Saturday, April 20, 2013

It's spring in the garden (or so the calendar says)

Well this has been a very rough spring for me. I am recovering from pneumonia and have something  wrong with my lower back, so I'm dealing with the situation in a slow manner.

Some of my plant orders and all of my seeds have arrive, but planting and seeding isn't going so well.

I am using the "moon phases" for planting this year, however, my in the house plantings didn't line up but had to be done. I started a few annuals in pots in the house, tomato, peppers, pumpkin, squash and brussel sprouts so far, and a few are up. I needed to do more starts inside but so far haven't gotten them done.

I knew that I had trees coming, so I went out a few days ago and used post hole diggers to get some holes started for the trees, breaking through the hardpan (that didn't help my back injury much). The next day the first of two tree orders to arrive this week came, it was much easier planting them when I already had the holes predug. So far I have panted 4 standard peach trees (red haven, hale haven, elberta and reliance), one of two of the cherries ordered (stella, the windsor is still to arrive), one apple (nova spy) is also planted this year so far. There are a few other trees on order yet to arrive. I also received a maximillion sunflower, which i potted inside, 25 strawberries that are hopefully surviving in a container in my frig, and 4 female and one male kiwi vine that are already vined and leafed out when they arrived, so they are also in a bucket on my windowsill waiting for non freezing weather to be transplanted outside.

I just hope the back will heal up enough to get the plants in when need be to do so, we have freshly fallen snow on the ground this morning, and I'm hoping the rabbits don't find my newly planted trees before I can get wire protection around them.

I have a little disappointment regarding some fruit trees and others on the property as we had a small amount of deer browse and a large amount of rabbit browse this March/April. checking earlier in the year all was well, but in March and April the weather has been horrible and the rabbits were breeding like ...well...rabbits and eating everything in site.

I lost completely one pear tree, and had upper graft damage on two others but believe they are savable as there is wood above the graft that I think has buds on it. One Plum was damaged severely above the graft but it also appears to have good wood left, There is some rabbit damage on one side of a peach tree, hopefully it will survive, and there is woodpecker or sapsucker damage to the almond and the fruit cocktail trees, hoping they can overcome that. Many of my nitrogen fixers and ornamentals have lots of very severe rabbit damage, but they are all grown on their own roots and should come back after I do some heavy pruning this spring.

I had two other pear trees that had been ruined above the graft last year, and I dug those up and planted them in a sunny spot back in the woods, and will allow the roots to grow from the rootstock and see what comes of them, I can always graft new pear wood to them later. (I have done that with other trees in the prunus family that have died above the roots, so that I have rootstock that I can graft other prunus branches too in the future, possibly a good way to save things that have been too badly damaged to do well on their own, and have planted tham all at woodland margins.

I did manage to get some mixed lettuce and mixed asian and italian greens planted on the baby hugelbed, but it has been way too wet and cold for them to sprout, so they may have to be reseeded, but I have time to wait and see. Didn't get my peas in, hope to during the next moon phase for planting them and plan to get my seeds in for root crops midweek next week (hope my back allows me to walk that far)..

This has been a disappointingly late cold spring, but I'm hoping it is good for the fruit this year to wait to open their buds and good for my back to have the rest. Otherwise there are some promising aspects with an overabundance of rain in the ground, lots of things that are growing that didn't get damaged, and the thanfulness that I'm doing no till, so I don't have to worry about getting out there and tilling mud..how awful it would be if I was still tilling with standing water over more than half of my property and snow on the rest.

I'm still optomistic..and am going to rest while I wait for mother nature to bring it on..happy spring.

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