Sanctuary Gardener Update ~ 3/16/15

In typical Charleston fashion, this week has jumped from winter to late spring practically overnight. I’ve had to switch my thermostat from heat to air conditioning, especially the day it reached 86 degrees! And my plants have responded accordingly. Bees are buzzing, birds are chirping, leaves are popping, buds are opening, and fall crops are bolting. It’s that time of year, folks! Spring is here!

IN THE GROW ROOM:

My squash and melons are starting to get buds on them.

Butterbush squash buds

Butterbush squash buds

The Golden Midget watermelon flowers are even starting to open. (By the way, this variety actually has yellow and green leaves.)

Golden Midget watermelon flowers

Golden Midget watermelon flowers

Meanwhile, my new method of germinating pepper and tomato seeds seems to be working. I’ll share that with you as soon as the process is complete…in about a week or so. πŸ™‚

WHAT’S NEW:

With several days in the 80s, along with a heavy rain, the weeds have taken over my beds. That didn’t surprise me. However, I was surprised that the winter planting of my watermelon radishes have bolted and bloomed in just the last couple of days.

Watermelon radish flowers

Watermelon radish flowers

A nice surprise was finding my first asparagus spear poking through the ground (and through the weeds). Finally!

First asparagus spear of the season

First asparagus spear of the season

My hydrangea are starting to get leaves.

Hydrangea leaves

Hydrangea leaves

Along with the heat and rain of spring comes the inundation of fire ant hills here in South Carolina. Unfortunately, I found this HUGE hill in one of my raised beds.

Fire ant hill in one of my raised beds

Fire ant hill in one of my raised beds

I got a present this week from my Garden Wilson. I’ve been wanting a bird bath, and he got me a nice one that even looks like a lighthouse (to go with the nautical theme of my homestead). I love it!

My new lighthouse bird bath

My new lighthouse bird bath

IN THE GARDEN:

I walked out in the garden yesterday and was happy to see the signs of spring. Well, most of them, anyway. (The weeds I could do without!)

My neighbor’s dogwood tree is almost in full bloom.

My neighbor's dogwood tree

My neighbor’s dogwood tree in bloom

The birds were chirping and helping themselves to the seed in my bird feeder, and huge bumblebees were dive-bombing my arugula flowers.

Bumblebee on arugula flowers

Bumblebee on arugula flowers

My elderberries have quite a few leaves on them now.

Elderberry leaves

Elderberry leaves

I thought the numerous frosts we had killed my comfrey plant, but I was wrong. It’s starting to grow back.

Comfrey

Comfrey

My brussels sprouts just didn’t do well. They were slow getting going. Then, when they finally got little sprouts, the weather changed. Now, the sprouts are opening – like little cabbages on the stalks. <sigh>

Brussels sprout plant

Brussels sprout plant

I didn’t harvest anything this past week, but I’ll be doing quite a bit of that over the next week or so. Meanwhile, I’ve been preparing for the spring planting. Here are some pots that are just waiting for some compost and seed.

Spring pots

Spring pots

What’s happening on your homestead this week before spring?

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