Spring has sprung

Seems like spring has sprung. You can tell instantly by the bright color from the azalea’s. The bushes are larger than ever and full of blooms. Overall, this was the most consistently cool winter I can remember but it seems to have finally broken. Technically we’ve actually had a freeze as late as March 20 but I’m going to assume that’s just not possible this year and get on with it. I’ve started attacking those bushes that were nailed hard by the freezes and pretty much chopping them down to a few inches above ground. Some will survive and some are history – too soon to tell which but the hibiscus looks like it might make it and the butterfly bush would appear beyond help. The citrus trees all seemed to have made out ok. The two grapefruit trees actually have blossoms so that means fruit next year. The jury’s still out on the tangerine and the satsuma but they look healthy.

The winter garden is winding down fast and I have seedlings started indoors for the next crop. The new stuff includes 6 different varieties of peppers; 5 varieties of tomatoes; 3 different squash types with about that many more to follow; one type of cucumber that we’ve found to be exactly perfect for here. I started the peppers a few weeks ago, the tomatoes last week, and the other stuff yesterday. Staggering compensates for the longer germination times of the different plants so I can more or less get them all transplanted into the garden at the same time. I usually start about double the number of seeds that I expect to convert into plants. That accounts for germination less than 100%, transplant survival less that 100% and a few left over for friends and family who just want to grow one or two things. We’re about broccoli’d and cabbaged out so the changeover is welcome.

I think I mentioned earlier that I had discovered a large stand of bamboo in one corner of my neighbor’s yard. Bamboo is quickly becoming my next duct tape – the material you can use for hundreds of tasks. The garden is starting to resemble a Hong Kong construction site with bamboo trellises and tripods for tieing up plants or training vining veggies.

The other great changeover is that the big bass are on the beds. The speckled perch gear is back in storage and the lines all rigged for bass. Now all we need is for some rain to fill up the lake.

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