Clare Oaks Blog
Posted: Monday, April 3, 2017
By: Clare Connection
Clare Oaks Raised Garden Beds
George Harrison wrote a beautiful song called "Here Comes the Sun."
"Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter/Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here/Here comes the sun." George must have spent some time in Northern Illinois. Every year spring does come, and with it, the sun. Spring is a beautiful season in Bartlett, and gardening is a wonderful way to enjoy it. Clare Oaks Retirement Community provides raised and flat gardening beds for the community, a great hobby for senior living. It is such a joy watching your first green seedlings pop up out of the soil! If you are interested in gardening, here are a few pointers.
The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts a warmer winter, but heavier snow through early March, with April and May being warmer and drier than normal. The Almanac anticipates April 20th as the last frost. Unfortunately they give themselves a fifty percent chance of frost later than that. Rule of thumb: wait. If you can't wait, start your seedlings indoors. The Clare Connection blog in February talked about indoor planting. You can use some of those techniques to get a jump on spring. Start your tomatoes, peppers, flowering plants, or herbs from seed. It is so easy. Just scatter your seeds on a paper towel, dampen it, and put it in a zip lock baggie. Store it in a dark, warm spot and wait about a week. Check every 2 days, ensuring dampness and that mold hasn't arrived. Once they have grown about an inch long, carefully transplant them to soil containers or garden plugs. When the threat of frost is completely gone, take your babies out to your raised bed and have a great time nurturing your plants. Tammy Holzer, Director of Community Life, says that they start the garden bed program around Mother's Day, well after the threat of frost.
Don't go pick out any kind of plant, vegetable, or herb. Bartlett, Illinois is in Plant Hardiness Zone 5b. A simple web search for plants yields a huge selection of plants to choose from that are accustomed to northern Illinois: aster, basil, beans, cabbage, campanula, mint. The list is almost endless. Choose what you will use in the kitchen or for cut flowers in a vase. If you are unsure what to plant or how to care for your garden, Clare Oaks has two master gardeners available to help you. One is resident Ed Schuckert. He is willing to help anyone interested in gardening and even has a special gardening trick to help you maximize your outdoor experience. Clare Oaks has about 30 available gardening plots, so contact Tammy Holzer as soon as possible to reserve your spot. Tammy provides the plot, dirt, and a few basic gardening tools. For other equipment, seeds, or seedlings, There are many nurseries and garden centers close by.
Come visit Clare Oaks to see what great amenities are available at this retirement community, like the gardening beds. See how fun senior living can really be. For more information, please call (630) 372-1946.