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Jessica’s Garden: Enjoying the Best of Spring

Grayson and his Daddy enjoying the Beautiful Weather and the Tractor

Another week has gone by as we juggle daily life with maintaining the property and building a new chicken coop as quickly as possible. I’m quickly approaching the end of time to get certain seeds directly sown in the ground. These chickens need to find a new home outside of my garden. We enlisted a foolish and faithful friend into helping us tear down a small but termite infested barn to make space for the new run. We have high hopes that by the weekend, the chickens will be enjoying their new home.

Botanical Interests Sunflower Seedlings in the Greenhouse

The seedlings in my greenhouse have started to take off. Some haven’t emerged yet; still mostly less than patiently waiting on the tomatoes and peppers to germinate. But the winter veggies, leeks, tomatillos and onions, sunflowers, marigolds and zinnias are all growing quickly with a little bit of heat and sunshine. I am feeling optimistic and successful as the first of the saved seeds from last season’s garden have started to peek through the soil surface.

Regrowing Celery and Leeks in Water

About a month ago I started a little windowsill gardening experiment. I have been hearing for years that there are many vegetables that can be forced into regrowth if submerged in a little water. I finished up a bunch of celery and gave it a go. I left about 3-4 inches of the celery bulb intact and placed it on the windowsill in a wide-mouth mason jar with about an inch of water; changing the water daily.

After just a couple of days, the celery already showed signs of growth and rejuvenation. I repeated the same process with a giant leek stub. Just a couple of weeks later, both had grown substantially and were sprouting fresh roots. I transplanted them into soil and now more than a week later, both are growing strong in the greenhouse. So strong, I’ve got another round of both going on the kitchen windowsill.

Dresser fronts turned into coat racks

With the weather being reliably pleasant, I’ve been able to pull some of my repurposing projects out of the basement and into the backyard. I’m less enthused to spray paint outside in the cold and snow. Now spring has hit, I’ve been able to accomplish several pending projects. Last summer I salvaged a severely hideous dresser from the side of the road and have deconstructed it into four hanging coat racks.

Antique Crate turned into Storage Bin

Most importantly, now that it’s Spring, it is officially yard sale season. I am continually amazed at the treasures that people are willing to let go. And it’s always amazing what a hunk of yard sale junk has the potential to become. I recently went picking through this elderly man’s shed and purchased a handful of antique crates from him. This week I went to work on transforming one of them into a hinged, dual purpose foot stool and storage crate. I also transformed a beat up and awful coffee table into a functional ottoman that can seat two adults.

The further we go into Spring, the more excited I get about the new possibilities this year will bring.

Posted By: Jessica J. Crawford Behnkes Garden Blogger

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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