It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, but I visit the site a few times a week. I’ve been tying flies late on Friday and Saturday nights. My garden activities for the most part this past winter involved feeding the birds and critters in the back yard.
We lost four Doves to Hawks this winter. The most striking was on our first real snow storm in about three years. We received seven inches of snow, a nice relief from the sleet we have been getting. I was home from work and going out to feed the critters every few hours as the snow accumulated and at about three went out to find a pile of feathers all over the deck. I knew it was the hawk as there were no tracks in and no tracks out. We also have a small squirrel with a missing front paw.
I wintered my potted spices in the garage and we had a really cold winter. Unlike last winter when the ice was off the creek for good in early January, this year it stayed until March. The soil froze in the pots and stayed that way for weeks. We had many nights with wind chills below zero or in the single digits and quite a few days. I lost two of four Rosemary plants and a third one, my three year old, is very slow to recover and I may not get it back. The two hot and spicy oreganos died and one of two golden oreganos died. The other golden has a few leaves but may not survive. My three year old oregano has new growth and I think it is going to live. My third Rosemary was adopted by my wife and lives a sheltered life in front of the window, next to the kitchen sink. It gets trimmed often.
My hops are doing great. I was worried about the hard freeze for so many months. The end of last month they started to poke through. Where there were five Northern Brewer bines last year, I have about thirty. Where I had my single Cascade I now have a dozen. The new growth I tried to start by burying bines near the end of the season has not come up, but I would not be surprised if they did.
I cut my grass for the second time this past Thursday. I am going to go out and kill the weeds with spray instead of granules. After that I am going after the Dandelions naturally by cutting the roots and pulling them out. An acquaintance at work that does landscaping put a thread in my head. His thoughts were about the decline in the Honey Bee population being associated with the increased use of weed killers on lawns. If people and pets should avoid exposure early in application, doesn’t it make sense that Bee exposure to these chemicals at any time could weaken their immune systems to where they are defenseless against parasites. Hummmm. I think this would be a good study for a University or The Agriculture Department (any Agricultural Dept. state, province or federal) to undertake. Another thought on this subject: If the Honey Bee is in decline, Why is it I see more honey in large quantities for sale in retail stores?
On the planting front, I planted three varieties of Romaine Lettuce before Easter. They were about ¼” last Sunday when I went to my Green Grocer for fruit. His plants were up to 4” tall. I bought three packs of six and planted them in individual pots today. I also picked up two creeping Rosemary plants and transplanted them today.