12 March 2016

When you're hot, you're hot!

Here are the official high minimum temperatures for the cities in the local national weather service's area.  Roanoke broke the prior record high by 11 degrees, unreal. This surely has an end but not in the next week. The normal last frost on Stratheden Farm has proven to be in mid-May, eight weeks hence, so some restraint must be applied to budding horticultural ambitions. Despite the odds, however, in a burst of unsupportable optimism, a few zinnia seeds were scattered in a large planter on the patio; when seasonal temperatures return, the large pot may be rolled into the solarium until the cold snap has passed - with any luck, there will be flowers beatifying the deck weeks earlier than any prior year.


The effects of these prolonged unnaturally warm & sunny days (and nights) are easily seen on the farm. Some forsythia are in bloom, the daffodils are just blooming their little heads off, the clematis are showing new leaves, the tulips are rocketing skyward, all but a couple of the day lilies are soaring toward the sun.



Day lilies and a few Rudbeckia

 If the desirable plants are all breaking their long slumber, you know that the weeds are as well. Mr. Fuzzy wrestled the 17" Husqvarna tiller down to the small garden after spending two full days clearing the detritus of prior occupation from it (read: chicken wire, baling wire, cut up pasture panels [missed one and wrapped it around the tiller tines], surveyor's stakes, old windows, old screens, 55 gallon drum, all enough for three trips to the dump and a fourth load of nine bundles of white wooden-wired picket fence ready to go). The purpose of this tilling was two fold: first, to work in the winter's fireplace ashes and second, the discourage the sprouting weeds. The weeds, if left to their own devices, would be so well established by May planting time that they would be very difficult to eliminate. Hopefully they are set back significantly after receiving this thorough thrashing!

 Enough talking dirt - until the next time.

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