Back home and catchin’ up

Back from the fishing/camping trip 2 days early. I really enjoyed spending the time one on one with Tom but the fishing was bad. Wind, wind, and more wind. It was more or less continuous from when we got there until we left at 25 mph with gusts to 35. In addition, fishing out of the fold boat was tough on my back and legs so I was beat. The boat and motor performed well and we got to try out the electric motor too but it’s just too cramped for days of fishing. Ok for a few hours; longer for younger backs. I hope we get another shot at it before the summer heat arrives. Usually April is a good month on the Tomoka so I’ll be keeping a close eye on that action.

Still feeding/poisoning the rats on a daily basis. Nancy kept up the duty while I was gone, filling the cups every evening and seeing them emptied the next morning. She bought a different kind from the Pierson ACE – I’ve been patronizing the Deleon Springs ACE – so maybe we’ll see more dramatic action out of the new formulation. There are only a few tangerines left on the tree so the natural source of food will be depleted in the next few days. Maybe they’ll leave on their own at that point.

I’ve decided to take a risk in the garden and plant a few summer squash a month early. Seeds are cheap so there’s really not much to lose even if winter returns and the upside is getting squash before the bugs and heat take over. Ditto cucumbers. I have space available, all ready with muck and newly minted compost. The first year of Florida gardening I tried a variety of zucchini that had been really great in Utah but totally bombed here. I’m going to give it another try since I don’t know if the problem the first time was poor soil or just the climate here. For sure I’ll plant other varieties that I have more confidence in but have my fingers crossed that Gold Rush will come on as strong as I remember.

Started three different types of eggplant; the old standard, Lavender Touch, that I’ve had so much success with; a slender, green variety called Raveena; and a slender purple Chinese variety call PingTung. Several people have asked for seedlings so I’ve started plenty. Last year I had several Lavender Touch plants spring up from seed in the soil from the season before – we call them volunteers or renegades – and I expect that to happen again but I’ll pull most if not all. Last year I just let nature take it’s course and I had way, way too many eggplants. Going to pop three or four of these guys in plus a half dozen green pepper plants as well so by the end of this week I’ll be heavily committed to the spring/summer crops – 2 weeks ahead of the Ag Dept’s recommendation.

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