Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Yea! all snow is gone

The weather continues to get warmer.  The last days have been 50s and 60s.  Now the temps are in the 40s during the day and 30s during the night.  I'm not so foolish to believe that all of winter is over.  There can still be a couple of Winter's last gasps in March but the encouraging part is that it's not going to last long.  

I've been busy with garden projects this week.  Every year I grow indeterminate tomatoes.  They are mostly heirloom.  Indeterminate means that they will continue to grow and produce tomatoes as long as the weather permits.  As a result the tomato vines are every where by the end of the season.  They grow so much that even the heavy duty wire cages won't support them.  So my gardening for this week has been to build tomato towers out of free pallets.
Here's enough pallets for at least four towers maybe more.  A business called Basic Body Works acquires these pallets from shipments of exercise equipment that they sell.  They are free to anyone that wants to haul them away.
The first task is to bust them apart.  Last year, I bought a special tool to help with that task.  It was a great investment since I make many things from pallets.    As you can see it was nice weather with all the snow being gone and shirt sleeves could be worn.
Yeah, I have a way of over engineering things.  No one could say that I don't have big hopes for tomatoes this year.  Well about 18 inches of the bottom will be in the ground so it will not be as high as it looks.  I now have three of these made and another ready for assembly.  Hopefully by week's end, I'll have them planted in place and the tomato bed prepared for planting.  Last year it took three passes of working the soil about two weeks apart before planting the tomatoes to be rid of the weeds in the bed.  Maybe this year it won't be quite as bad.  Each year the weed control gets easier.

So now that the weather is warming up the posts will be a little more frequent.  Have a great day outside in the garden.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Spring is here

Last fall I decided to replant my Spring flower bed.  When I planted it years ago I was still in my row crop farming mentality.  The Daffodils and Tulips were planted in nice rows and looked very tidy.  I have since learned that flowers are not planted in rows in flower bed designs.  To have a good display one must plant in groups with odd numbers of bulbs in each group.  I don't know why an odd number makes the group look more like nature but it's supposed to be more of a natural look.
So I set out to follow all the rules of flower bed design the best I could.  Four Spring flower bulbs were used.  Tulip, Daffodil, Hyacinth, and Crocus were all planted according to height.  Tall in the back and shorter in the front was the rule.  

The picture above was February 15th and I think it's either a tulip or a hyacinth.  Each year I'm amazed at the appearance of the Spring flowers.  This is about the right time for the Spring flowers to come up.  I've always read that the flowers know when to start growing because of day length but really?  The ground is still mostly frozen and bulbs are buried under the ground.  How do they know how long the day is.  Besides almost every day this month has been overcast without sunshine.  It's a marvelous mystery of nature to me.

I've been seeing flocks of Robins sitting in the trees.  I'm guessing they're waiting for the ground to thaw out so the worm harvesting can begin.  We are to get three days of 60 some degrees so that should help with melting the last of the snow and thawing out the ground.  It will be good to be back out in the garden once again.

Keep the faith Spring is not far away and soon digging in the dirt will begin.