February Makes a Comeback

Lenten Rose

It’s not a whammy of a comeback. No frozen precipitation. We did get a five-minute sprinkle of rain this morning. Not enough to do the earth any good, but enough, at least, to moisten the air a bit. Heavy clouds and a steady north wind are keeping the temperatures in the low 40s F — chilly, but not frigid. Still, after yesterday’s upper 70s, the change back to late winter weather is a shock to the system.

Birds and flowers continue to act as if spring has arrived. The Lenten Roses are open, the bluebirds are burbling their courting songs as couples flit from one birdhouse to another, discussing the merits of each potential abode. The woodpeckers followed me around the yard complaining until I refilled their suet feeders. They are actively nesting, so they want to minimize the energy they spend on food-gathering.

A quick visit to the greenhouse revealed that the Sweet Alyssum seeds I sowed last Sunday afternoon are enthusiastically germinating! Seedlings crowd the rows I sowed (too heavily — those seeds are tiny). I’ve lifted the top off the germination chamber to reduce humidity, but I’ll leave them on the germination mat one more night to ensure that most of the seeds sprout. Tomorrow, I’ll take them off the mat, which will make room for more pots of newly sowed seeds.

I’m moving into garden production mode now.  In between sowing seeds and tending seedlings in the greenhouse, I’ll be tending the spring garden, and trying to weed and mulch the front flower beds. Those front beds are a mess, but I’m just one person.

For now, food plant production will remain my priority. The rest I’ll get to as weather and aging joints permit.

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