Thursday, January 8, 2015

Winter Garden 2015

So, looking it up on the USDA climate zone website, I live on the border of 10b and 11a.  That means it never freezes, and rarely gets below 40º.  That also means I can plant any time I want, and almost any plant I want.  I still waited until yesterday to plant seedlings, when they would have a couple of days above seventy degrees to take root.

Really, planting now had more to do with weed suppression.  I love the look of clover, but it was starting to take over the planters and was encroaching on Bradley.  For that, I planted a six-pack of spinach.  I love fresh spinach, but I don't always want to deal with a whole pound of it at once.  Within a few weeks, I'll be able to pick one serving at a time.  There was one seedling that didn't fit in the pond, so I put it up in the unused herb pot.  That one's only empty because I kept forgetting to water whatever was in there.  Maybe now I'll make the effort.

For the front planter, one of the bushes was killed last year by the pumpkins.  I had hoped it was merely wintering over, then finally admitted defeat.  Instead of putting in another ornamental, I decided on a berry bush.  They didn't have blueberry, but they did have boysenberry.  It is almost impossible to find boysenberries in a form other than preserves, other than a few weeks in late spring at farmers' markets.  I'm not that dedicated.  I'm very curious to find out what they taste like off the vine.  Since they were first created about thirty miles from my house, I have a shot at making this work.  Plus, it's at least as cool as growing pumpkins.

For ongoing projects, Artie is thriving.  Bradley and the beefsteak are hearty.  The beefsteak has gotten so big that the mail carrier set my holiday packages behind it to hide them from the street.  There are at least a dozen green tomatoes, but it isn't warm enough to ripen them.  Whenever one starts to show a hint of orange, I pick it and ripen it in the kitchen window.  I picked the dozen green tomatoes off of Cherry so I could cut back the dying branches.  I'll pickle them this afternoon.  Oranges are ripening about as fast as I feel like eating one.  There are more lemons than I can use.  Not bad for January.

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