Monday, May 26, 2014

Spring finally arrived
This Spring has been slow in coming this year.  The cold wet weather has set the harvest well later than normal for this year.  I suspect the first garden fresh juicy tomato bite won't be until August.  The visit from old Jack Frost two days after the last frost date for my area didn't help the situation any.  My tomatoes and bell peppers froze.  The frost threat was in the low lying areas.  Since I live on top of the hill I erroneously assumed that my precious plants would be safe.  Contrar contrar.  They might have made it but they looked pretty bad.  I scouted the land far and wide to find replacements but alas all the home improvement stores had been hit with frost as well.  My last resort was a local nursery that kept their plants under cover all the time.  Unfortunately at this point in the season the plants had been pretty well picked over but I managed to salvage a few to replant the ones that had been nipped with the frost.
As you can see they were really toasted.  It really wasn't worth the effort to try and save them.  I thought elevated above the ground and inside a bucket would protect them from the frost but not so.  It got all of the plants.  The cabbages, onions, radishes, and lettuce survived the freezing temperatures and are well on their way to live long and prosper.
The replacement plants were so glad to find a home that just a few days after I planted them this one started blooming.  Now I have to say it's a cherry tomato but it will do for now.  They have doubled in size since 10 days ago and are growing gang busters.  Maybe we will get to sample that first tomato of the season before August.  One can only hope.
This is a good shot of the cabbages that survived the frost.  Perhaps they were protected some by the buckets and lettuce on the right side.  Radishes are growing in the dirt under the buckets on the right side and have been all used in salads.  The lettuce is still producing enough for a good salad a day.  On the left side is the onions grown from seed.  Some are doing great and others not so much.

Here's a shot of the onions growing in the dirt under the rain gutters.  These were all grown from seed under the grow lights.  They were started in February and set out in the garden in April.  The only down side to multilayer growing is the weeding.  The cabbages are a little awkward to weed.  My body just doesn't twist and bend like it used to bend and getting around the buckets and reaching down to ground level can be a bit of a challenge.  But I can still get it done.
One of the projects I want to get accomplished this summer is to cleanup my side yard.  It's become quite a catch all for every thing.  These retaining wall blocks were left over from a project that I did for a friend of mine that was selling her house to move to Texas and wanted a little more curb appeal.  They were on sale and I over bought just a bit.  So I decided to build a flower bed at Terra Nova Gardens.  I just need a few more cap blocks for the top and it will be built and ready to fill up with dirt.  I haven't decided what to put in there just yet and maybe some of you could help me out with suggestions.  I'm not real creative you know.
The potatoes are up above the timbers and ready to have the second layer planted.  Only five out of the eight potato hills grew and one was a little sickly and succumbed to the frost.  So the four that are left will be the first layer.  Now I'll just lay a few more potatoes on top of the mulch and fill the second layer up to the top of the timbers.  The top of the already growing potatoes will keep on growing and the others will sprout.  Then two more layers of timbers will be spiked on top of the others in preparation of the next layer.  I suspect that will be the last layer as the Spring was so cold and wet the first of the potatoes took a long time getting started.
I have some news that I should let every one know about.  If you have been reading my blog for a time then you know I had an appendectomy in January and recovered without issue.  Every couple years I just have an annual checkup to have the fluids checked and make sure the blood pressure pills are still working.  One of the tests that is run on the vials of blood taken is called a PSA text which is an indicator of how well the prostate is doing.  Four years ago the PSA level was 2.9 which totally normal.  Two years ago it was 4.2 which is border line for concern.  This year it was 7.3.  Because of the jumps my regular doctor referred me to a Urologist.  He decided that we should really do a biopsy to see what was going on with the prostate.  My prostate was short and fat.  I know too much information but it was a good thing.  Because of being short it only required 12 core samples instead of 24 and being fat the core samples were very good quality.  The test results came back with just a tiny bit of cancer in one core sample.  This week a doctor's visit will be scheduled to talk about the options.  I don't see this as a real issue because it's been diagnosed in the very beginning stage.  It was so small that it could have easily been missed.  So I suspect it's very curable.  I'm not worried but any time the word cancer is mentioned people freak out.  So don't do that OK?  I'll be fine.

More next time.  Keep your paddles in the water and you will reach your destination soon enough.