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Spring is officially here, and it’s warming up fast

March 23, 2012
By H. JEAN SHIELDS - Garden Club of Cape Coral , Cape Coral Daily Breeze


Special to The Breeze

It is a hot spring this year and although this weather is very enjoyable, this year's temperatures jumped the gun. A temp of 85 and 88 is not a normal before springtime temperature - however nice it may be.

Does this mean a long hot dry summer? The educated guess of the many meteorologist in the area is maybe. I am agreeing with their forecast.

Southwest Florida weather is always a guessing game and a very finicky game. It is best not to bet too heavily on what should happen weather wise in this area.

Local boaters must get a little crazy figuring out what to plan for a weekend day on the water. Actually even one day at times. I have no idea how the tourist bureau can calmly report in advance for interested tourists. I can't believe they are suggesting to be sure and bring your suntan and bikini with a matching sweatshirt, just in case.

In any case we all, tourists, boaters and gardeners, need to have a sense of humor and a good ear for weather predictions.

Right now watch the dew point, and humidity, and be aware the winds. These numbers will tell you that everything will need watering more than usual.

Watching all of that and being sure you do not use the yard sprinklers unless it is your required time as set by the city schedule, is enough to keep a gardner busy without even using your trowel or clippers.

However, I am sure we will manage. It is even harder, for me, to pick and choose at the markets. There are so many colorful and interesting plants etc available right now.

I do have to get some more potting soil and fertilizer, again. I also need to weed everywhere. This hot spring is not setting well with my energy level.

The Garden Club is always busy in the spring with plant sales and garden tours and with only four Saturdays a month, at this time, we fill them up with a lot of fun and useful programs and projects. To little time for my home gardening.

Thanks to all the people who visited our all-day plant sale at Jaycee Park on the second Saturday of this month. We had a fabulous spring day with over 40 vendors and our very own plant sale space. We had over 500 plants, grown by our members, and while it is a chore for our plant sale chairman, we did very well. Dona and her husband managed to keep hundreds of our plants around her yard as members came and potted these offerings, and then left them in their care.

The Garden Club has many willing hands for this annual project and believe me they are needed.

It was a beautiful day and for the club, the vendors, and everyone who walked around the park that day. Watch for these hometown plant and societies as they have many healthy plants. There is something for everyone and they also will have educational speakers and booths for our local area growing.

A favorite spring, plant sale by the Native Plant Society will be held in Cape Coral on Saturday, April 21. Watch the newspaper for exact time. This annual Spring Sale will have loads of horticulture and some mulch and educational tables.

In the meantime, keep your hats and sunscreen handy. Mosquitoes? Not yet, but they will be coming when we get a few showers. Keep all of your empty containers upside down or covered so you are not growing any of these pesky, hungry babies.

Tomatoes and bell peppers are producing well for me. I still have not ventured into lettuce and other greens, but you can. I am beginning to think carrots and radishes could be an interesting addition.

I have seen some beautiful begonias and geraniums in yards, both in pots and in the soil.

This is a great time for new plantings, just watch for proper watering and fertilizer. You do need to learn how to read the fertilizer bags and boxes.

The Garden Club is always happy to have a visitor drop in and see what we are all about. No white glove club for us. We want to educate and push for growing green.

We also like a pleasant, fun atmosphere while we enjoy programs and just plain ole gardening talk.

The club meets the first Wednesday of each month except June, July, and August. Stop in at 7 p.m. for meet-and-greet time with light refreshments. The meetings are held in the Epiphany Episcopal Church, 2507 Del Prado Blvd. This is near the Midpoint Bridge overpass, south.

Happy gardening until we meet again.

H. Jean Shields is a past president of the Garden Club of Cape Coral.



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