the awesome Orchid Show. The show runs from February 15 through March 16. Click here for more info.

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questions

After my father’s tomatoes ripen on the vine, he finds when he cuts into them that there is a hard white core that extends through the fruit.

Would it help to apply a starter fertilizer on a poor green lawn in December? Will it give it a head start for spring? It hasn’t been reseeded.

What ratio and amounts of fertilizer would you use for a perennial bed and a vegetable garden? For growing annuals in a greenhouse, should the fertilizer be fast or slow-release, organic or inorganic?

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