Monday, January 3, 2022

The return of winter, spring plans

Two weeks of abnormally warm and tropical weather spanning the Christmas holidays have given way to a blustery, cold, wet and somewhat abrupt return to winter. Thunderstorms (in January!) with lots of rain and wind blew through last night, bringing in the change. Happy New Year!

On New Year's Day I finally got around to planting the big bag of daffodil bulbs I found on a clearance rack at Lowe's last month. I knew that a lot of rain was in the immediate forecast, so it seemed like a good time to plant. It is awfully late, though. I think bulbs are best planted in the fall, so they may not bloom for me this year. Or at all. Who knows? They were cheap and there were a lot of them (45) so maybe we'll see a few daffodils. They're planted in clumps around our Crepe Myrtle trees, and they're supposed to be King Alfred types.

In other gardening news, I've come to a sad realization about the garden I'm planning for this year. Last fall we built a large raised bed out of the edging stones left on our property from the last owner. It looks great and I was really looking forward to using it! Well, yesterday we sat down to figure out how many cubic feet of compost and topsoil we would need to fill in the space, and then went online to price said compost and topsoil, and I got a nasty surprise. Even with the best possible deals from landscaping suppliers, it would take upwards of $500 to fill in the space! We still need so many things for our house that I just can't justify spending that kind of money for garden dirt. Sigh. So now I'm rethinking the raised bed thing altogether and may have to settle for a regular ground level garden. Then there's the prospect of having to move all those stones we built the bed with. My back aches just thinking about it!

So that's disappointing, but I remain firm in the conviction that I need a large garden this year. I'll just have to make it happen in a different way for the time being.

Tomorrow, I go back to work. It's been a fantastic break, and I'm a bit sad to see it end, but I'll be glad to get back to normal. "Back to normal" may not be so normal, though, because all of a sudden the new omicron variant of Covid has exploded around here. It's gotten so bad that even without a state mandate, I doubt we'll have enough staff to keep schools open once the holiday exposures really start to show up. I hope I'm wrong about that; time will tell. 


32 comments:

  1. We got a storm last night too! Thunder and wind and rain. And now it's chilly again.
    You'll figure out a garden but damn- that is a lot of money for dirt. There has to be a cheaper way. But if not- yes- you can just make a flat garden.
    Omicron is exploding here too. Everywhere, I guess. We don't quite know how we should be handling it, I think.
    Stay safe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sad that a large raised bed garden is so expensive to fill. My one large flat bed was very productive last year, though, so I suppose it's not hopeless. Just disappointing.

      Delete
  2. We got a storm last night too, and it snowed! No school today. I dread going back because our covid numbers are way way up too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The crazy thing is NO ONE is acting like anything's amiss! I went to the grocery store early and 3/4 of the customers weren't wearing masks. Meanwhile local businesses are shutting down temporarily because so many people are out sick!

      Stay safe, Michael, and I'll try to do the same.

      Delete
  3. We had record breaking highs over Christmas then down to single digits with snow for the new year. There are lots of fast weather changes for all of us these days! Could you leave the stones in place and just do a flat garden there? The stones would be nice edges for the garden. Also you can easily make your own compost year round by saving veggie scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells and such. They even make containers you can rotate to mix it in. Just a thought. Good luck going back to school. I know everyone will be happy to see you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd like to start a compost pile, but it would take forever to produce enough to even begin to fill the raised beds. But it's a very worthwhile thing to do!

      Delete
  4. I agree that it will be difficult to keep anything open or running with omicron: stores, restaurants, schools, airlines. It's everywhere! I don't know how daffs (or any bulb) reacts if planted late. I did tulips many years ago in the fall and they start coming up in winter (like now) and bloom late March-April. Daffs are usually earlier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll report back on the daffodils and let you know!

      Delete
  5. The weather here is nuts. We were in shorts and bare feet Saturday, and today we're all bundled up!!

    I wish we had real leaders in charge instead of McDisaster. We need a mask mandate to nip this shiz in the bud.

    ReplyDelete
  6. If you know someone who has a truck you can borrow, Google 'top soil,' there are some really great deals out there if you pick it up yourself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm thinking that might be worth checking on!

      Delete
  7. On the other hand, compost and topsoil aren't going to get cheaper in the future and, once the raised bed is filled, it's filled and you can save money from all the veggies you could grow in it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are good points, but I still can't justify spending that kind of money right now. Also, I grew a nice harvest of tomatoes last year in a regular flat garden bed...so for 2022 at least I'll probably have to do that again.

      Delete
  8. I hope you find a way to fill your raised beds. Did you harvest $600 worth of produce?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not last year, probably more around $200 worth.

