|Red Russian kale planted last fall and still growing.|
The days since then have definitely felt like spring to me.
|Georgia Southern Collards, yummy yum.|
So now you can see green stuff in the garden.
That's what makes it feel like spring, the green, not the warm days.
Green is the color of spring.
So this Groundhog Day has come and gone. I don't know about where you live, but any groundhog here (and yes we have groundhogs in Kansas) would have had to be quick about seeing his shadow. The sun came up in a hazy sky and seemed pretty wan most of the day, although during much of the morning I could see a shadow. It was another exceptionally warm and dry day, which means that the rest of the season, until the equinox will be wintry, according to ancient lore.
|The blackberries have been removed from more than half the|
blackberry bed, which has been reshaped and contained and will grow
lovely carrots in the loose dirt this spring and fall.
One other thing that has it feeling like spring is that I was looking around today noticing all of the projects to get done this spring -- there are always projects to do, that's not the spring thing -- but I was beginning to feel that tickle of panic worrying that I won't be able to get it all done. That sense of urgency that the season is passing by too quickly, that is spring. But it's only early February. Chill out girl.
|Figuring out how to prune this problematic|
William's Pride apple took a good long meditation.
The important thing with pruning fruit trees is to develop a good structure called "scaffolding." You pick a few good branches at the right location on the tree and cut away the rest. Crotch angle and vigor and balance are some of the things to look for. Phillips wrote that one should first approach the tree and take a deep breath, then sit in silence with the tree, looking at its shape and considering what its shape should look like. Then you start cutting.
Hubby and I made it through five trees yesterday (OK, four, it was too early to do the peach in our Sunset Grove). The task took several hours as each of us contemplated and considered, then we discussed and finally we pruned and trained. Yes, you can teach an apple tree tricks -- or rather, how to grow properly. It took plenty of twine and rocks to train these trees.
|A little pruning and training, and William's Pride|
has a better look.
It can look a little odd having all those bits of orange twine stretching from limb to ground, but next year when we remove it, we will have a better shaped tree.
In a few days, we will do some heading cuts on the laterals (the main branches growing horizontally from the trunk) to encourage the proper type of growth. Early pruning invigorates growth. During late spring and summer, we will cut out excess branching, as pruning at that time discourages new growth.
|Apricot tree in bloom last year.|
I did three trees today.
|Paw paw flowers.|
Hubby consulted while I did the work. He is suffering the injustice of being sick while on vacation. He thought he was improving yesterday, but today (his actual vacation day) was much worse. Interesting how that so often happens to people, getting sick as soon as vacation starts. I think it's a sign of too much stress on the job.
We've got three trees on order for planting this spring, two apples -- Ashmead's Kernal and Hudson's Golden Gem -- and a paw paw (variety, Mango). We are accumulating quite a selection of fruits. Last year I added a quince tree -- Aromatnaya -- along with the more ordinary grapes and blueberries. The fig tree is under wraps right now, although it probably didn't need the protection this year. A couple of honeyberry shrubs also are on their way. They supposedly taste like blueberries, but are easier to grow. We will see.
Here's hoping your Groundhog Day was a good one!
|Straw bales were packed around the fig tree (which was trained horizontally)|
to protect it from winter weather. The row cover helps hold loose straw
in place. More on fig growing later.