Gosh, I hadn't been here for a while. It is spring and my extra time is spent outdoors whenever possible. I am delighted to see small tomatoes on the sturdy Dixie Red tomato plants. The potatoes are blooming and the lower foliage is beginning to yellow.
In a few more weeks, the onions will be ready to harvest.
The lettuce and Cilantro are bolting as we have had some hot temps. When that bed is done, I plan to reposition it as well (I have moved the other two) and plan to plant sweet taters and okra in it.
I was given this Sedum by a young couple and am delighted to see how durable it is. I cross my fingers and hope not to get wrapped up in the Sedum craze but it could happen. Thanks Ben & Laura.
To my delight, I finally found green 60% UV rated shade cloth. It is in premeasured sizes and hemmed with grommets to make attaching easier. All this and at an affordable price
as well! This will cover my "shade house" to protect the bromeliads, Hoyas and other tender plants.
I lost the necessary shade when I had some trees removed in 2016. This "shade house" works well but needed improving. While waiting for delivery of the shade cloth, I decided I would like more than a dirt floor in it so today I moved all the plants out of it (again) and will move sand tomorrow for a base and to level the ground more. Then I will lay bricks for a floor. I hope to wrap it up in a short time by working evenings till dark.
And that is my inspiration...
and this is what inspires me.
Hip, hip hooray! Springtime is here... I was needing to water the greenhouse this weekend. The forecast said an 80% chance of rain. So I took a gamble and moved most of the plants outdoors. You guessed it! No rain, still need to water plants. Maybe I should go wash the truck...
The Carolina jessamine has been amazing this year. Last year it hardly bloomed and it has made up for it. Photos don't do it justice. You can look deep into the woods and see it twining yellow through the undergrowth and up into the tree tops. And the jasmine fragrance permeates the outdoors. Tis wonderful!
This Sansevieria has blooms developing on two different plantlets. I left it in the greenhouse for now to watch the blooms develop.
On the way out of the greenhouse, I saw two of the broms are in bloom.
And the first blooms on Aechmea recurvate var. Ortgiesii
So all the broms are installed in the "shade house" which I still need to find a better shade cloth to cover it. They endured the winter in the greenhouse well. Actually not all are out yet. I have quite a few that have overwintered in damp moss. The containers don't drain so I didn't move them out due to pending rainfall. I shall have to get busy and pot them up before evicting them.
After copious amounts of rain last week, this daffodil was face down in the mud. Rather dramatic but I understood how she felt. We had 8 1/4 inches in less than one week.
The potatoes have sprouted and are doing well. This weekend, I moved the walking onions to the potato bed in hopes of repositioning that fallow bed.
Still needing to dig up the garlic chives.
In the springtime wildflower department, Pearlie everlasting is budding.
The tiger lilies have really spread. Look forward to blooms.
Carolina jessamine and red bud trees. Both have outdone themselves this spring.
All in all, it is a good start to springtime and looking forward to "spring ahead" next Sunday!
The past two days have been delightful allowing me to accomplish some things before the rains beginning tomorrow.
I whacked back the clump of tattered and winter weary Aspidistra. It allowed the boy cats to lurk under it while awaiting an unsuspecting bird. The Aspidistra will come back with new, attractive growth. I will wait till the growth begins and fertilize.
I also finished cleaning the raised flower bed and see I still have more Crinums and Cemetery White Iris to remove. I also trimmed back the trailing lavender Lantana. I maybe shouldn't have done it this early but don't think I'll loose all of it to rot.
I spent a few hours in the greenhouse, watering and trimming plants. I would call it nurturing the plants but I think the plants nurture me.
I had another idea to reposition the three raised beds to receive more sun for the vegetables. As one is planted in onions and lettuce, I won't be able to move that one yet. I did the one that was empty and the timing was good. I needed to remove the invasive tree roots as well. The next one to be moved has been laying fallow. I toss twigs, leaves and scraps on it. I do believe when I move the next two, I will enlist the bucket on the tractor. Feeling a little stove up tonight.
I can't say I needed more seeds but.... turned in an order for a cucumber and a small Okra. I like the cucumbers I have been growing but they play out too quickly. I need one that is hopefully more mildew resistant. Homemade.
And the Burmese okra has good reviews ~ allegedly with less slime and producing fruit on an 18" plant. Should do o.k. in the raised beds although I was happy with Jambayla last season.
