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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Here Comes The Sun but not today!

OK, who stole the sun! This was supposed to be another sixty degree sunny gardening day and the promised sun is a "no show"; and it's colder than they said it would be. Time to stay in my warm house, and recharge after a heavy gardening cleanup and pruning session yesterday.  Hopefully the sun will honor me with its presence tomorrow! I have a whole tray of cold weather veggies and a bag of potato seeds and more asparagus to plant in the next couple of days as well as continuing weeding and garden cleanup. There are a few more roses to prune and perennials to clean up; but as long as the warm weather they're promising holds for a few days I can make a lot of headway with it all.

I took the remay off everything yesterday but am still keeping it close by for any late freezes. I was thrilled to see that my three artichokes survived those temperatures in the teens we had this winter. Thank God for heavy duty remay to protect them. Mulching them well, also helped.

Yesterday I pruned all the roses in my flower garden, pulled up a lot of spent annuals and trimmed a lot of the spent foliage on many of the perennials, did a bunch of weeding, took apart the rest of the tomato cages and moved them to the back of the veggie garden shed area, and hooked up a couple of my hoses. There's still a lot more cleanup to do but I'll wait for the sun and warmer temperatures tomorrow. I was exhausted this morning, so it's just as well I took the day off from the garden.

I overfilled the equivalent of two big wheel barrels with all the prunings, weeds and other debris I cleaned up and that was just from one flower bed in the back yard. Those late winter weeds are taking over the world this year from all this rain. Fortunately my veggie beds in the secret garden are in pretty good shape weed wise, but the pathways are infested with them; but those will wait a couple of days until I get my cold weather veggies starts, potatoes and asparagus planted.

The other garden chore I need to do in the next day or two is to start some tomato, pepper and eggplants. I will buy most of my starters but I have one hybrid tomato Big Zac and two heirlooms Opalka, a large, wonderful paste tomato, and a new giant, Italian beefsteak that I just got this year and want to try, that no one around here carries, and buy the rest. The Big Zac tomato is earlier and more productive than Brandywine and similar beefsteaks and has a superior flavor to any other other beefsteak type hybrids I've tried over the years. I also like to grow Corno del Toro Italian frying peppers. Two plants will give me enough to enjoy fried pepper, sausage and onion heroes this summer.

Gone are the years when I would start most of my veggies and flowers from seed. I just don't have the room that I always had to set up several grow lights fluorescent fixtures to start most of my own seedlings. Fortunately we have some great growers here in the Rogue Valley who sell as lot of organic and heirloom varieties at our local farmers markets.

These days I'm only growing veggies for myself and to share with a neighbor or two. In fact, I've had to put off buying fresh kale starts because I don't need 6 kale plants which I only use in my green smoothies. So I will have to get to the farmers market where there's a grower who sells single veggie starts for 50 cents a piece. I get to try a lot of different varieties of veggies that way without having to commit to all those six packs.

What are you all planting or planning to plant this month in your area? 

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