If the chairs are out front, then it is officially the start of our CG! We were granted a brief reprieve on April 3rd, from any significant precipitation, and were able to spend time seeding various lettuces, spinach, scallions, and mesclun mix. I was contemplating doing a “sun dance” to invite the solar rays to part the weather system.
Chairs are out...the CG is in session!
As beautiful as the soil is, it is still so wet, that turning fertilizer in by shovel was a bit more than our bodies wanted to deal with. For now we scratched in some 6-4-2 organic blend in the planting area, and will side-dress more as the plants become bigger. Hopefully, before mid-May, we will dry out more, so the rest of the area can be turned before warm weather veggies are brought in.
Really, there are seeds in the ground.
We take the sun when we can get it! Many locals are feeling like it would be good to have much more….SUN…..please! In the last couple of weeks there have been a few 1-shot days scattered amongst the confusion of rain, drizzle, and hail. Even a little more snow in the foothills. Hail? That means it is spring.
Brightest color spots to herald spring...
Today there are a couple of rows of “green” showing, so our little seeds are responding to the call of father Sun and mother Earth. Hooray!
Solstice greetings of increasing Light to everyone!
Whew! November and December have flown so fast! Some well-meaning friends are already asking if I have ideas for next season. No, not yet; it is really the season of rest right now, for both humans and plants, and soil.
Although I do think it is time to consider a cold frame of sorts to help weather some lettuce and spinach a bit longer. If California starts to have climate trends tending to flooding (or interspersed with droughts), produce prices will skyrocket. Fortunately our local producers are doing well, given their newer methods of winter gardening, but demand sometimes exceeds the supply in our locally-supplied markets.
The older kale plants are looking a little wobbly from wind and soaking rains a couple of weeks ago. Some of us will probably pick off one plant at a time and pull it out when used up. The crop planted in fall is surviving very well, as is the chard, but they are both small. Older chard seems to have survived the cold frosts of earlier December, but is in a “holding” pattern, not looking particularly anxious to grow! Who would, on the shortest day of the year?
But now, the life-stimulating energy of the sun starts to expand just a little more each day, though our coldest days have yet to come.
Happy holidays! I’m hoping that some magical elf will bless me with the gift of a hori-hori knife (Japanese multi-functional gardening tool, meaning did-dig).
Yule-tide resting time....Where's Aspen?
Holidays are past; caretaking of people and pets is past; friends are off to the southern hemisphere (Chile) for some summer bicycle touring; and we have rain, rain, drizzle, rain, showers, rain, with tidbits of sun and fog. But, no complaints; my issues with rain don’t happen until late winter. Today it is mild weather and much preferable to freezing rain.
It’s a great time to get caught up on indoor reorganization, sorting, and simplifying; all the stuff I never get to during a gardening season.
Today has been a day to dash outside between showers to do some cleanup of flattened Crocosmia and lily stalks, and admire the weeds that are growing so well. Suet and seed needed replenishing, as little flocks of bushtits, goldfinches, juncos, warblers, starlings, a nuthatch, and a flicker all made their appearances. A couple of days ago a downy woodpecker showed up for the first time (that I know of)! All great entertainment on a grey day.
Am I contemplating the next garden plantings and dreaming with seed catalogs? Not really. Give me another 3 weeks before I’m antsy. I’m still in rest mode. Not that I haven’t already contemplated some new varieties of veggies to try, but that was last fall. Besides, the garden gang will be meeting at the end of the month for an informal tea, to get our ideas flowing.
However, I am contemplating consuming the last tomato of the garden. Yes, there still were ripening tomatoes in December!
Garden tomatoes for a New Year's salad