By Jackie Overom
Ahhh – the lovely month of March when Spring charges in and makes its appearance. Spring fever is all around and the fun begins. Our main greenhouse is warm and inviting for our annual Moss Basket Days where the public gets their first hands-on planting experience.
Here at Pahl’s we fire up the heaters in the main growing range and planting is well under way. Our custom potting mix has arrived and we are ready to go. The greenhouse head grower, Lance, brings out his big book and the planting begins.
In March we plant 4,000 baskets of different kinds per week! As we plant, we do so in a very specific scheduled order. Each variety is planted on a certain date so it will be growing and ready to sell in the beginning of May. Some plants grow at a slower pace, thus they are the first to plant. New Guinea Impatiens are the first plants to go into hanging baskets. Our geranium patio pots are also early on the schedule.
We have a wonderful group of folks, our planting crew, and they are very busy in mid-February on the line. As mid-March approaches the four and a half inch pots of annuals are planted. We will do 30,000 pots of these in March. Flat after flat of these plants fill the main growing range floor. Above, hanging from the ceiling, the hanging baskets are growing in the warm moist greenhouse air. The wonderful sights and smells of the greenhouse permeate the whole area.
Perennials are planted all through the month. When you come in for those, we will have them ready and waiting. Our perennials are planted from plugs that come to us from Oklahoma, Denver, Michigan, San Diego, and as far east as New Hampshire.
During March, we also seed our herbs and vegetables. We plant the crops that we start from seed for our farm fields, as well as the vegetable plants we will sell to the public for their home gardens. This includes peppers, cabbages, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, watermelon, eggplant, and broccoli, just to name a few. We have over 3 acres of greenhouse space to fill and we use it all.
In our annual house we also have chores to do. A little Spring decorating is in order and the fairy gardens need some Spring cleaning as well. We prepare the planting station for a busy custom planting season. If you have a container or pot that you would like planted up, please come in and we would love to assist you. We will begin custom planting for our customers in mid April.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden…But though an old man, I am but a young gardener.” As gardeners, we all learn so much every year about what to grow and how to grow it. March is the beginning of that process here at Pahl’s Market. We wish you a successful gardening year and hope you will enjoy the plants we are growing for you here in our greenhouses!