Category Archives: sun

65 Degrees at Christmas- My Bulbs are Sprouting

Welcome to Christmas season 2015 and in Central Virginia a time of spring-like temperatures have delivered a very warm and unseasonable Christmas holiday.

Now the lack of fireplace use and chestnut is not the only concern with this weather,especially if you are a gardener.

This warm weather has caused many trees to begin budding early and many flowering bulbs have sprouted after the short cold period early in the fall.

Will the flowers be ruined for spring time color? Will they be damaged?

What about the trees? AND

Is there anyting we can do to counter the problem?

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There is not much threat of damage if the bulbs do not flower and only the green leaves sprout. There is a good chance that the flower will arrive in spring , though it may be ealier than is the norm. Do not to do anything to try and help the bulbs. The flowers are still inside the bulbs.

Mulching is not recommended as this may kill the plant and bulb and prevent future growth. A heavy spread of frozen mulch can do more damage than strange weather. Now a light spread of compost or composted mulch around and on the leaves might be helpful – I would suggest that the leaves still be visible and open to the sun. Photosynthesis cn still occur and the bulbs will remain viable. You may still lose the bloom this year but the bulb will survive to produce another season.

There is even less that can be done for trees that have begin to Bud Out.

Be patient, enjoy the weather since snow shovels may be needed soon enough and this warmth will be gone.

Finally summer- like and Some dry sunny days.

Now that the hottest week of summer has passed and the early summer rainy season has passed. The plants have a chance dry out and grow. After several weeks of wet-feet the plants that survived now have the chance to grow and produce flowers and fruit. Image

After 3 sunny days without rain the sun and dry warm earth gave the wet plants a chance to grow and start producing. A slow growing cucumber took off, grew 18” and produced the first cucumber of the season, tomatoes grew 3-6” each and the cabbage started to fill out. Herbs that had been doing well took off, rosemary went from 12’ to 26”, parsley filled out and winter savory exploded in size. Greens remained leggy and will be turned under as a manure and 2nd planting of green beans were removed after bugs took over. The new beans sprouted in 5 days and are about to climb the bamboo teepee- time to keep them protected and sprayed with a little soap and onion tea….

Now a week later the melons and squash are flowering and climbing. They should be fruiting  soon and if I can keep them wet enough  and producing food .  I have 2 kinds of melons plus 2 winter squash and some fun patty-pan summer squash. No Zucchini or crookneck squash this year( plenty from friends). Image

Recent floods didn’t seem to tear my garden up as much as some of my neighbors, the pallet based raised beds seem to be helping. The goal at the end of the season will be to build up double-decker or triple level pallets for deeper root options and to better handle heavy rains. The raised beds will also make it easier to control irrigation in the event of dry or drought like summer.

The hugelkultur hill I built seems to be working well but I need to perfect the process. I have plans to build at least 1 more.

I have started some fall kale and it seems to be coming up nicely and I will thin it shortly.

  I have collards and beets for another fall crop and will some start some garlic for next year.