Monday, September 28, 2009

There is a season

But retailers keep pushing the boundaries. Tender annuals go on sale well before it's safe to put them in the ground. Seeds can be found in big box retail stores year round. Right now it's the bulbs. Most bulbs shouldn't be planted until the ground temperature reaches 55-60 F (and night temperatures are at least that low). Here in New England we're still having some warmer days but night temperatures are dropping rapidly. I'll be planting my bulbs in the next couple of weeks (the soil temperature today was in the high 60s).

I don't necessarily mind pushing the season in the spring, when I can take a chance we won't have a late (or even a normal last) frost, but I KNOW I'm pushing it. I feel sorry for the less experienced gardeners who buy annuals when they first appear and don't know it's really too early to plant (ditto for fall bulbs). I think it is a bit disingenuous of retailers (and the big box stores are especially bad about this) and discourages many a casual gardener. I would prefer to see casual gardeners go to local garden centers where they can get good advice and be warned that it's really early to be planting tomatoes or bulbs.

The other problem with pushing the seasons is that when it's a good time to plant those annuals, those tomatoes or those bulbs the isles are often filled with what's next or the best of the selection has been picked over. That's another reason I shop early and try to hold on to plants and bulbs until the appropriate planting time.

Oh, and the real impetus for this rant? Christmas decorations in stores! In SEPTEMBER. No wonder I don't like Christmas. By the time it's reasonable to decorate I'm already sick of all the ornaments in the stores.


  1. Thank you very much, Diana!

    By the way, totally outside of the scope of this post - I love bobcats, so to see one as your avatar added something special to my day!

    You might like to read this post, which talks of how I became the "owner" of two of them...

  2. Our little mountain town has fall decor all over it's so nice -but go into the Big Chain Stores and it's christmas - UGH!