Yes, my fellow gardeners, spring is springing: yellow daffodils—Daddy and I dug from an old house-place on property my parents bought near Van Buren, Arkansas in 1951—are one of the first signs of renewal. Bees are busy on a winter honeysuckle just outside my back door—gift from a dear friend (Ms. Betty who is 95 years young). Three forsythia bushes—descendants of a huge bush that grew in Mama’s front yard when I was a child—are bursting forth with their lively yellow blooms. I love that the naturally drooping blooms of the hellebores—from the yard of a dear friend and fellow master gardener, Tom Terry—often show their faces when snow is on the ground.
Our chicken flock have come out of their winter doldrums and now are at peak production—one organic egg per day/per chicken—most days.
Sweet Hubby’s bees are…well…busy as bees bringing in the first pollen of the season. I don’t know how they carry such a huge load!
Daytime temperatures are high enough that several days lately I have opened the door of greenhouse and turned on the BIG fan.
Cabbages planted in hoophouse late last fall are maturing quickly; several have already been consumed. Plants can tolerate lower temperatures than outdoors, as they have the pleasant daytime conditions in which to recover. Winter gardening in a hoophouse is much more pleasant than dealing with frozen row covers and hoops outdoors. We keep large containers of water inside hoophouse to capture and store daytime heat, to be released at night. There is no heater in hoophouse; even with the recent very low temperatures (in the teens here), my cabbages are still growing.
I started planting onions last week but got rained out with only my storage onions (Copra) in the ground. Hoping to get the rest in before next predicted rainy spell.
As usual I am running behind. I have my seed starting mix, empty 4” pots, seeds and plant markers setting on my potting bench/dining room table. I have found for me it doesn’t do much good to get in a hurry. Until the ground temperature warms up my tomato and pepper plants just sit there waiting…and waiting. I have never been one to cover tender plants in case of frost so I wait.
I just brought forth my last two onions—harvested June/July of 2018. And unbelievably, I still have several shriveled but edible tomatoes—harvested green just before first frost of fall last year! Juliet (a large grape tomato) is a good keeper, as well as Debaro (similar to Roma). I was very surprised that Black Cherry was among the survivors as it doesn’t hold well when fully ripened. About half of my garlic is still firm; the other half went to the compost pile yesterday.
Lots of salsa, tomatoes, sweet cucumber relish and jalapeno relish are arranged by date in my pantry, awaiting their turn to grace the meals here at my Two Acre Paradise/Three Dog Circus.
I am looking forward to another productive gardening season and wishing the same for you.
As always, happy gardening.