January 7, 2009


I know it is silly: I need to get out of this "when the holidays are over, it's spring" idea. When the temperature is almost 60 degrees and the sun is shining brightly, it is difficult. We do have night frosts, but the garden is not hit that hard. This is probably because we live on a slope and the cold air just rushes across it, and possibly thanks to the lattice/window screen fencing which may hold some of it back. I still have good looking broccoli, swiss chard, escarole and romaine lettuce that do get their leaves frosted a little bit, but the plants are still producing.

When I was cleaning out the garden this morning, I did notice that the soil thermometer said 30 degrees. Not quite time for tomato planting yet.... All the dead plants are out of the garden as of today, and everything was swept up and put on the compost pile. This brought to light a number of rodent holes, in spite of the chicken wire that I have buried around the perimeter of the garden. Some of the rodentia are eating the leafy stuff and some of them have been dragging off the now-dried hot peppers. I wonder if they use them as decoration (as I do), or whether they truly eat them.

No wood rats in the garden, so they must be mice and perhaps some kangaroo rats. And a pocket gopher has also found its way in. This means vigilance is required when planting time comes as there is little else green to eat outside of the garden right now. I am contemplating planting some snap peas tomorrow, so I had better get out the hardware cloth cages.

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