I’ll start off by saying that my digital camera died so I’ll be using only older photos for a while.
The weather’s been a roller-coaster ride in my side yard garden. We had some 80s in mid-February, then back to near freezing nights on at least two different occasions. Some of my seedlings got planted in the soil during the 80+ days; cucumbers, which are 12″ to 18″ and melons, which have’t grown much at all. I also planted five tomatoes, and they actually look better than the ones still in the 6-packs. I’m waiting on planting these because, yet again, the weather is going to turn cold this week.
Weeds are a big problem in my side yard garden during the summer; from June through September they just take over, and my side yard garden isn’t an easy place to run a mower. This spring, before the weeds gained a serious foothold, I took action and, with help from my yard guys, I laid down some serious landscape fabric with a layer of leaf litter on top. The little bit I put down a few years ago has worked really well, and it also makes my side yard garden look really neat and tidy.
Our strange winter weather has confused my plum trees. The Gulf Blaze had an enormous bloom, quite early, and set a large amount of fruit which is already a good size. The Gulf Rose barely bloomed, but had a better leaf flush, and has set only twenty or so fruits. Some of the rhubarb survived the earlier hard freezes and is producing some lovely stalks. The citrus has been blooming nonstop for weeks and there are many tiny fruits forming. The rabbit eye blueberry bushes are in full bloom, too. Both the Negronne and Tena figs are setting some breba crop. The persimmon has a nice leaf set and the nectarine has broken dormancy and is starting to bloom.
The olive trees appear to be getting ready to send out new growth and blooms which is a wonderful thing. A few winters back the weather was quite cold and wet, and the olives contracted a fungal infection. In an effort to save them I decided to stump them all, then wait to see if they regrew from the stumps, which I’m happy to report, they did. I’m hoping to have olives once again this year.
This past winter the kale crop has been exceptional, so it’s a good thing that I like kale. Last year the Curly Scottish kale stayed marginally productive throughout the summer, and perked up again in the cooler season. This summer I plan to experiment with Red Russian and Lacinto to see if they survive the summer and recover for the fall/winter season.