      Delete
  9. Maybe you can find another source for the soil and compost. When O.K built the raised bed for his mother‘s birthday two years ago, he filled the lowest level with hedge cuttings from his parents‘ garden. The soil and compost came from an institution looking after young people from disadvataged families. They run their own gardens for veg & fruit and keep hens etc., and are always ready to part with some of their produce (compost & soil in this case) against a small donation. Maybe there are similar organisations in your area, where you could ask around.
    I am very happy with my break, too, but it will be ok to get back to (sort of) normal next week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds like a wonderful resource! I suppose it's worth looking into, although I kind of doubt we have anything that nice and progressive around here.

      Delete
  10. Such a shame about the raised bed. In 1992, SG suggested two raised, amorphous hosta beds in our front yard. He said he’d do all the work and the plants weren’t expensive. The topsoil (8 cubic yards) was delivered in a huge pile on tarps on our front lawn. He had to go out of town on business for a week. A huge rainstorm was coming. I had to move all the soil ahead of the storm. $1,000 later and we had our hosta beds. We sold the house to move to California a year later!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Damn! What a story! Also, around 8 cubic yards is what I need for my bed.

      Delete
  11. I'm rather hoping that this latest Omicron wave - challenging though it will be - will be the beginning of the end as we move towards a true herd immunity. Meanwhile, I too must sort the garden for the coming year - not my favourite job to be honest, but it will be worth it in the end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My favorite part of the garden is ordering the seeds (after poring over the catalogs!) and then later when the harvest starts! It's the in-between time that's so much toil!

      Delete
  12. Sorry about your garden dilemma. I know you will figure out a way to make it work. You did such a great job with your garden last year!
    Stay safe!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Bummer on the garden cost shock. I'm sort of in the same boat, but with building the beds.

    I wouldn't remove the stones - filling the beds doesn't *have* to be a one-shot deal, especially if it's for vegetables or annuals. If for perennials, pick out where the biggest plants like shrubs will be and fill those spots, put annuals in the rest. Next year pick out the next set of plants...and repeat until the beds are filled. Even for veggies & annuals, fill one spot and leave the rest flat, next year fill the next spot, etc. In fact it could work in your favor - tomato blights build up in soil, so filling a different spot for several years might cut down chances of the plants giving up the ghost right as they start producing. Or add a couple of inches on the whole garden every year as budget allows. And if that doesn't work out, you can always take the stones out later if plans change.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of good things to think about here. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to leave some advice! :)

      Delete
  14. Thank for providing good information for site,Thanks for your sharing.
    Game Fish Shooting
    Play Football

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'd leave the raised bed, myself and spend next summer filling it. Keep an eye out at your local big box stores. You can get torn bags of potting soil and top soil cheaply in my neck of the woods. I'd also buy a composter and begin composting my own waste. It might take longer, but you'll fill that raised bed.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow! That's a drag about the dirt. I wonder if you could just use fill dirt, like you buy by the truckload, and mix compost into it? Maybe you shouldn't dismantle the bed, though, especially if you'd just have to rebuild it again later.

    (Oh, I'm now seeing the size of the bed -- 8 CU. Seems doable?)

    We don't start work until next Monday but I agree about Covid -- I don't see how schools will stay open with the Omicron cases as rampant as they are.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I like your blog,I sincerely hope that your blog a rapid increase in
    traffic density,which help promote your blog and we hope that your blog is being updated.
    Baccarat Online_បាការ៉ាត់អនឡាញ
    បាការ៉ាត់អនឡាញ _Baccarat Online

    ReplyDelete
  18. since the apt owners have curtailed our gardens and only allow us to have 3 large pots for plants or veggies I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to plant.Got my Bakers seed catalogue..want to do a few herbs in my big pot and maybe some purple flowers I found..the gg girls love purple.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I lost my job few months back and there was no way to get income for my family, things was so tough and I couldn't get anything for my children, not until a met a recommendation on a page writing how Mr Bernie Wilfred helped a lady in getting a huge amount of profit every 6 working days on trading with his management on the cryptocurrency Market, to be honest I never believe it but I took the risk to take a loan of $1000. and I contacted him unbelievable and I was so happy I earn $12,500 in 6 working days, the most joy is that I can now take care of my family I don't know how to appreciate your good work Mr. Bernie Doran God will continue to bless you for being a life saver I have no way to appreciate you than to tell people about your good services.
For a perfect investment and good strategies contact Mr Bernie Doran via WhatsApp :+1(424)285-0682 or Telegram : @Bernie_doran_fx or Email : Bernie.doranfx01@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete