Saturday, May 11, 2024

Spring is in full swing!

Spring is finally here to stay... although the weather can surprise us in ND.

After calling 811 for utility locating, we used the
flags to mark the lilacs for mowing.
We've planted some fruit trees and a row of lilacs after finally remembering the deadline for the soil conservation district and ordering them a few months ago. One doesn't think of planting in the arctic weather of January, but that's when orders have to be made to have trees for May pick-up. 

And we had a nice wet couple of weeks here. Everything is green!

The rhubarb and strawberries woke up before the last of the freezing nights were done. This morning I counted over half a dozen blossoms on my growing strawberry patch already and pulled one blossom stalk off the rhubarb (after ripping out one of the three plants to make more room for the strawberry patch to expand and because I get way more rhubarb than I need from the other two plants). And the raspberries are all leafed out now too, so blossoms should be starting on those soon.

Grapes are budding out--both survived the winter. Woohoo! šŸ„³  However, it appears that the vines have to be a certain thickness to survive and wake up. The smaller plant is only budding at the base, although there might be a small bud further up. The bigger plant (two years old) has clear buds about three feet up on the main vine, and that's the plant that gave us a few small grapes last year already. I'll prune dead vines and lesser vines after I see a few main trunks. I just added fertilizer to those today for the year.

This morning was pretty calm for wind, so we burned the debris in our garden from last year. Most of it burned but some was too wet, so we tossed that into the compost bin after it cooled and then soaked it down again because compost needs to be kept wet. Other years it's been too dry to burn so hubby mowed the cornstalks to chop them up instead. We didn't plant as much corn last year because no one else is really eating it. This year we're skipping corn entirely.

Hubby is tilling the garden today. We'll let that settle probably until next week and plan the layout before then. The perennials have their own section now, so that doesn't change. Hubby will have his section for his peppers (bells, seranos, and jalapeƱos), which are being hardened before transplanting, along with two tomato plants. He likes making his own salsa, so he's planned that out. I just need my winter onions to grow big enough to share. I love cooking with onions, so I go through a lot. 

Also, without corn taking up room in the garden, I'm planning on putting in four rows of peas instead of two. Legumes are a great rotation crop, and these sweet peas are delicious, even thawed after freezing. I put away a lot last year. This year I'm sure I'll get sick of them but will have more to share with family and friends. Other than that, it'll be a couple of cucumber plants, some of which we'll turn into homemade pickles but mostly give away to family and friends. This year I also bought holy basil seeds. I love holy basil as a seasoning and the flowers are beautiful and attract insects.

And then there's the usual pumpkin patch. We gut some for seeds, then cook and puree the flesh that we want to share with family and friends and the rest get gutted for seeds and turned into decorations. We put in the pumpkins well outside the garden because one plant can take over the garden.

So, gardening season is finally here!

It's also riding season. I'm hoping to have enough good days to give Buddy more of my time.


Other than that, writing is going well. Book 19 of Starfire Angels: Forgotten Worlds is over 32,500 words and will have another 10-15K words on it before it's finished. It kind of turned into a mini Game of Thrones but without the debauchery and complete lack of ethics. How can I do that? Trust me, I can create a power play without sex, gore, and killing a bunch of characters. If you focus on an actual story instead of sensationalism, there's plenty you can do, especially when you still have the science fiction side of the series to consider. And there are dragons; not fire-breathing, but a type of dragon that is more plausible to the world. I hope to finish ALL THE KING'S MEN by June 1. Then I'll edit HOMECOMING and get that out... hopefully by the end of June.

Thanks for reading and have a blessed day!

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