February 09, 2018
Another warm sunny day and I begin thinking about getting melon and squash started. I did the first batch of them on February 10th last year and struggled to keep them alive through innumerable freezes and relentless rain. Our last frosts we're on May 7th, May 18th, and I heard the wind turbine early on May 25th. Needless to say what wasn't killed by frost got eaten by the pill bugs.
I know this year can't be as bad as last year but I'll never get over how much effort I put into keeping everything alive and don't plan on trying to get a jump on Mother Nature again. It used to be a game to see how early we could plant, but we never had so enduring an onslaught of inclement weather before so I was always able to salvage some successes out of my foolishness. I'll just plant when it warms and enjoy gardening with the help and support of my environment.
February 10, 2018
I got my lettuce starts transplanted into the greenhouse today and the soil was so dry I could hardly dig it with a trowel. I had watered a furrow where I was going to plant them yesterday but the ground beneath today was still dry as a bone. The overwintered Perpetual Spinach on the other side of the aisle was also parched. Most Winters find copious quantities of water flowing down the greenhouse aisle to keep both beds watered, but not this year. Mother Nature is so whimsical I'd like to give Father Nature a try. I think guys could agree that rain at night is better than a rainy day.
Not a lot of rain at one time to just flow off the land into the ocean, but a little at a time to replenish the aquafir and fill the reservoirs and ponds. Snow should be kept in the mountains where it belongs. A huge snow pack will keep irrigation water flowing all summer. We could have a week of pest killing hard frosts mid January and then be done with the ice and put our hoses back on and get on with life.
February 12, 2018
My cabbage starts are ready to be planted. I'm going to try to get them to not all ripen at the same time by planting one six pack where they will get afternoon shade and one where they won't. I don't know why I planted two six packs of them this year, I usually do just one. I usually do two six packs of Brussels sprouts but only have one this year. Unless I've mixed them up.
I can't seem to get motivated to plant another one of Brussels sprouts, I think I may be done with trying to grow them. Eight years of varying degrees of dissapointment have left their mark. The store bought frozen Brussels sprouts are always perfect and I've come to prefer them. I'll transplant my broccoli and cauliflower out and if I still have extra room, ambition, and energy I'll direct seed a row of Brussels sprouts to use up the rest of my seeds.
February 29, 2020
The morning walk through the garden is accompanied by the repetition of "Still standing", over and over, as I inventory my newly planted starts. Once in awhile it gets interrupted by "Oh no". I then get on my knees, not to pray for it, but to inspect the stem where it meets the ground to see if it has been chewed upon. Sow bugs are the usual cause of this because Sluggo is protecting the plants from snails and slugs. I check the bird netting all along the perimeter because birds only need an inch to get in, and can knock over plants with their scratching in the dirt. If the plants have wilted I prop them up and give them shade, and then water them copiously to flush the roots.
Sometimes this works. In a few days they can be standing strong again. I don't know if there is valid science behind flushing the roots, but I think it might be able to wash away the fungus or bacteria that is attacking the plants roots. It may be that it alters an unhealthy pH, or removes an accumulation of unwanted salts.