Thursday, February 9, 2012

It Begins ...

The trout lilies are saying that it's almost time to plant peas. I don't think I've ever seen them up and so near bloom this early in February. Even though I "jumped the gun" a bit when I planted a first batch of peas (was it almost two weeks ago?) way ahead of when the trout lilies normally bloom, my very-early planting of peas is looking a little less crazy! Out in the garden, those early peas are coming up. How well they will do remains to be seen.

We also planted peas last weekend at The Garden on Dallas Hwy. where my little family puts in some volunteer time. The head gardeners, Mr. Kastner and Mr. Hankerson, had been up to Ladd's Farm Supply in Euharlee to get the seeds. They said that the seed potatoes and onion sets are in, and that even though most seeds hadn't been put out, they were told that the shipments were in.

We used an Earthway Seeder to do the planting, and I have to say that getting the seeds in the ground was a lot easier with the seeder than the "by hand" method I use in my much smaller garden. I can see that this is going to be the next tool on my "wish list."

The forecast is for some colder weather in the next few days, with lows in the low 20s. The soil is still warm, though, and I'm probably going to put out seeds for lettuces and spinach in the next week or so. It's almost time to start some seeds indoors, too, for peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, and some herbs.

Out in the berry patches, some of the leaf-buds have started to break open. It is, of course, a little early for that to happen, but I have been busy pruning the newer canes and making sure I've removed the second-year canes. It's turned out to be a bigger job than I first thought, because some plants have "escaped" from their original locations, and I had decided to let them take over a larger space. This means I'll have more berries, but it also means I have more work to do.

Other fruiting plants are also further along than they usually would be at this point in the winter, and I am a little concerned to see the flowering buds breaking open on the blueberries and the plums. I hope they don't run into a hard freeze after opening more fully!

I plan to take advantage of the upcoming colder weather to prune my grapevine. If it warms up substantially very soon after the freeze, the sap is going to be running, and pruning will stress the plant more than I would prefer.

There is a lot to do, but also a lot to look forward to!

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