Several times in my recent postings I have mentioned how mild this so called winter has been. Well, this past weekend the Houston Chronicle declared that winter is over! Just to cover their” paper derriere” they mentioned that February sometimes surprises us and that the official average last day of frost at Bush Intercontinental Airport is March 1st. I have been making my own observations on how the various plants in both my backyard farm and in the area have been responding. The results are mixed but the plant world seems to think that Spring is here!

Evidence that spring is here and winter (the winter that never was) has faded away include these observations;

  • The Ornamental pear trees have been in full blossom for over a week now
  • My strawberries are blooming like crazy –
  • I noticed plum and peach trees on sale at the nursery were blooming last week – Late January!
  • My potted pepper plants are still green and one has two bell peppers nearly ready to pick.
  • My overwintered upside down tomato plant is leafing out!

And low and behold,during  this morning’s walk through my garden I spotted an asparagus spear emerging up through the layers of leaf mulch!

My Meyer Lemon tree seems to be a little more reluctant to believe what is written in the paper. I looked closely at the tree this morning and although there is a  bit of evidence of bud formation, they are probably a week or two away from bursting open. It is not unusual for  lemon trees to blossom in February but today is just the first day of the month.

I need to get over to John’s garden today and thin the lettuce patch. I scattered about 4 different varieties in his bed and they found a home very much to their liking. They are thick, crowded and the thinning’s should be a nice addition to a garden salad. I will probably need to help his sugar snap peas continue their upward climb…. they seem to like his bed a little better than mine do…… I still get a few to eat from my yard but John should have many handfuls of the sweet green pods gracing his table soon!

I am being tempted………. not by whiskey ( well maybe a little) or younger women (hmmmmmm…..) insert a smile here as I pause to think…….Okay….I am tempted by many things but today the temptation at hand is about tomatoes!!!!! I want them and I want them early – before the brutal Houston heat sets in for the summer! I will wander down to Kingwood Nursery this week and see if the temptation will be realized… they carry both hybrids and heirlooms that do well in the local area…. If I get an early start and make provisions to shield the plants if, as the Chronicle noted, February surprises us…. I can be eating home grown tomatoes by the end of April – WOW!

TTFN

Bishop

PS – I have some 20 year old Pappy Van Winkle Whiskey and may be able to get my hands on the 23 year old this week – the whiskey!

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