Plants welcome spring

When growth turns from creep to leap, it signals new season for Sooke Garden Club

Crocuses are among the first plants to emerge after the winter.

Ooh… the fingers are getting itchy. And rightly so. Spring officially began yesterday, March 20, at 1:14 a.m. (EDT) – late on March 19 out here on the West Coast – with the vernal (spring) equinox. The word equinox comes from Latin and means ‘equal night.’ The spring and fall equinoxes are the only days when the amount of daylight equals the amount of darkness.

Big deal, you say. Well, for both plants and animals it actually is. As daylight gradually overtakes darkness, the earth warms, photosynthesis is triggered, and a new season of growth (and hope) begins. This is Mother Nature’s way of rousting her flora and fauna and telling them to get cracking. We can already see it – leaves are breaking, buds are opening, and weeds are suddenly appearing everywhere in discouraging quantities. Critters will soon be feasting on new, tender growth in their own backyards and ours.

This is prime time for many itchy-finger activities: dividing/transplanting houseplants and perennials, pruning various shrubs, cleaning/preparing flower and vegetable beds, and, best of all, starting seeds. There’s something so pleasurable, if intangible, that comes from watching sprouts emerge from the soil and grow over time into food for the body and/or soul.

Cool weather plants such as spinach, peas, and mustard greens can already be seeded directly into the garden in well-drained soil. Potatoes can go into the ground soon, too, provided it’s not overly wet. Most annual flowers and warm weather plants such as tomatoes and peppers, however, need to be started indoors right away if they are to be ready for planting out in late May/June. Broccoli and cauliflower started under lights now will be happy to go outside in about a month. That’s generally a good time to direct sow beets and carrots as well. But don’t even think about planting beans or squash until the soil has warmed considerably, probably not until May.

Do you have questions about planning/preparing your garden beds or containers, selecting or starting seeds, dividing and transplanting perennials? Do you have or need tips for growing healthy, happy edibles and ornamentals? This month’s meeting of the Sooke Garden Club features a ‘Spring Gardeners’ Forum,’ with a focus on getting ready for this growing year. The evening will provide an opportunity for members to ask questions, learn from others’ experiences, both good and bad, and draw on the expertise of individuals who clearly ‘know what they’re doing’ when it comes to growing plants in this particular part of the world.

Please join us on Wednesday, March 28, 7:30 p.m., in the Sooke Legion Hall.

A Parlour Show will be held, and members are encouraged to bring houseplants for the plant sale table. Contest potatoes will also be available. New members are always welcome. Membership is $15 for the calendar year and can be purchased at the door.

For more information, e-mail:  sookegardenclub@yahoo.ca or phone Jane at 250-646-2573.

Contributed by Loretta Fritz

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke council approves new funding for chamber of commerce

A $16,000 service agreement to be created

Sooke council delays vote on Whiffin Spit memorial wall

Sooke district council has again delayed a decision to erect a memorial… Continue reading

Langford Fire calm mother and daughter after being trapped in elevator

Three-year-old girl given stuffed animal to calm nerves

‘Seven baths in two days’: Homeless adjusting to life in hotels

Victoria passes motion to allow camping 24-7 in parks until June 25

Capital Regional District prepares to reopen regional campgrounds

Camping will look different at Island View, Sooke Potholes, Jordan River sites

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

Most Read