A-Z Gardening in Zone 3-4

For the organic gardner struggling in the short season climate



Petunia seedlings planted Feb. 19th, shown as of April 25th.

One of my many favorite flowers is the petunia. It might be because my mom always had a few out front of our house when I was growing up, but it might just be that they are beautiful. You can use them to make a mass of one color or like me you might like a multicolored mix to tantalize you into thinking all summer, “which one do I like best?”

Last year I made the mistake of growing a large, tall Zinnia in my front bed. I love zinnias but the height of the variety I grew competed with the shrubs and ornamental tree that are also in that bed and helped me to realize the garden would look better with something lower and fuller. Petunias to the rescue.

I like to start my own from seed, just because. I planted them in flats on 2/19/08. They like a warm soil to germinate and probably wished by house was warmer, but in spite of everything they are up and doing well. Just imagine their beauty ( and the hummingbirds love them too). I’ll keep you posted on their progress.


Author: tbenkovitz

I have been gardening for over 50 years, 38 of them as an organic gardener in the short season climate of upstate New York.

2 thoughts on “Petunias

  1. Tania and Linda, I encountered your blog serendipitously — through Tim’s Gospel Hill Posts, which I read regularly. Your blog is just another form of meditation. One of my beekeeper friends (he’s 81), told me last month that when he opens his hives, he feels as if he’s looking into the mind of God. One could say the same about a few hours spent in the greenhouse, or in the garden. My date for starting seeds here is April 15 — everything but onions and leeks, which have just germinated in the basement under lights and on heating cables and protected from the cats. I don’t have much to add to your expert postings except my list of “must have” vegetables, ones I’ve been planting for years and years and can’t imagine doing without: Red Russian kale (which freezes wonderfully); Brandywine, Gardener’s Delight, Black from Tula, and Better Boy tomatoes — all heirlooms except for the last; Copenhagen Market cabbage; Red Ace beets; Black Hungarian peppers; Bright Lights chard; Yukon Gold potatoes; Yellow Stuttgarter onions; German Extra-Hardy garlic; Prezzomolo d’Italia parsley; Boothbay White cucumbers. I’ve been searching for the bean taste I remember from my childhood — any suggestion? Kentucky Wonder comes closest. I also discovered that the source of seed makes a big difference. Seed Saver’s Brandywine is very different from Pinetree Garden’s and well worth the difference in price. At any event, happy gardening. I feel privileged being a “FIRST RESPONDER.” All best, Nolan


  2. Thanks Nolan for your glowing endorsement of our blog. I was a beekeeper for more than 10 years until I became allergic to their sting. They are amazing creatures. As for the beans I don’t know. Perhaps their taste has changed due to crossbreeding and chemical used in fertilizers and pestasides that are used today. Maybe it was the way your mother cooked them. I hope you find that taste again. Happy to have you for a regular reader.


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