Saturday, March 20, 2021

The end of winter

Spring arrives at 10h37 this morning here in France. You wouldn't know it by stepping outside. This morning we're at 1ºC (about 34ºF). Yes, many trees are in flower, some shrubs are making small leaves, and the daffodils and muscari (grape hyacinth) are blooming. But it's chilly.

Our hamlet above the Cher at the end of winter.

But now the days will be longer than the nights. And it will get warmer. It's time to start thinking about planting seeds in the greenhouse for tomatoes and squash. I have a new plan this year. I ordered a 50m soaker hose kit for the vegetable garden. It's supposed to arrive today, but I won't need it for a while. With a soaker hose, I shouldn't need to water the garden manually every day and worry about under-watering when it's hot. In the garden's early years, I watered with a sprinkler. However, constantly wetting the leaves on the plants is an invitation for mildiou (fungus), not to mention that a sprinkler waters the weeds as well as the vegetables.

Another nouveauté is that I got rid of a lot of old seeds that have been accumulating for years. I'm starting mostly fresh this year with new tomato, green bean, and squash seeds. I'll be adding blood meal to the soil to boost the nitrogen levels, and will add calcium (garden lime) to help prevent the dreaded tomato blossom-end rot.


  1. I had no idea spring began at such an odd hour. If it's the same in Spain, then we've got 25 minutes to go... and it's raining.

  2. The days here are becoming noticeably shorter as we decline into winter. Aside from flooding rains in New South Wales, we are having lovely autumn weather here in the mid twenties and little wind.

    It seems so early for Muscari blooms at 1 degrees.

  3. happy Spring! it started at 5:37 A.M. this morning for us. I'm always so impressed with others' efforts at gardening. I feel like a green thumb for throwing down grass seed and mowing regularly.


  4. I’m sure these new practices will bring you much success. Soaker hoses are a life saver not to mention a back saver.

  5. Your ambitious and well-thought out plans have me all inspired now.

  6. Oh, whoooppeeee! I hadn't thought about the date, to realize that it's now spring!
    I'm excited for you, about these new garden plans, especially that soaker hose. Great! Nothing like having the right tools, eh?

  7. I always enjoy reading about your gardening plans; they fill a void for my missing gardening.

  8. Mary in Oregon's comment yesterday gave me a new perspective on the vineyard. Now that it's my/our own, personal vineyard I will watch the year's progress with even more interest.
    Yay for soaker hoses.

    1. And no work! No taxes to pay! Just enjoy, Emm!

  9. sorry about that. I'm getting error messages in Blogspot, which may be the result of switching to fiber optic today.

  10. mitch, the rain in Spain...

    andrew, I saw some news items about the flooding.

    sean, I'm not sure how green my thumb is, but it's fun. Except when the crops fail.

    bettyann, I don't know why it took me so long...

    chris, we'll see how it all works out.

    judy, that's what I say about the guys who trim the hedges. They have the right tools.

    michael, :)

    emm, we think of it as ours, without all the work. LOL. Both your comments came in twice, so I deleted one of each.


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