Monday, March 29, 2010

The Bare-Bottom Test

"Sow warm weather annuals when you can sit on the soil with your bare bottom comfortably." In other words, when the soil (not outdoor temperature) is warm enough. That is according to Janet Draper, Smithsonian horticulturist and solely in charge of the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden. (If you have not visited the Ripley Garden or not been there lately, you owe it to yourself to stop by a drink in this oasis between the Hirshhorn Museum and Arts & Industies Building.) Her old-fashioned annuals talk for us this past Sunday was a hoot. Janet shared her favorite self-sowing annuals and those that may need a bit of assistance from us humans to seed about the garden. That is her pictured here championing the lowly marigold, which she says she herself used to scorn as too "common," but is now back in thrall with it. Per her recommendation, today I sprinkled Alyssum 'Basket of Gold' seeds in several window boxes. One of the annuals she highlighted that I don't currently grow is larkspur. I have no idea how that one just passed me by and I'm going right out and buying a pack of seeds this week.


Craig @ Ellis Hollow said...

A farmer I knew back in the day used to call that 'planting by the moon.'

WashingtonGardener said...

Craig, I'm going to use that line!