Monday, January 29, 2007

Ice Box

Well, January turned into January this last weekend. It's cold and windy. This morning's windchill was 4 degrees Fahrenheit. Which makes it -15 for the Celsius people. Brrr. I don't know if we should change to a warmer growing zone just yet. The high is only going to make it up to freezing today. It didn't manage that on Friday.

The ground also finally froze this weekend. No real big shock, all things considered. But still, it was petty late in the season. Makes one wonder when the ground will actually thaw this year.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Random Observations

Do you think it is saying something about me, when my favorite mob to kill in a video game is named after kudzu?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

2006 in Review Part 2

Ugh, I always feel like joining my garden in hibernation when the weather turns cold. Why, oh why can't I sleep the winter away? Oh, right, earning money for plants and electric power tools.

One of the things I learned about the postage stamp I call my backyard is that it is recovered wetlands. Yes, you can see the creek and the wild growth area, but I really learned that it is swampy ground. After a rain, the ground squelches. This means I don't have to worry about watering when there's been rain. On the other hand, when there's been a lot of rain, I shouldn't plant anything, since there will be standing water in any hole I dig.

Despite this, there are tons of earthworms living in the dirt. And they love when I put down mulch for them to eat.

The soil is yellow clay. Basically like red clay, only finer and yellow. Whereas red clay colors everything it touches, yellow clay doesn't. But when it is wet, it like you stepped in doggie doo. It is not coming off of those shoes without a garden hose. So, I need to avoid obliterating those ant hills in the yard with my shoes.

The privacy fence shadows at least two feet out from it, instead of full sun, it is partial sun. Drats. Maybe I should drag the exposed hostas down to the foot of the garden and put peonies in their place. But new peonies. I've learned that peonies really do loathe to be moved. Do peonies have short memories? I hope they do, or that they choose to forgive me this year...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Snowy Weather

Well, snow finally made an appearance after two flurries and an out to sea. Yesterday a fine snow/wet powder fell from about 1 pm to 6 pm. I went out to shovel/sweep the snow around 6:45 before bed. It had switched over to ice pellets at that time, but they were already frozen when they landed, so no uberslick spots. The ice was crunchy underfoot and provided good traction. Even if it was a pain to scrape off the car. There was about an inch of snow with ice overtop.

Only problem driving in was the salt spray. Yuck.

Yesterday's precipitation: 1 inch snow, glazing of ice

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Cold Snap

So, after a nice long weekend, I forgot to set my alarm clock last night. I ended up waking up an hour late and doing the 15-minute drill this morning. It turns out to have been a good thing. It meant that I didn't wander outside without a coat to put birdseed out. (Poor birds.) But it meant that I peeked at the thermometer to know which gloves to wear. It was 20 degrees. BRRRRRRR!!!! And to think on Monday, I opened up the windows in the computer room at night to cool it down because of the heat from the computer! Yikes, what a change!

Luckily, it was very low humidity, so no ice scraping. But my poor car was sluggish and still needed the time to warm up. I'd better get up early tomorrow. They're talking snow.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

2006 in Review part 1

So, it's a little late, but I should reflect on last year's gardening efforts. And it seems somewhat appropriate, the theme last year comes down to is late. I procrastinated a lot. And I don't think that is going to change, so I'll adjust this year's "plan" to reflect that.

First up, seeds. I'm not a raise indoor seed person. So, that's not going to get repeated. I'll make a good faith effort to put out what seeds I currently have around the last frost and let them grow outside. I just lost too many seedlings to not actually planting them. Although, I will do the sunflowers inside. I don't trust the squirrels. And they need to be planted with appropriate separation.

This leads to weeding. Since, I'm not going to be able to tell much difference between weeds and seeds (well, aside from the obvious grass, mock strawberries, clover...), weeding will be a little thinner next year. I actually do weed, since it is an excuse to spend time outside and let Zeppe roam.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

And the Thaw Comes

Yesterday and today are more like a true Jaunuary thaw, warmer than average, but still downright chilly. Highs might brush the 40s and we're down in the 20s for lows. Brrr. Yesterday was a bit of rain and a bit of snow flying. The flakes didn't lay, but they swirled around all the same.

I'm still living in fear of that Colorado weather swinging eastward.

Monday, January 08, 2007

January Thaw?

Well, joining the chorus of 70 degree temperatures (we broke the record Saturday by one degree), I had an enjoyable weekend. It started by Zeppe waking me up. He can be particularly insistant when clunking around in his aquarium. I got up and was telling him how it wasn't that warm out yet, since I'm used to working up to warm temperatures in winter. But when I opened the sliding glass door, it was already in the 60s at 10 am!

So, I got off my duff and started doing fall cleaning chores. Yes, a bit late, I know. First was airing out the house. Then, I moved on to taking down the Christmas tree. Half of the branches got cut very small and put into the turtle aquarium. The other half were split between the hydrangea and the rhododendron. Gotta naturally mulch those acid loving plants. There's still some Christmas tree left in the stand, but I was already covered with sap by then.

Next up, was planting a few potted plants that I had neglected in fall. The chrysanthemum and a few last lilytufts went in the dirt. Lots of wriggly worms moving about too, so the turtles got a treat. Well, except for Zeppe who was roaming about and was more interested in the screen door than eating.

Then, I threw more mulch on the early daffodils, and moved inside. I repotted my newest hibiscus and a philodendron and an angelwing begonia. Aside from being potbound, they were in that horrible store soil that dries out immediately. Yuck.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Christmas Recap

Aside from my annual Christmas ailment going through several variations, it was a good holiday and good vacation. Even if I did spend it recuperating. There wasn't much on the list this year to do with the garden. But I still got a nice tiger swallowtail stained glass window, a new pair of nippers, a very swanky hummingbird feeder and a dremel.

The weather is still nice and warm. I like zonal flows of the jet stream. I also like nice warm southern air masses. Although, the British MetOffice is predicting that 2007 will be the hottest year on record, beating out 1998. That is not good news. Especially for the spring plants that are very confused at the moment. The longer it goes without a cold snap, the worse the results.

But the weather needs to holdout until Saturday. I need to go to the car wash and get a wax coating sprayed underneath for when they do break out the salt.