Worms and Flowers

Good Beginnings

Posted in Farmer's Almanac, Garden by Lzyjo on March 21, 2010

PhotobucketPhotobucketWhether  it’s education or building a house we know building a good foundation is the most important part. In the garden a good fence makes for a good foundation. I have a large bale of fence hanging around and I used it some last year, but for the first time I unrolled it totally. Now I have a good perimeter about 15′ by 10′ fenced in for all my precious greens coveted by the rabbits. The freshly plowed garden is so nice. I love having a clean slate to work with. The bare ground looks empty though. I’ve fixed that by planting my big bag of homegrown sunflower seeds. I have a good blend of different sunflowers that have dehybridized, which means things will be getting crazy when the multi-headed medusas start blooming. Even the seeds look wild. Mostly purple Photobucketwith some darker purple stripes and the odd grey seed here and there. Hybrid sunflowers are bred to make one big flower on one long stalk. When they revert back to their natural genes they produce flowers all along the stalk. In some cases hundreds of flowers on a single plant. While I was in the process of taking down last year’s fence before the plowing the cows invaded the area, munching everything down to the ground. Even my cabbage was gone. Luckily the Blue Solaize Leeks were still fine thanks to their sturdy “trunks” under the surface. I dug up the leeks and transplanted them to the front flower bed where they can flower and go to seed this summer. I can’t wait! Blue Solaize did really well over the winter for me. They survived our colder than average winter and looked pretty good to boot. So I’m excited to have seeds from them. I so love that blueish- green color of leeks. They’re starting to put out new growth again. Yay!

I’ve plotted the garden on paper in CorelDraw. I like to plot the garden on paper before I plant, but rarely have I followed the plan to a T. As you can see, I am PhotobucketPhotobucketgrowing corn again. Last year was AWFUL for my corn so this year I have decided to grow more! Much more! We’ll see. I choose Silver Queen becuase it fared the best of the three types I tried. I may end up regretting this decision, but I’m going to do a few things differently with the corn this time. Planting using the Square Foot Method and trying a baby oil/mineral oil trick I heard about for keeping the corn ear borers out.

This year I won’t be growing nearly as many hot peppers and I’m not starting any from seed. I have a few overwintered peppers and they should be more than enough. (More about them later.) Good grief, I had way too many last year. A few weeks ago I threw away pounds and pounds of hot peppers that were still in the freezer. I filled an entire white kitchen bag and it was HEAVY. It really smells like spring around here. While I’m weeding the beds the sweet smell of pansies and muscari drifts past my nose. The self-seeded pansies show their splendid variation. Tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths are already up and the Muscaris are blooming. Even the bees are busy, visiting the muscari, chickweed, and all the other flowers that bloom in an early Spring lawn.

According to my Farmer’s Almanac Calendar Friday, March 19th was St. Joseph’s Day, a feast day celebrated by Catholics, Lutherans to honor the father of Jesus, St. Joseph. Some Catholic countries like Spain and Portugal celebrate Father’s Day on St. Joseph’s Day. The Farm’s Almanac included this proverb.

If St. Joseph’s Day [is] clear,
so follows a fertile year.

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Here it was a clear as can be — the clearest weather we’ve had for a long time.

How was the weather on your St. Joseph’s Day? Do you think it’s going to be a fertile year?

Strong Spring Storms

Posted in Farmer's Almanac, Weather by Lzyjo on April 6, 2009

In the past week, here in Middle Tennessee, we’ve had a tornado warning, a tornado watch, flood warnings, and hail. The storm last night brought the most terrific lightning and thunder. Each rumble lasted about 10 seconds, becoming louder and louder, resonating like a chord of earth-shaking proportion. We have been lucky enough to escape the tornadoes and hail, where we are, but there are many others who haven’t been as lucky. ON a nearby rod there was a house that was nearly struck by a huge oak tree. It fell just next to the house, parallel to the wall, only taking off the gutter!

Last evening I was reading the weather bulletin for the latest Tornado Watch and Floor Warning. In the last paragraph the author exclusively stated that April and May are the peak tornado season in Middle Tennessee. This made me think and worry about all the wonderful Tennessee bloggers I’ve come to know. But we are lucky, although there are tornadic winds that swirl and like to lift things up, we don’t have it as bad as all those folks who live in the Midwest and the Great Plains.

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The weather we get here also travels straight up to the Northeast and New England, getting colder as it goes. Coming from an agricultural area, I can appreciate the risk of hail damaging entire crops. Especially at this time of year, entire crops of cherries, apricots, and peaches can be ruined by the hail.

The Farmer’s Almanac Weather Forecast is something I like to check periodically just for entertainment. According to the Farmer’s Almanac their weather predictions, formulated some two years before, are 80 to 85% accurate when compared to NOAA climatic data of actual weather conditions.

At least for the first three days of April they were dead on for the Southeast. Their prediction for April 1-3 said there would be severe thunderstorms, bringing a treat for tornadoes across the South Central and Southeastern States, from Texas to Georgia. The Farmer’s Almanac also predicted showers in the Southwest, rain and snow in the Northeast, and a slight clearing over the Great Lakes, North Central Sates, and Northwest.

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