February 2016

On Thanksgiving Day my wife was taking an apple pie I had made to the neighbors
and fell going up their steps and broke her arm. But she did not even disturb a crumb on the pie,
it survived. So, needless to say, the weeks in between then and now have been rather busy, but not in gardening.
I was able to plant the Glacier tomatoes on the 19th of December and now they are about 5 inches tall
and I can see small blossoms starting to form. Other years I have planted them just after Thanksgiving,
but I have a hard time keeping enough light on them.
This should work out better this year. I will plant more Glacier tomatoes the last of January
to have plants for the tomato propagation class at Red Butte Garden on the 5th of March.
This has been a great class to teach over the last 10 years or so.
If you are interested, get in touch with Red Butte Garden and get registered.
I ordered seeds before Christmas and before the first of the year they had been delivered.
Last year I planted a carrot named Baltimore Hybrid. It is one of the best tasting carrots I have tried.
For broccoli I plant the Coronado Crown Hybrid that produces large main heads
and then when the main head is removed the side shoots continue for the rest of the summer.
My dog is a great fan of the broccoli, but mainly likes the stems.
A squash called Perfect Pick Hybrid is a zucchini squash that is unique.
It is parthenocarpic, which means it needs no pollination to set fruit , so it can be nearly seedless.
I have been planting it for years and this solves the problem with the first fruits withering up on the vines
because no pollination has taken place.
I have forty or so Pelargonium cuttings in the basement that are starting to bloom.
I transplanted them in mid November in individual 4 inch pots.
I need to now cut the centers out so they will branch out.
A few years ago I didn’t cut them back and ended up with a mess when I tried to plant them
in the spring. I normally save some of the mother plants and put them
in the basement window to overwinter,
but this year I only saved two varieties that have bloomed the best over the years.
In the month of February, Bart and I take our trip to Tooele valley to collect scion wood for grafting.
We have set the date of April 16, 2016 for our grafting class that will be at my place at 10 am.
This is an opportunity to learn about grafting. You can put a graft almost anywhere on a tree,
but if not placed correctly it may take years to grow and produce.
I have a number of seedling apple trees in the garden that I will be working with this year.
I also have some Italian prune trees to have available also this is an opportunity to change
an old apple tree over to preserve an old variety you have wanted to save.
The class is no charge, but I think you will learn a lot on how the mechanics work.
I have one of my apple trees that had fire blight in it last year and I will need to take it out
this spring.
It is the largest apple tree I have so it will take some work to get rid of it.
I have a fellow in this area that makes pots out of wood so he may take some of the limbs.
I am keeping watch on the greenhouse solar panels, as the sun moves north the shade from the house
in the afternoon is gone and that is a sure sign that spring is on its way.
Oh by the way, have you checked your flower beds?
Those winter weeds are still growing and going to seed even at this time of year.

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