Saturday, March 25, 2006

Snow Tilling

I started rototilling the field this morning, and it started SNOWING!!!
We keep setting dates to plant the garden, but the weather is just not cooperating. We're aiming for next Saturday, April Fool's Day! I hope it won't be me that's fooled again. It's supposed to be freezing or below most nights this week, so we didn't plant anything today. Ben came by and said he'd come next Saturday and help, and I'll have my brother's girls, 5 and 7 years old. It's supposed to be in the 70's. I'll hope!
BG cleaned the basement apartment for company next weekend. A nice couple looking at the area to possibly move here when he retires. They would be a great addition to the area.
BG and I moved the old doors and trash off the downstairs porch and cleaned up the shed storage area to store them. BG has muscles! With her on the other end, we move air conditioners and building materials around to clean up an area that had gotten really messy. I got a workout, she wasn't breathing hard.
I picked all the lettuce yesterday, so the roots will have something to do besides grow. I hope to slow down the plants until I can get them into the ground. I divided the ones that had come up two or more to a place, and filled in the blank space in the planting trays. Busy work to keep me in the sweet smelling, warm greenhouse. Having done the taxes, I can see that it would be much cheaper to buy our veggies at the store.
I remember an essay by playwright Arthur Miller, who mused that there was something in him that demanded that he plant a garden every spring, but not for food, for the planting of it. He bought a farm for his garden.
Maybe I'm that way. I can't imagine not having something to plant in the spring. It represents so much: Hope, Faith, Connections. Like having children, a home by water, a real wood fire in the fireplace, a cold room when I'm sleeping, sunshine to wake me up, dogs, cats, stars in the sky, birdsong. I feel these things viscerally, gut-feel them. I need them. When I'm gone they will go on, eternally, here or on another planet.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Tulips in the snow

Friday, March 17, 2006

Winter Revisits

The plants in the greenhouse are ready to get planted outside. The beds are mainly ready for them. The weather was cooperating, until now. Night temperatures are falling into the mid twenties, and day temps are only into the 50s. I'm hoping that the spinach and lettuce will be alright if they're covered with frost cloth. The peas have been stunted by the cold nights; the broccoli just died. Rats! Replant!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Gardening Heaven

It was warm enough to check soaker hoses today. I installed them in the beds as I checked them, so it was a slow process. Tomorrow I'll finish installing them and start covering the weeded ground with newspaper. Then I can plant through holes in the paper. I'll put a time release fertilizer plug beside each plant and be done for the season. Hah! There are always problems: Hungry Bugs, especially.

In Ft Walton Beach, where family lives, it's already Summer. They are about a month ahead of us. Grass mowing has begun in earnest, and the heat has started. I envy them in the winter, but right now is such a lovely time here.

I'm looking forward to spring weather for the next week. I'll check on the bees after I get the Spring garden planted. They seem to be happy, though.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Season's changing

I can feel the world turning when I'm in the garden with the sun moving on my back. With the Maple blooms turning to seeds and the soil warming up despite the cool air, I feel the season turning into full spring.

The bees are seeking water, pollen and nectar in everyplace they can go. In the garden they're everywhere snooping around. Buzzzzing and tasting, hoping to find something good. I love to hear them, and rejoice seeing them, and have a vague feeling they're pulling me into spring. Silly me. I guess I like them for their optimistic hard work. No depressed honeybees! No sitting around, no philosophy, no dreamy bees! The antithesis of me! Hah!

I checked the baby plants that I'd covered with jugs and coke bottles, worried that they might be parboiled. They were perky and happy. I'm trying to think of how to keep the weeds down and the only thing that occurs to me is newspaper, so I guess I'll wet it and plant through it. If I use three sheets I can use staples to hold them down and the water will still go through. Next week it's supposed to be warm enough to check and repair hoses, a very wet job. Then I can put soaker hoses in all the beds. That's a job I should have done last fall! Shoulda, woulda!

The greenhouse is really full, warm and moist. It smells rich and loamy with all the growing plants. Most have their second set of leaves and will need to be set out in the next week.

Taxes are hounding me. Please, Lord, help me get them done soon. I have to force myself to sit and work on them!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Glorious Day!!

It was 78F in Richmond today. The air was like silk.
I met Dawn, a beginning beekeeper, here and we started looking at hives and putting in the pollen patties I made last night. The hives that had pollen patties looked stronger than the three that didn't get them last time around. They're bringing in pollen, but still eating the patties. We're going to have about 10 days of chill, so I figured I'd use this blessed warmth to stock them up. The hive where I'd combined two weak hives had died out. There were enough bees, but evidently they just couldn't make it. Mysterious. I think that the mild winter has allowed some of my weaker hives to survive. . I moved the honey to a hive that didn't have a feeder so they could use the leftover honey to feed on instead of letting the bees rob it out.
When I finished the bees, I cut the bottoms out of milk jugs and put them over the broccoli plant, then covered the 4 planted beds with the frost cloth, which I'd removed so they could soak up the last three days of sun and warmth.
I stayed outside until dead dark, bringing in the baby plants and watering in the greenhouse.
I just hated to see this day end.