The Late Winter Farm And Garden Report
by the other theo
It was a very dry winter in California. Parts of Northern California did not receive ANY rain in the month of January for the first time since record keeping began.
With what rain there was this winter, the lawn began to turn from brown to green and required mowing 2-3 times already. It’s trashed. The grass has only begun to re-grow in clumps and all sorts of weeds are opportunistically moving into the dead spots.
The rosemary is feeling decidedly prolific. It’s been blooming fantastically for the last few weeks, and the bees are loving it. It’s enough to tempt one to take up beekeeping.
The geraniums are also starting to recover. I gave them some organic fertilizer tea a few weeks ago, and they are really bouncing back after last summer. This picture is a little outdated. All these plants have many more blooms on them today. I’m hopeful that I can plug the heads of parts of the sprinkler system so I can regularly water the geranium and rosemary flower beds and let the grass go brown. I want to conserve water in the drought, but let a few things survive.
Moving to some potted herbs in the back patio, this thyme plant is reviving after a transplant to a larger pot on its own. It originally shared a smaller, crowded planter box (the edge is on the right of the photo) with several other plants. It was not doing well.
The lime tree we planted last Spring is flowering. It flowered last year too, and produced some small buds that I suppose theoretically could have turned into fruit. Lack of water last summer caused it to shed those buds. I am determined to take better care of it this summer.
Here, I modified the sprinkler system to give the lime tree it’s own special sprinkler head. There is one sprinkler circuit dedicated to the planting beds along the perimeter of the back yard, including the lemon and lime trees. As with the geraniums and rosemary elsewhere, I’d like to run this circuit somewhat regularly to conserve water but preserve our fruit trees.
Our Meyer lemon tree is now flowering. It weathered the lack of water last summer by holding on to its fruit, but it not flower through the Fall as it usually does. Thanks to additional water this winter, it is now making up for lost time. This picture is also a little old; its blooms are now legion.
Finally, our calla lilies are up and blooming. To understand why they are popular at funerals, you only need look at the plants: the lush, green bed here along the side of the house can be brown, desert-dry, and hard as a rock during the summer and yet this happens when water is added. The plant truly is the Resurrection embodied.