Friday, May 13, 2016

End of the Week Update

After two nights of gentle rains, our area has been taken off the Very High danger fire alert and given the label of merely High.  This is a good thing.

However, the overnight rains have been enough to put a halt to my garden planting.  (I'm being very foolish gutsy this year and planting some things earlier than I usually would.)

Earlier this week I planted our three 20' rows of potatoes and 64' of shell peas.  They will be fine even if they sprout while frosty weather hangs around.  The peas won't mind a mild frost, and the potatoes can be hilled over with dirt should nippy weather threaten.

And the cold weather is currently threatening.  Frost and possible s-n-o-w (shhh!) is forecast for tonight and tomorrow night.  Fortunately, in our huge county containing many pockets of different climates, we probably won't get either the frost or the snow.  I'm predicting the temp could very well be close to 32 degrees and the precipitation falling could be very, very cold, but I think we will slip through this last (fingers crossed here) cold spell successfully.

I've managed to stay busy despite the soggy garden soil.  Lots of town errands have been taken care of.  Some necessary, some not so much.  Meals are less basic when I'm inside part of the day.  My desktop is actually clear getting close to visible.  And as my daughter commented last night when she popped in after work, "Oh, the bathroom is sparkly clean!"  I won't analyze that any further.

I've spent time preparing chives and freezing them for winter use.  About half the amount I need is done.

The 4' x 8' raised bed of lettuce covered with a cold frame has sprouted nicely as have the kale seeds I have in a bed with no cold frame  protection.

Our haskap berry plants (entering their fourth year now) are leafed out and already have plentiful blossom buds.  If we can outwit the robbing robins this year, we just might have a good crop.

Although the wind is making it a bit nippy outside this morning, we have sunshine so it will be full steam ahead on this lucky Friday, the 13th.  If all goes well, a dirt pile will get moved, two replacement garden bed frames will be built and put in place, the sprouting weeds among the dwarf fruit trees will be removed, and some progress will be made on new honey bee housing.

I hope you all have a good, good day, too.

27 comments:

Sue said...

We have cold winds blowing here-so no outdoor time.
Does frost affect the haskap production if they're blossoming? I know my blueberries take a hit if it frosts when they bloom.
They're calling for 29 here tomorrow night (which in MY frost pocket means 23!). Cover, uncover, cover, uncover. Ah, it's never dull here............
Have a terrific weekend

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Re the haskap berries . . . they are touted as a cold climate fruit, can't even be successfully grown too far south. They (supposedly) can withstand really, really cold, subzero weather in the winter. All I can find regarding frost damage is that they do have frost tolerance to open flowers. Which I guess is a good thing. Luckily, we only have buds, no open flowers yet.

Hope you don't actually get down to the low 20s. That's too cold for this time of year. HEAR THAT, MOTHER NATURE??!

Vera said...

We are moving away from risk of frost here in SW France, but it is still chilly for this time of year. Our potatoes are up but everything else is slow because of the chilliness. Glad you had some rain now, and that the threat of fire is diminishing.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

It's calling for snow here on Sunday as well. (Ontario). I haven't planted a single thing! Everything has to wait for a weekend for me, and it is raining hard. I hope neither one of us gets the snow. I always enjoy hearing about the progress of your gardens! -Jenn

Fiona said...

Freezing chives? How do you do that. We dehydrate ours.

Katie C. said...

How do you prep your chives? I just usually put them in a freezer bag whole ...

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

I've hauled my potted plants in the house for tonight just in case! Covered the strawberries and put the cold frame down. Hoping our fruit trees will be okay. How do you store your chives in the freezer. I have been drying mine but would like to try some in the freezer also. Nancy

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...
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Mama Pea said...

Vera - Just came in from doing a little bit in the garden and was surprised at how DRY the soil still is. Guess we need a bunch more rain before things get back to normal. Normal? Whatever that is weather-wise these days!

Mama Pea said...

Thanks, Jenn! Some area not far from us had snow on the ground this morning, but not here. It's supposed to get colder tonight than last night which registered a low of 30 on our thermometer. Rats. Just got done covering the haskap berry bushes just in case. And are crossing our fingers for everything else.

