January, 2018: A Garden Calendar

Intense cold has gripped the mid-South since New Year’s Eve, with lows well into the teens (15F here) and highs barely above freezing; the high today was 34F. The ground is frozen to at least an inch. Here is when I’m grateful I got the tulips and most of the daffodils in the ground before the cold set in. Also, finally I can cut and trim the asters and papyrus down to the ground. I’m unsure how the seedling greens (mustard and turnip) as well as the more mature vegetables at 1043 will do after the deep freeze. Inside plants are enduring. Plumeria still has about four green leaves. I’m nursing the bears’ ears; they’ve had a troubled year. Poinsettias and column cactus in the entry hall, along with cuttings from the shrimp plant, which was radiant this year. Good container plant. Many to put in the wall bed, the beefsteak begonia, the Dutch pipe, also the succulents. It’s going to be a better year, more orchestrated from one month to the other. Gotta pace yourself. Sow and see.

Much of the clay ground is frozen down to an inch, and the looser soil with plants is crusty, the plants drooping, but very green still. It’s amazing to see the Savoy cabbages in such good shape. The two-week seedlings will suffer most, the onions and other bulbs will profit best. We’ll need rain after this to baste the wounds and get the new growth going. This year, white marigolds, yes. More vegetables in the corner bed as well. Digging up the old “sidewalk” is the big project. The plot(s) are poised for a good year. Throw it all out there and see what happens.

Warmer and wet, typical pattern, 60s-50s-40s, soon to be below freezing again. Almost 100 poinsettias, more expected. Bulbs are so iffy, still trying to establish a formula for planting. Transplanted mustard surprisingly survived an intense freeze. Planted sprouting ‘Silver Skin” garlic from kitchen today. Inside plants maintaining. Going to Hutto’s with Bev and Wil tomorrow. Some of the ‘Red Devon’ poking over the soil in w. driveway bed, and in Dale and Kim’s beds/containers.

Poinsettias—approx. 100—covered under Visqueen against the back wall of the lot, but another cold spell will keep highs in the thirties and lows down to the teens again by the fifteenth and sixteenth (fifteenth MLK Day). To Hutto’s with Wil and Bev on the eleventh, brought (along with Visqueen) more red mustard (6) and dusty miller (12). The old paper-whites on Kenwood emerging though blistered by the cold. The snowdrops planted in Sept. (?) frost-bitten as well. Some of the ‘Red Devons’ emerging in westernmost plot. On second thought, these might be the snowdrops planted this past September?

Red mustard (6) and dusty miller (12+) from Hutto’s planted; the garden is still recovering from the extreme cold weather, though temperatures are now back to normal with highs in the low sixties/high fifties and lows in the forties/thirties. Spend the 205th-26th cleaning up, looks much better. Sowed more mustard/turnip, need to plant the last collards from seedlings. Sorted seeds today, need to order brown cotton? Should get Southern shield ferns from Ann Edwards on Manship to plant near compost pile.

I hope we have a good year for peaches.

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