Saturday, January 22, 2011

Late January Gardening

It's that "Late January so it's warming up so the buds open then it freezes and destroys the flowers and possibly kills the tree" weather. It's in the 40s and 50s during the day. Inspecting, quite a number of roses have buds at about 1/4 inch long; peaches have buds swelling; daffodils are starting to peak out of the soil. The daffodils won't be bothered by even a hard freeze, but the peaches might. Some observations:

1. Peaches have quite a bit of what looks like freeze-kill on new growth, but overall look OK. Not sure why, but they did still have green leaves at the time of the first freeze. Most of the newest growth is stout and healthy appearing, and buds are swelling. I sprayed with copper micro-cop spray a 2nd time, hoping to have some effect on the leaf curl. I don't know if it will help at this late stage.

2. There was left over spray. Since the apples had a fair amount of fungal or bacterial disease last year, I sprayed them as well. No significant bud swelling on them.

3. Ditto for figs, so I sprayed them and used up the spray. I'm concerned that there is some freeze-kill on branch tips and brebas. Only the coming of spring will tell.

4. Some Chinese Chives are starting to grow, poking up through the soil.

5. I bought a truckload of medium bark nuggets, and spread them on areas that I have cleared so far. The theory this year is that kitty cat won't like it and will leave it alone. My theories are often disproved.

6. The grapes also appear to have some freeze-kill. If there is significant damage, this will be the first year for them to be damaged by a freeze.

What a waste. These great home-grown organic gourmet potatoes and I forgot them until they sprouted and shriveled. I set aside four of the "gourmet white" which had some stout short sprout in addition to the lanky ones, and threw the rest into the compost bin.

It may be too early to try the potato barrels, but not much to lose. I planted them deep, then covered the sprouts completely with potting mix. This time I was less greedy. I think 4 plants is enough for this small size of barrel. So that's all I planted.

Then a screen for the feline beastie so she doesn't use this for litter.

This barrel contained peppers last year, and some mesclun and greens and radishes last winter. These vegetables are limited not by freezing weather, but but gummy soil too cold to work. That's not an issue in the barrels. I pulled out the remaining pepper roots and stems, loosened the soil, and planted:

Radish, French Breakfast
Radish, Cherry Belle
Mesclun, Gourmet Blend. All of these seeds are from "Ed Hume Seeds".
Onion, Evergreen White Bunching. These take a lot longer, but have fresh scallions when the other varieties are not usable.

So there they are, 4 little rows. In a few weeks, I may plant a second barrel. I plan to wait for these seeds to sprout, first.

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