January 15th: A winter reminder

It’s been tees & shorts weather for a week, but two light freezes have reminded us to keep the insulated coveralls at the ready. And we are, ready that is. Pipes are insulated, plants are mulched, and heaters are going in the barn for the chicks and in the greenhouse for the seedlings.

My go-to: 50-cell deep seed starting flats.

Yesterday, the remaining veggies got down for setting out in March: eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, and multiple brassicas. A new one was added: cape gooseberry, a tasty fruit tasting like a mix of kiwi and tomatoes. There’s magic in every seed.

That includes the flower seeds. While zinnia and sunflowers don’t like their roots disturbed (read: don’t transplant well), many flowers do. We’ve got plenty of flowers to move out when the frost danger is past.

A recommendation on seed starting pots if you fight your inner procrastinator: deep cell. I use 50-cell flats that are 5″ deep. I buy mine by the case at Greenhouse Megastore but you can sometimes buy smaller amounts at Johnny’s but they often sell out. Of course, an online search will likely produce a harvest of sources.

Red maple buds–one of the first honeybee food sources to appear in the spring.

Our mid-winter chore list for the day looks like this:
1. Feed & care for the flock. Hens are laying well, and some chicks have started to recover from the fowl pox but sadly, two succumbed this past week.
2. Feed the bees. They’re still voraciously downing food: sugar water and pollen. But there’s hope for wild forage soon: we saw red maple blooming during a hike into the swamp. Red maple is a southern bee’s jump-start food.
3. Weed, mulch, gather eggs, and a little straightening up will round out the day’s to-do.

Big Tom led the way on a recent hike into the swamp where we saw Acer rubrum, red maple, starting to bloom.

Published by c ben-iesau

From L.A. to LA... I'm a New Orleans based artist and writer.

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