Friday, February 20, 2009

Gardening, a Bit of This and That

Leaf buds on my pomegranate tree.  It hasn't gotten the memo that our last freeze date is 3 weeks away.  
My mountain laurel is an evergreen, but the flowers have not taken a look at the calendar.
My redbud is finding our unseasonably warm weather to be too difficult to ignore. 
We've had wildly fluctuating temperatures the last month or so.  Sometimes a 40* difference between morning and afternoon temps.  This morning it was 35* when I woke up and it is supposed to top out at 73*.  
The little bit of rain that we finally got, has convinced the plants and animals to come out of their winter dormancy.  The birds are very busy singing to one another in the mornings and my feeder has never been busier.

I too, have come out of dormancy, and I know full well when the last freeze date is. Living in the South, we are never fully without a growing season.  I am just dipping my toes in the waters of 2nd season growing.
  
I've been working on getting my formerly uneven garden, into raised boxes.  I have one left to go and that means a trip to Home Depot for corner pieces.  The two you see got planted with beets (Detroit Red) and carrots (Little Finger) and potatoes (Red Pontiac).  The pots are planted with rhubarb (Victoria).  I know better than to try to grow rhubarb in our heat, but I couldn't resist once I found out they can be grown as a spring annual.  When the heat hits, I'm supposed to pull them up and store them in a cool/dry place.  I have very fond memories of the strawberry-rhubarb 'slop' that my grandmother used to make.  

I planted a fig (Celeste) and two pear (Orient and Keiffer) trees this week as well.  
It's time to start lopping back the perennials for spring growth to occur.  I also need to turn a bed that I had planted with a cover crop (clover and winter pea).  That particular bed is dead as a doornail as far as nutrients.  The cover crop fixes nitrogen.  I will add some more compost and maybe get it healthy again.  All my beds are in bad shape because they got little/no rain water last year.  It was all well water and it's so hard, that it is off the charts.  

Our long range weather forecast doesn't bode well for the South and Southwest.  Spring is supposed to be much drier than normal (surprise!) and the summer is going to be hotter and drier than normal (surprise again!).  I wish they'd just move the 'normal' so we wouldn't all get our hopes up every time a cloud rolls by.  

6 comments:

  1. Your beds look really nice. I have another one to build to put my peas in but it has been COLD the last few days. I hope to get it done this weekend. I've got spring fever bad too.

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  2. It's way too early to think spring, even though we're "southern" too. But it was below freezing last night and wasn't above 40 all day.

    You're plants sure look nice though. Enjoy the weather!

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  3. Wow - I love those pictures of the budding, blooming, growing things - it's a sight for sore eyes! Want to hear something funny? I read today that you (Austin, TX) and I (Portland, OR area) are in the same hardiness zone (zone 8) - can you believe it? This makes absolutely NO sense to me!!
    (BTW...Thank you for checking in on me, Cee-Cee. I'm doing ok - I've just not been in the blogging frame of mind lately, I guess. This winter is getting me down. Thanks for being my blog friend - it makes me happy. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥)

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  4. Pretty pictures...can you come do mine now! ;-) BTW...I'm visiting you from Black Boxes!

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  5. Ahhhhhh...sigh. Blooming things. That makes my heart go pitter patter. I can not wait till this happens around here.

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  6. lol! What is really 'normal' down here anyway?

    The budding and flowering thing makes me nervous, too. So far, we're looking good, which is great because up here in the mountains, our last freeze can happen at the end of May!
    Last year everything was blooming and flowering...and the naive bees were pollinating.
    But a week later, a huge snow storm followed by hay and freezing temps.....and then a week later...summer/spring arrived...in June! lol.

    Unfortuately, when that happens our fruit trees do not produce fruit. I think I will cry if that happens again this year. I want some apples, peaches and apricots! wah :(

    ~Lisa

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