On the seed starting front, I am delighted to see germination on 11 of the 15 tomato seeds in ground. The Bella Rosa is the slowest with up to three sprouts. There are four each of Creole and Dixie Red. No word from the dill yet.
After this weekend, how can I not think spring is right around the corner...
Moderate temps compared to last weekend but Sunday night a storm blew in and it rained 2 3/4 inches in nothing flat. Monday was gorgeous with the sun shining on the mud. Actually a stiff breeze did a lot to dry it out by the evening.
Sunday I finished weeding the garlic bed. The rain Sunday evening managed to wash some of the loose soil off. Some roots are exposed. I need to add mulch and hope it will stay in place.
It was slow to sprout in October as we were way too dry. It is well behind in growth this year but will survive. It is a single clove or bulb unlike store bought garlic. After weeding, I decided to research it and find that single clove garlic is quite popular. Most is coming from China. This bulb doesn't quite resemble Solo but favors the ones from Thailand. I was delighted to find that because when I've shared bulbs, some folks think it is not garlic. Just one bulb which is far easier to peel. This garlic is an heirloom that is in a perennial bed. I dig as needed or to share.
I also watered the plants in the greenhouse and assessed the damage from freezing temps last weekend. I had two nights where the temp in the greenhouse dropped to 30/31 degrees and held in the wee hours of the morning. I had the sensor on the cooler end of the house and wasn't too worried as the heater and the ceiling fan were on.
Not much damage but there appears to be a cold draft at the door. I think I will look for an insulated curtain over the door to close on frosty nights. There were a few spider plantlets hanging down and touching the concrete floor that were toast. One side of an Angel Wing Begonia suffered obvious frost damage as it sat on the floor and the side closest to the door was hurt. Three plants on the top shelves were nipped while others showed no damage. All three will survive. One was Euphorbia Thai giant. Some of its' larger leaves turned rainbow colored and shed. It has new growth and should not be an issue. One of the delicate Orthophytums was blistered as was the Mistletoe cactus which was immature. Callisia fragrans was on the west wall sitting among the bromeliads. They were fine but it suffered.
Assembling a TODO list for springtime. I will add or delete as needed.
Needing potting up urgently:
Meyer Improved Lemon
Pick up materials for worm tunnels for at least two of the raised beds.
Start, start, start the brick sidewalk to the greenhouse!
Well, I have had an interesting weekend with diverse weather conditions.
It was sunny on Sunday but I found myself working on inventory. Monday turned out delightful with temps in the low 60s and sunshine. I worked outdoors just to savor the moment.
I weeded the garlic bed and then spread a fluffy layer of leaves as the temperatures were plummeting. Frostcover over the lettuce bed and onions.
I also got some seeds started. Three types of tomatoes Bella Rosa, Creole and Dixie Red (seeds acquired from Reimer Seeds) . All are supposed to be suited to produce in the warmer climate of the south. Also started Compatto dill.
I'm glad to have enjoyed the day as Tuesday morning delivered freezing temps with snow/ice. Ever so glad I didn't have to go in to work.
The weather today has had me bonding with my new wood heater. It is very efficient, burning very little wood and supplementing the radiant heat well. The radiant heat would maintain a temperature of 71 but with the wood heater the temp stays around 74 to 80 degrees. The ceiling fans on low help to circulate the warm air that has risen. I am able to cook on the top of the heater but thus far have only heated water to add humidity to the air. I have also heated water for tea and to thaw the birdbath.
Speaking of birds, they have been voracious. I added more seed loosely on the ground as they had to wait in line for the feeders. The fence line and the trees looked like they were decorated for Christmas with red birds (Cardinals) and yellow finches. Very pretty and rewarding to know I may be helping them stay warm by providing nourishment. I tried for good photos unsuccessfully but...
I barricaded my two bad boy cats inside with the girlies (although there wasn't much protest) in order for the birds to dine without interuption.
Tonite is predicted to be wicked with 12 being the forecast low. Fingers crossed for the tropical plants in the greenhouse. I've noticed a few are protesting the cooler temps by yellowing leaves. This weather is abnormal and hopefully will leave as quickly as it arrived.
I had recently added a second stoliniferous Cryptanthus lacerdae 'Menescal' and three bonus plants of Dyckia Mercury. I hope they will survive the cold after just being shipped and repotted. Time will tell.
Come on Springtime!