Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blow wind blow!!

For weeks I have been talking about our rain, mud and cold weather. God bless those who live north of here. That cannot be pleasant and I apologize to all my readers! This has been a tough winter for everyone.

For those in South Texas, we endured many weeks of dry, over 100 degree weather during the summer followed closely by a harsh winter for the south. We have not had a break from extremes in about a year. I expect those who are north of us have experienced much the same.

So to give you something to look forward to I am giving you a list of dates that once reached means we are closer to spring and away from the snow, sleet, blowing wind, rain and all that makes us miserable...

Daylight savings time is March 14th. Rain, sleet or snow we should begin to feel like spring is around the corner if the days are getting a little longer. On better days this will give us much needed daylight to spend in the yard or on the acreage getting ready for planting or just to do outside tasks that were neglected during the inclement weather. This is the 4th weekend after this one.... you can see thatin your mind...and the light at the end of the tunnel is starting to shine...

1st official day of Spring is March 20th. That is the very next weekend....

Good Friday is April 2nd with Easter April 4th. This is only 3 weeks after daylight savings time starts. By then, we should be getting a little warmer. Some long term forecasts say most if not all the precipitation will be gone. You should start to see wild flowers on the side of the road.

So you see, spring really is around the corner...just keep these dates in focus and you can get through these very cold days....

Monday, February 8, 2010

As the wind blows.......

Today as I drove home I noticed heavy thunderstorms to the north of us. I knew there was another cold spell coming and figured it was going to be a rock and roll evening. As I write this the wind is blowing and we have had several claps of thunder and more rain.

Before I came in I checked the cold frames, watered the ones that were getting a little dry and covered them knowing it might be a few days before I could get to them again or that the temperature would be warm enough to lift the glass.

I talked to a couple of farmers in the area today and asked them if they had been able to get into their fields. Sadly they haven’t been able to even turn their soil much less fertilize or start to plant. I would think any seed in the ground would rot in this mud. They commended me for starting plants for our spring garden in cold frames. Each said getting this kind of head start will be valuable later.

Readers, don’t think this is a complaint…it isn’t! In fact I am so sure this will be a wonderful spring/summer that I am starting another 100 or so seeds tonight in my mini-greenhouses.

My mini-greenhouses are simply clear plastic shoebox sized containers you buy almost anywhere. Luckily my local Wal-Mart had 6 for $3.00 in a bundle on the clearance rack the other day. I grabbed 2 bundles.

I fill them with a couple of inches of good soil, broadcast seeds in them and cover them with the lids that come with them. These lids do not have to be clear, the white lids or colored lids work just fine. Then I stack them and wait for the seedlings to appear.

When I have a 4 leaf seedling I transplant them into some sort of recycled container. Most of the time that is homemade seed containers made from toilet paper cores, a trick I learned from a friend.

To make those, simply cut the core 1/3 way up to make 4 flaps. Fold in 2 of them from opposite sides to create a bottom. Fold in the other two opposite sides overlapping them and secure them. I use a little TOT stapler. After you get 4-6, staple those together. Once the plant is transplanted into these containers and big enough to go into the garden, the core has been wet for a while and can be torn easily or if you are a true recycler, cut the sides and plant the entire thing. Those cores degrade quickly into the garden.

So, as the wind blows and the temperatures fall outside we gather around and look forward to the spring and what beauty the Lord will give us with a bounty of spring flowers and moisture in the soil to last well into the summer…. It will be here soon enough…