Mama Pea said...

Fiona - I did a post back in 2009 on how I freeze my chives. You can either enter the link ahomegrownjournal.blogspot.com/2009/05/first-garden-produce-of-season.html OR scroll down on my right hand sidebar to the Search box and enter "freezing chives." That will take you to a couple of posts. The one that will hopefully give you all the info is the one I wrote on Monday, May 18, 2009.

Mama Pea said...

Katie C. - See the reply I wrote to Fiona above. Hope that helps.

Mama Pea said...

Nancy - I so much prefer them frozen rather than dried. Will never dehydrate them again I don't think. The info in my reply to Fiona above will give you the info to find the post in which I explained how I do it.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I love the way you tell about your activities - such a busy life you lead with all your wonderful gardens.

Kristina said...

This is a few days late, but we had a frost warning here last night. Sounds like your garden is coming along so nicely.

gld said...

So far we have escaped the frosts but it is drizzly and very cool so I am housebound. We may actually have a nice meal for a change.

I hope none of your early plantings get hurt. I have had potatoes turn black on top from frost and bounce back.

Susan said...

Good grief. It takes nerves of steel to homestead in Minniesoda. Or upstate NY, for that matter.

Mama Pea said...

JoAnn - You are so sweet and encouraging with your comments. Encouraging me to keep blathering on about nothing! ;o}

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - I was so enthusiastic about getting going on it early this year . . . and then the rain and cold weather hit putting a screeching halt to my get going early!

Mama Pea said...

Glenda - Haha! I know exactly what you mean about "nice meals" being a rarity in our households come spring/summer/fall outdoor time!

We covered the haskap berry bushes because of possible harm to the blossoms, but I think we skirted any damage.

Neither the peas nor potatoes are up yet, but these rains we've been having (even though cold) should be good for sprouting.

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Yeah, nerves of steel and a stubborn streak a mile wide. This spring (ha!) weather we've been having is harkening back to the cold temps way into June we had when we first moved up here in the mid-70s. ('Tis a wonder we stayed! There's that old stubborn streak again.)

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

Rain does make a real difference with those yearly wild fires. Good thing your wild fire rating has come down.

I'm sure your potatoes and peas will enjoy the cooler weather. Here's hoping you don't get a frost or snow.

Do you flash freeze your chives? Thanks for the reminder of getting chives set for use during the upcoming year. I need to get off my hiney, cut a bunch for harvest, and pull the dried flowers for seeds.

Hugs,
Sandy

Laurie said...

I see you've been busy, since I've been MIA. I have, too. I'm going to post a garden update later this week. It's not the luscious green veggie producing garden that I envisioned, but it's coming along. I've harvested cilantro and lettuce, so far. Hope the cold didn't harm your garden. Look forward to updates!

Mark said...

We've had it wet and chilly here, too. Nothing in the ground yet, but I did get 6 beds cleared after the 'day job' today. Been too wet to till the plots, but it's GOT to get done in the next 11 days, 'cause heavy work will be off limits for weeks after my surgery. I'll get there, but it's going to be tight!

Pretty rare to have it 'fire risk' dry here, and then it usually July. Glad it's getting better there. I'm afraid I would be a little jumpy.

Mama Pea said...

Mark - The threat of possible forest fire always makes for a queasy feeling in the tummy, that's for sure. There have been a couple of bad ones in the county in the 40 years we've been up here, but only one that was halfway close.

Sending lots of luck to you to get done what needs to be done in your limited time. But if it doesn't happen, you know it's not the end of the world so try not to stress. (If only that crew of 12 would arrive and get it all done, eh?)

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - I cut my chives directly into the containers I freeze them in. Each small container holds about a cup of them. During the winter, I keep the container I'm using in a freezer close to the kitchen and take it out only long enough to take out the chives I need, then back it goes into the freezer jiffy-quick.

Mama Pea said...

Laurie - Oh, to have lettuce from the garden already. I'm green (that would be lettuce green) with envy!