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How Does the Garden Grow

It grows slowly…very slowly. Much slower than I originally thought it would. We have had a lot of rain since we first planted. As a matter of fact, it seemed as if it rained the whole month of May. We thought that the rain may have caused the plants to start to die off as they were beginning to turn yellow and weren’t really growing much. My husband decided to go to the home improvement store and get a different type of soil to see if that might be the problem. He also purchased a few new plants (tomato, zucchini and a raspberry bush) to plant in the new soil. While at the store, one of the workers commented that the rain might not be the problem and it could be the soil. He said when plants yellow it usually means that there is too much acid in the soil. So, the organic soil that we used might be too acidic for the plants.

We have continued to have more rain than normal for this time of year. Of the original plants the tomato plants have a couple small tomatoes, most are still green, but there is one cherry tomato that is starting to go from yellow to red. The onions are doing well and the spinach doesn’t seem to be doing anything at all. It actually seems to be shrinking. We thought the lettuce might be lost for good, but they have slowly bounced back and are starting to grow. The plants in the new soil aren’t yellow and also seem to be growing. The raspberry bush has produced about 10 raspberries, so that is good. This was to be a learning experience, so we might learn that we shouldn’t use the type of soil again. The weather is going to be heating up next week, so we will see if that helps the plants. It should help the tomatoes as they usually like it warm and steamy outside.

The one thing that does seem to be thriving in all of the rain are the flowers. They seem much brighter than usual. Here is one of the Lily that we have growing.

Photo © lenalee

 

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Winter Reprieve

One of the things I hear most often at work is how long winter seems to be this year. Looking at the calendar, we are about two-thirds of the way through winter. It has been much colder than previous years. It may have something to do with the fact that the temperatures were below freezing for several weeks. When we finally got above freezing, it made everyone think that spring wasn’t too far off. Of course Ground Hog Day happened and was anyone surprised that the little guy saw his shadow and predicted 6 more weeks of winter? I wasn’t. Of course I can add and 6 weeks + 6 weeks equals 12 weeks. And if I remember anything from school it was that each season lasts 12 weeks.

While we have had several snow events so far this winter, many people have started complaining that winter never really showed up this year. The first event gave us the most snow, around 6 inches. Each one that has come after has given us another 1-2 inches and mostly made travel a mess. Two days resulted in icy roads, which meant taking it easy when driving and watching out for those that don’t. It rained on and off most of last weekend and the temperature warmed up into the 60’s. The good news is that we were in the 50’s for most of the week. This only makes people think that winter is over, which might be a good thing because the daffodils are blooming even earlier than normal and the grass is starting to grow. But as with everything, Mother Nature has other plans and it is supposed to turn colder and snow is back in the forecast through the middle of March. I don’t think I’ll be packing away my sweaters any time soon.

What has winter been like where you are?

Rainy and Not Much to Do

It is still rainy here and has been for the last several weeks. Oh, we do get a day here and there where the rain stops for a little while, but really not long enough to get outside and cut the grass or weed the flowers. The grass is definitely growing, which would normally be a good thing. My husband made sure to weed and feed the lawn earlier in the spring and he hoped the grass would fill in and look healthy this year. Well, with all the rain, the grass has definitely filled in and is looking rather bushy right now. He keeps looking out the window and will mutter that the grass is growing too tall and it will “have to be baled like hay.” Of course, my smart mouth wants to reply that maybe he shouldn’t have fed it all the stuff he did to make it grow. The neighbors didn’t and their grass isn’t growing as much as ours despite getting the same amount of rain,  but I keep the comments to myself.

CardinalsThe rain has been good for all the bushes and plants that we put in after our deck was finished. They are starting to fill out and they are all looking healthy. The Japanese Red Maple trees in the backyard are exceptionally red and bright this year compared to last year. It seems they have also blossomed out more due to the rain. We have been seeing several cardinals popping in and out of the trees, so I think they have made a home there since it provides such good camouflage for them. The yard is finally getting to the point where all that has to be done is pruning them back in the fall and freshening up the mulch in the spring.

And speaking of the deck, with all of the rain, we really haven’t been able to spend much time out there yet. Occasionally the wind will be strong enough to cause the gliders to move back and forth. At night it seems rather eerie. This week the temperatures are supposed to warm up into the low 80’s so our cool spring may be coming to an end. Regardless of the weather, I am looking forward to a nice, extra long weekend. I have 5 days off starting Thursday and my husband will be off Friday. We will go back to work after the Memorial Day holiday. We are trying to figure out where we should day trip next.

Under All That Snow…Flowers

Dafodil

We are finally seeing the last of the snow melt from the massive storm that hit the mid-Atlantic a few weeks ago. We had a few small snow events that added a couple of inches since then, but those melted off the roads and didn’t create much of a problem. You can still see the occasional pile of snow, mostly along the highways and pushed off to the sides in parking lots. It is still winter and still cold most days, although the temperature is slowly moving upwards and today we are supposed to be near 60 degrees (Fahrenheit), which isn’t too bad for February.

But as the snow slowly disappears around our house, underneath the snow, the first flowers of spring have begun to poke up through the soil. The daffodils and tulips are starting to come up and they will surely grow bigger with all the rain we have been having. Last week it rained several days in a row, very heavy at times, and what is left behind is grass that is mostly brown and puddles of mud everywhere. It is at this time of the year that you begin looking for signs of spring and the flowers are a sure sign that it will be here eventually. Of course there is snow in the forecast for the end of the week, but since the daffodils and tulips started growing underneath three feet of snow, a little bit shouldn’t make much difference. Here’s hoping we might have some pretty flowers for our Easter table.

 

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