Monday, January 29, 2024

January 2024

 I've always liked change and new beginnings, so January is a time of planning, adjusting, and dreaming for me. In spite of weather challenges, I usually begin some gardening in January.

So January usually sends a little dash of cold water (ice) onto my optimism. The whole lake froze over in a very cold 5 days when days never got over 25 degrees, and nights were in the single digits. On the plus side:
For the first I've ever seen, we had ice flowers form on the ice. They were scattered all over the lake, and only lasted for about one day, but were definitely something great to see.

Ten days later, we are in record warm temperatures - ice is gone both in the lake and on the ground. When it first started warming, there was a layer about 8" deep of gumbo mud on top of the still frozen ground underneath. I managed to get my golf cart stuck to where when I tried to pull it out with the tractor, I nearly got the tractor stuck. I finally had to call Ron for help before I had all the machinery mired in the mud. :(

Today, things are looking up! I got all the raspberries trellised and ready for new growth. Just in time as they are starting to have buds and a few new leaves.

There are signs of spring everywhere now. The heather is blooming nicely and the forsythia has buds all over. Iris are starting to send out new leaves. No sign of daffodils or tulips yet, but my sister on Camano Island has them popping up already, so it won't be long now.
Meanwhile, I've been organizing the greenhouse, starting and cloning some plants, and getting my seed collection ready to go in the ground.

The red mat is a heated mat, and the thermostat on the pole keeps it at 66 degrees.

I've been saving the individual size milk bottles for seeds. I like that I can see through them and they are all the same size so they are easy to store. I'm trying to use only heirloom seeds so that I can collect seeds myself. This is the first year I've been organized about saving seeds.