Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Reluctant Spring Update

Winter just doesn't seem to want to release her grip on us yet it seems. All the animals and insects are convinced Spring should have already sprung but someone just isn't getting the message like they should.

The Bluebirds and Mockingbirds are already building nests and claiming territory in and around the Small-Hold. The red winged blackbirds and Robins have been back for a few weeks and looking rather depressed at the dead leaves and only slightly protruding buds around them. I saw the first of the yellow finches flying around over the weekend and the BoxElder bugs keep coming out from their hiding places and even finding their way into the house to attack my seedlings.

The huge flocks of Snow and Blue Geese have left and even the big Greater Canada Geese are thinning down into smaller groups as they cruise around looking for nesting sites.

In the city around our property we have there where the concrete makes it warmer, several of the yards are full of Dead Nettle and Henbit once again but out here there is not much noticeable change in vegetation as yet. The Bees and other insects are managing to get out every other day or so for a few brief hours in the afternoon but the nights are clear and cold while the days want to be mostly overcast and windy keeping temperatures down into the 40's at best.

I am still burning the wood stove most days with only a break here and there warming up enough to let it burn out.

It appears the weeks of warm false Spring weather in February and March that have been the norm for the last few years is not going to happen this year. Yes we did have a few warm days but nothing even remotely like what I have been growing used to. If anything it seems more like the March I remember from a decade and more ago. I am not necessarily counting this return to a longer cooler Spring as a bad thing. The damage has already been done to my bee population but it was a damned inconvenient time for a reset I can tell you that much.

The rain barrels were brought out this weekend as well and have already been filled and I have already managed to haul out the first load of bent and twisted metal gates, old wire and rusting equipment parts I am finding during this leg of brush reclamation. I have a long way to go with fence and junk clearing but I have already made a bunch of progress as well. It is amazing what you can find on a chunk of land that hasn't been maintained much for 30 years or more.

After giving it much thought I believe I am not going to add any experiments to the list for this coming Spring and Summer. I will continue with the pole bean breeding program and the sustainable bee growth (I hope) but rather than diverting time to any new experiments I believe I need to dedicate as much time as possible to projects this year. I certainly have more than enough to keep me busy that's for sure.

Hopefully I will be able to get the Broccoli and Cauliflower into the ground this weekend.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!


  1. buddy - based on normal previous winters we were sure to have the greenhouse built by now. march around here is normally a day of light snow that melts that day. but we still have 3-6cms of that god-awful white stuff and more coming tomorrow. needless to say - i am pulling my hair out! we are hoping to have the greenhouse built by the first week of april and will start tomatoes and peppers in the kitchen next week. it's been 4 straight weeks of gray and snow and crap and i am spending most of my days crying - bahahahahah! i am so late starting my plants, but it's just been too cold - even in the kitchen! come on spring! congrats on the rainbarrels tho...i could only wish to set them up this early!

    and good luck on your broccoli and cauliflower. you can probably put peas, kale, spinach and swiss chard in now, no?

    your friend,

    1. kymber - Yes this Winter weather seems to be hanging on everywhere. We got used to the milder temps I believe.

      Peas I have to wait until the tilled ground dries enough for me to get out in it. At present I will sink to my calves if I tried walking out into the garden. The broc and C-flower I plan on putting into raised beds I can work with. The spinach and other kale plants I leave for the Mrs. to mess with as I am not that fond of them :) She has her own raised beds that I have learned to pretend are not there :) and she almost always tries to sneak stuff into mine as well!!!

      Good to see you commenting again here. I thought maybe Jamby had done you in this time :)

  2. I've nominated you through my site for the liebster award, and I see you already have one.

    1. Awwww that's sweet though. Maybe I can add an oak leaf cluster to it :)

      Appreciate the thought I always forget about those awards.

  3. We have had the worst March as well. We had a couple of weeks of spring in February that caused all of our fruit trees to begin blooming and then a hard freeze. The blueberries hung on to their blossoms and one of the peach trees. The pears and plums are probably lost for the year.

    I had to put honey supers on the hive last month. I haven't checked them in a couple of weeks so I don't know what's going on there.

    My tomato and pepper plants are still in the sun room and were transplanted to larger pots. I am afraid to set them out.

    Where the heck is that global warming? I'm ready for it. This is Florida not the frozen tundra!

    1. MB - The early false Spring just about did all my apple trees in for two years running. The drought finished off one of them and the other old one isn't going to last long at this rate either.

      Looks like we maybe back to more historically normal patterns for this year anyway.


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