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Wednesday, May 01, 2013

All Buttoned Up

Here I am, all ready to plant tomatoes this weekend and what should the weather forecast include? Snow. In May.

I'd originally planned to jump the gun with maybe a third of my plants. If I'd done so last year, I could have gotten some good tomatoes out of the garden before the horrendous heat wave started knocking the flowers right off the plants. And after all, they've changed the frost-line maps and planting guidelines on seed packets, so maybe April 15 is the new May 1, right?

Not in 2013 it ain't. But, trying to hear Bill Evans playing You Must Believe in Spring in my head, I have done my best to keep the faith. Silver reflective mulch is spread over my tomato beds which are filled and/or topped up with fresh, sweet, black compost from Suburban. 36 tree stakes have been exhaustingly driven into the earth (that driving sleeve I borrowed must way almost 40 lbs, that's a workout even if you do the stakes in three sessions as I did. I've still got more compost to move to the front beds, but I managed to get a few more wheelbarrows up there this evening between dinner and dealing with some of the less delightful aspects of parenting.

And I put the Agribond back over the salad beds. I've really been enjoying having spring greens from the garden, green onions, spinach, several kinds of lettuce, radishes, etc. The Chinese cabbage is coming along, as is the chard and carrots. The Agribond has a few holes torn in it, either by the wind or by the cats (they see blanket monsters in the Agribond, I think). I had a much more tattered piece in the garage from when I first planted, it got shredded by the weight of an eight-inch blizzard, so I put that on as a second layer for the next couple of days. Probably too much light-block for anything longer, but at least there's no gaps in coverage this way. It will hold in heat and hold out wind while we have this late frost and/or snow. I also moved the smoker between the peach and apricot trees in case we need to blaze it up as a smudge-pot tomorrow night. Hopefully the peas, blueberries and other starts we have will weather the storm okay, there isn't enough Agribond to go around and I'm not sure how much good the Smokey Mountain will do.

As I was finishing up, I could feel the cold front coming in, the temperature probably dropped fifteen degrees just in the time it took me to drive the final eight tree stakes in.

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