Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Icy Mid-April Update


Well, here we are in mid-April…or are we?

Our driveway (aka the ice rink)

Icy Sedum

Can't deny the beauty, though

We just came through 3 days of hibernation.  There was on & off freezing rain the entire weekend, culminating with an ice storm that started on Sunday evening.

The good news is that it wasn’t as bad as the 2013 ice storm, in our area anyhow.  After that particular storm, hydro crews worked for months cutting back trees that were anywhere near hydro lines.  They obviously did a good job as our power, which always seemed to go out at the slightest provocation (Is that thunder?  Better get out the flashlights…) has been more reliable and, miracle of miracles, it actually stayed on during the ice storm.

Look Ma – an ice storm and electricity at the same time!

What isn’t a surprise is that everything is delayed this year and, while I’m current with indoor seeding, my outdoor to-do list is getting longer and longer.  By mid-April I should have:  sown the turnips, peas & favas and transplanted onions, shallots, kohlrabi, collards & kale.  It’s been too cold to even harden anything off which will add yet another week to the transplanting schedule.

Kolibri kohlrabi that should have been transplanted outside last week

Other than transplanting, many other outdoor chores are also piling up such as setting up the irrigation and re-edging the ornamental beds (which I like to get done as early in the season as possible).  And, since I wanted to be prepared at the first sign of good weather, there's 30 yards of mulch sitting on our driveway – good thing we had a tarp big enough to cover it!

Big ol' pile of mulch - such a lovely sight...if it wasn't for the snow.

This week, we are still expecting colder than normal temps until Saturday at the earliest.  But then….it’s game on!

If the prediction of seasonal weather by this weekend materializes, then I should "only" be two weeks behind on the cool season crops.  The narrow window between winter and summer may mean a rather meager crop of peas and favas, but some is better than none.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to transplant the rest of the seedlings in a timely manner.

Pepper seedlings don't go outside until May, so no worries there at least

On a brighter note, I received an ice plant from Valleybrook Gardens at a recent GWA meeting and it's been under the grow lights, waiting to go outside.  It's now rewarding me with some gorgeous blooms - a little bit of much needed sunshine in all this gloomy weather.

Delosperma Jewel of the Desert Grenade
This beauty is hardy to zone 4 (CND)/5 (US) & is going into one of the borders

There is one possible positive with our exceedingly long winter this year.  I have yet to harvest any nectarines & my early plum harvest was dismal last year due to late frosts.  All the consistently cold weather means that, by the time the fruit trees start flowering, there’s a good chance that the risk of frost will be long gone.  I may just be biting into my first ever nectarine this year…now THAT would definitely be a silver lining!

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” ~~ Robert Brault

18 comments:

  1. My goodness, you wouldn't believe it's April looking at those photos. Let's hope the cold weather has killed off all the nasties and that you have bumper crops this year, once you manage to get the plants outdoors. We're due some nice weather for the rest of the week here, fingers crossed that it arrives as it hasn't been very nice today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's crazy, isn't it? Yes, that's another good positive - we had such issues last year with slugs and aphids in particular. Wouldn't it be nice if this weather helped keep those numbers down.

      Hopefully your forecasters were right about the nice weather this week; I keep checking to see if they've changed their opinion on the upcoming weekend warmup and so far so good.

      Delete
  2. Oh yikes, enough already! I would be out of my mind with your endless winter. Will you even get a spring this year or will you just segue straight into summer? You are doing a fabulous job with your indoor gardening, those seedlings all look so happy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michelle. These days, it's so hard to say what the season will bring...and whether summer will even arrive on time. We just have to go with the flow and take whatever Mother Nature chooses to dish out, I guess!

      Delete
  3. Wow, I can't even imagine! We are having a cool spring but that means it is beautiful, breezy and my garden is happy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lucky you! I'm definitely not happy, but I'm not sure if my garden is happy or not - maybe it's enjoying sleeping in ;) P.S. Looking forward to catching up with you and Shawn in 2 short weeks!

      Delete
  4. OK, now that is quite a coating of ice! I'm not going to complain anymore about the several inches of new fluffy snow today (yeah, I lied; I will complain). But seriously, ice is the worst! Jeepers, this is ridiculous, isn't it? Poor migrating birds--that's what I keep thinking. That Ice Plant is so pretty--and so appropriate as a counter to the "ice" outside. Warm thoughts from here on out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes - warm thoughts! I'm so tired of complaining about the weather this spring - but I feel that we are more than justified - it truly is absolutely ridiculous! I'm wondering how long it will take for all this to be a distant memory once the warm-up starts this weekend. Can't wait to get out there!

      Delete
  5. It’s certainly been an unfriendly start to the new season. We are behind schedule too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seems like that's the case near and far on both sides of the Atlantic. Fingers crossed for drier, warmer weather for both of us.

      Delete
  6. Well at least the power stayed on, and with the new lights you've probably got enough grow space to handle the backlog. I'm hoping that the hard winter got most of the Japanese beetles, they have been getting worse every year around here. Things will break loose soon and the cold will be a distant memory - until next year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's my thought exactly - we had so many critters last year, some of which I can't recall seeing here before, like potato beetles AND cucumber beetles. Hopefully they too were caught off guard by this freaky weather. We do have short term memories when it comes to the weather, don't we?? I'm already telling people to remind me of all this if I start complaining about how hot it is this summer!

      Delete
  7. I think you got it much worse than us! I am hoping today is the turing point for nice weather! Nancy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have some brassicas and onions hardening off right now - so excited to finally get started!

      Delete
  8. So that looks a lot worse than what we've been dealing with. Hope you get your nectarines this year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The sun is shining & birds are chirping now...things are definitely looking up! Now that I can see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, if we DO get some nectarines, it may just have been worth it :)

      Delete
  9. An ice storm in April, how awful. Ice storms are terribly scary and they're so hard on trees. But your peppers and kohlrabi look happy under their lights. Most of my peppers are small still with most just starting to form their first true leaves, aw well we'll see how it plays out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far, not too much damage - there were some downed trees here and there, but nothing like 4 years ago where multiple trees were down on seemingly every street right across the province. There's still a month until we can plant out the peppers - I don't want them to grow too fast (not often I say that!). Your season is so long - I'm sure you still have plenty of time & will end up with a bumper crop.

      Delete

I appreciate and thoroughly enjoy all of your lovely comments :) Please note that in order to foil those pesky spammers, comment moderation has been enabled for older comments.