Today was 60 or so and mostly cloudy which makes it a good day for potting up and setting plants out for the first time.

While the plants are safely in the greenhouse they are not subjected to the wind and sun although we do have fans for air circulation, these fans do not have the same effect on the plants as the natural variation of a breeze.

We find it best to start plants out side for a few hours a day or in this case, today and tomorrow will be mostly cloudy so we just leave them out. The next two days will be partly cloudy so that should give them time to break in. The proper term is harden off meaning to make the plant used to being out side and in its intended environment.

Its important to make sure the plants are not subjected to full sun for an extended time burring the hardening off period. Just as important, to be sure they are not allowed to dry out or left out in strong winds. This is an important and critical time for the new plants and it deserves and demands our complete attention.

We put up a bunch of really nice fancy leaf geraniums today. Some cox geraniums, which have very colorful red, yellow, green and gold in the leaves and some green gold ones as well. Also we potted lemon scented Martha Washington type as well as silver and burgundy Martha’s. These plants were big enough to put them in 1/2 gallon pots. We put them up with a some time release fertilizer so they will not go hungry.
Then Phyllis moved a lot of German ivy and lots of alysim too. We grew 3 types of alysim this year.

Carpet of snow, which as the name suggest is white, royal carpet which is burgundy and rose and that one is a bit of a cross between the two other ones with some pink thrown in.
All this activity is making more room on the sunny benches for plants which prefer to be quite warm, like the tomatoes, peppers, zinnias, and some of the smaller geraniums.

Tomorrow we will put some stuff up front and try to sell it ! We are about 2 weeks behind the big box stores but that is normal. They give no thought what so ever about what they are offering. The other day we were going into the food store when we saw some sorry looking pansies. Now pansies are not as delicate as the name would sound, under the correct conditions.

These plants were obviously moved out of a greenhouse and into a truck then put in the direct sun and wind and left bone dry. They were pathetic.
And then again today we were at Lowes looking for some bark mulch. Not to confuse bark mulch with what the garden centers call bark mulch. What is often refereed to bark mulch is ground wood, colored and sold in bags or by the truck. And I defy anyone to produce so much as one piece of bark from a truck load. When we get this stuff we always get it in the truck because it is way cheaper that way but it is just colored ground wood, to be sure.

What we were looking for was the bark nuggets mame, just the bark and nothing but the bark. We need it for a section of the herb garden where we use all containers but we want something neutral and natural for the area. We don’t need a lot so we can get by with a few bags and it was free.
No kidding, we won a $10.00 gift card and the bark was about $3.25 per 2 cf bag so we ended up with 6 cf of pine bark nuggets free. What a world.

They also sell mulch and here is a comparison and why we buy it by the truck. A 3 cf bag of pine bark mulch, ( ground colored wood ) is sold for about $4.50. Now follow this .. One cubic yard has 27 cf meaning it take 9 bags of mulch to equal 1 cubic yard. Do the math .. 9 times $4.50 is $40.50. The last time we bought mulch we paid about $25.00 for what was suppose to be a yard but it was much more. Our full size pickup holds about 3 yards to the top. One scoop for $25.00 just about fills the back of the truck. Its way cheaper.

Even if one could not use that much mulch it would pay to go in with the neighbors, unless of course one neighbor wanted dark brown and the other wanted neon red or what ever that color is.
Anyway we were looking at the plant tags and it is nothing short of amazing the number of perennial plants, shrubs and trees which are not hearty in this zone. Some of these were not even close. When I asked about it the clerk told me that the plants were guaranteed and to keep the tag and if they died bring the tag back and get a refund.

I don’t consider musical plants to be a good use of my time so I don’t buy plants out of zone.

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