Thursday, May 30, 2013
I had a list of things I really needed to get done today about as long as my arm. We are just coming off three straight days of off and on rain and I dumped about 4.5 inches of water out of my gauge this morning. The weather guys are forecasting another three to four more days of the same stuff starting tomorrow. Jeez.
Luckily there were high winds today and we are kinda reaching the point where the water is coming slow enough in bursts that the ground is better able to take it and dry a bit more than it does in early Spring. By afternoon I could actually get out into parts of the garden thanks mostly to that hot breeze coming out of the South.
As an added note that breeze also has me worried. We usually get our weather from the West and maybe slightly South (Thanks Sandy!!) out of Southern Kansas and Oklahoma but last year when the drought hit most of the winds blew up almost directly South. I pray we are not getting set up for another Summer like 2012.
Anyway my list included things like refilling the syrup feeders to working on the cistern cover frame to even beginning the mowing rounds once again. Priorities however had to come into play so as soon as it was dry enough I needed to get the pile of grass clippings into the garden or I was going to lose them all. I also really needed to check the honey supers on Plymouth colony.
Plymouth was the only hive I had that came through the drought and the harsh Winter almost stronger than it went in. It is positively booming and busting with bees and I am thinking about making a split off of it next week but I am still a bit gun shy about weakening any of my hives after this last year. Anyway I checked their honey super and although there wasn't much capped honey yet every frame was filled with uncapped honey they were drying out. I went ahead and added a third super for them to fill up as well. Typically I should be getting some capped frames about now but due to the rains and cooler weather things still seem to be running about two weeks behind schedule.
Since Plymouth colony is in the wooded North apiary I was able to check it even with the high winds because the smoker worked there. Not so at Jamestown Colony (I know I named it) up at the garden apiary. It is booming with bees as well but with winds so I high I would have had to open it up without the smoker and there was no way I was going to do that and then work in the garden some 30 or 40 feet away all afternoon.
So after all those rounds were finished and the new hives had their syrup bottles refilled it was time to tackle that pile of grass clippings.
I really wanted to spread them out to dry better but in this weather I would not have any left if I had done that. Luckily the top few inches was dry enough to put around my tomatoes and the wet stuff under that then became the heavier sheets that went over the large open areas the zucchini and squash will eventually vine out over. The stuff in the middle was heating up nicely and was way to hot and wet yet to use on tender plants but for the massive areas I leave for vine plants to lay on it was perfect and should mat down nicely and kill any weeds that try to come in. Except the hated morning glory and bindweeds of course.
I have cautioned before that putting clippings down as mulch when it is too hot or wet will cause massive nitrogen build up and will sometimes burn tender new plants up. Yet out away from the plants int he areas I want to keep weed free and have a cushion for my fruits and veggies to grow on hot and wet isn't a big deal. I really don't care if it burns up the weeds and by the time the vines get out that far it will be all dried and leeched out anyway.
I put it on thick. Sixteen wheelbarrow loads worth but the zucs and tomato areas are finished and that puts me almost a month ahead of schedule for normal grass mulching. It would have taken me at least three or four mowings and raking up the stuff normally to get this much. Of course it wasn't as dry as I like but leaving the clipping out to dry like I usually do has left me with nothing the last few mowings with this rain and wind.
I think I need to invest in a grass catcher to use for now on.
So my weeding is half finished for good already this year and I also managed to add four wheelbarrow loads of side manure in as well. This better be a good garden year for what I have left. I have already written off two rows of bush beans due to lack of sprouting, rabbit damage and weeds because of the rain. I knew there was a real possibility I would get a poor germination rate off those old seeds so no great loss but the Small-Hold pole beans are coming in nicely and am having good feelings for the continuation of that experiment now.
So all is caught up and ahead of schedule. Swarms are still not showing up like I had hoped and the storms and wind is beating up my fruit trees bad so far.
Just got to wait for this weather pattern to break.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!