Garden happnin’s

The garden is just about at the halfway point in terms of winter and summer crops. Still picking peas, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, celery, spinach and onions while the recently planted tomatoes, green beans, squash, and cucumbers are getting noticeably bigger. By the end of April we’ll be 100% into summer goodies. At this point I can say this has been an excellent winter garden and I just hope that the success continues on for the next few months. Between bugs and rain, last summer was a total disaster. I’m hopeful because the soil has been enriched by as much as 12 cubic yards of compost and the row levels are perhaps a foot higher than at this same time last year. Another thing I’m going to do differently is set up a regular bug spraying schedule instead of the ad hoc approach I’ve taken in the past. I think what I’ve learned is that once you start seeing signs of critters, it’s too late – they own you.

Got something interesting going on in the compost pile. George wacked down a cedar tree and the UPS guy knocked a few branches off the big camphor tree on the driveway. I got to thinking that people use cedar wood for chests and closets because it has bug fighting properties; ditto camphor. So I got to thinking that maybe a bit of both in the mix might have some insect protection properties. Worth a try. Also tried something different on a new compost pile start. I usually use a mostly palmetto frond base run through the chipper which is a fairly course starting point but decided to this time do a double shred – run the fronds through the chipper twice. My thought is that the compost should cook up faster with the finer starting material. For sure it won’t hurt anything except it took quite a bit longer to build the pile. I’ll know is a couple of months if it shortens the cycle or results in a finer end mixture.

Aside from the garden, spring is bursting on the scene big time here at the lake. We have more than a few large azaleas in full bloom. This is the best azalea bloom we’ve had in a couple of years and it’s happening right in line with our Easter party. Ditto the citrus trees. I have a strange thing going on with the Satsuma tree. The first and worst freezing spell we had last December caused the Satsuma to lose most of it’s leaves. I wasn’t sure whether the tree was history or could recover. None of the other trees showed any signs of stress at all. Now all the trees are full of blossoms including the leafless Satsuma. I guess showing blossoms must mean the tree is ok but I sure hope it decides to add some greenery one of these days. If not, I’ll just tell folks that it’s a new leafless variety.

And just so you know that my string of mini disasters is still holding fast, got up this morning and noticed that I had a flat tire on the Toyota. Do I smell recall? What a way to start a day.

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