- JUST BLOOMED TODAY
- GARDEN UPDATE
- WHAT IS YOUR GARDEN TELLING YOU?
- GARDEN GIGGLE
- GARDEN GAMES
Phenology is the science of appearances. Learning to listen to your garden can let you know which plants signal garden priorities. Basically, phenology is the science of learning the clues Mother Nature puts out.
For example, once the forsythia begins to bloom, it's time to attack the crabgrass. Are your apple blossoms falling? Yes, it's time to fertilize the lawn. Are the dogwood trees in flower? Time to set out tomatoes.
Phenology makes us much more aware of our environment. Associating gardening tasks with flowering times is a cool way to look at how nature really functions.
For example, scientists know that the soil temperature must reach at least 35 degrees F before onions and lettuce seeds will germinate; But a downhome gardener who has worked their land for generations may put it this way: "When fishermen are sitting on the riverbank instead of on their bait buckets, the soil is warm enough to plant."
Here's some other natural markers:
- Plant potatoes when the first dandelions bloom, and peas when the daffodils flower
- Transplant eggplant, melons and peppers when the irises bloom
- Start watching for squash borer problems when the chickory flowers open
- Put seed corn in the ground when oak leaves are about the size of a squirrel's ear
- The time is right for planting tomatoes when the lily-of-the-valley is in full bloom
- Seed morning glories as soon as the maple trees leaf out
- Grasshopper eggs hatch about the same time that lilacs bloom
- Prune roses when crocuses begin to flower
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