From Across the Field: 2-13-2020

Not All Roses

First off, thank you to all of the sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, and attendees of Northwest Ohio Crops Day last week in Deshler. For the third year in a row it was a cold snowy day, filled with excellent information with regards to the upcoming growing season. A few points that I took home were that our recent weather patterns have the potential to become trends as our climate changes. Another key point was that commodity outlooks for the coming year were rather guarded due to factors across the globe. I’m always amazed that they are able to get two corn crops in a year in Brazil, which impacts the amount of corn available on the global market. I sure hope this year is more cooperating than last.

Tomorrow looks to be one of the colder days we have had this winter. This shot of winter however appears to be short lived, with a warm up to follow.

Along those lines it is hard to believe, but we are only five weeks away from spring! Is it too early to be talking about planting flowers? The answer is no! There are a number of popular tender garden annuals that can easily be started from seed in your home. Some need as much as 12 weeks to develop (which takes us to May), so they can be started soon. These include wax (or fibrous-rooted) begonias, geraniums, heliotrope, pansies and violas.

Almost any shallow container or flat with drainage holes can be used to germinate seeds. Use a soilless mix, since garden soil can harbor diseases that attack young seedlings. Keep the medium moist at all times by misting the soil or placing the container in a tray of water allowing “capillary” action. The seeds do not need light to germinate, but light quality is critical once germination has taken place. Once the seedlings have developed 3-4 true leaves, they can be moved to individual containers or cell packs, and benefit from light fertilizer applications.

Gentlemen, Friday is Valentines day, and if you purchase roses, you better make sure they say the right thing. A colleague of mine, Chris Penrose (no pun intended by the name) in southern Ohio shared in a similar column the following meaning of roses; “Around 25 years ago, I read about what different colors of roses mean. For a refresher course, here are widely some accepted meanings for different colored roses, blooms and arrangements. Red roses say “I love you,” and also stand for respect and courage. White roses have several meanings: reverence and humility, innocence and purity, and secrecy and silence. Red and white roses together, or white roses with red edges, signify unity. Pink roses in general symbolize grace and gentility, yellow roses stand for joy and gladness, but can also say “try to care.” Coral or orange roses denote enthusiasm and desire. Two roses taped together to form a single stem signal and engagement or coming marriage. A single rose stands for simplicity.” I’ll end this week with a thought from, Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The earth laughs in flowers.” Have a great week.

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