Rainy New Year

What is it with this weather?

December was mild with only a few cool days – normal weather. A frost is very rare in December. On the other hand, a solid cloud cover with barely a glimpse of the sun is not normal from Christmas to New Year’s. And did I mention the rain? I thought we were in the dry season. This past week it rained on Monday. I worked in the garden on Tuesday. It rained on Wednesday and Thursday. Finally, the sun came out yesterday (Friday, January 3) but the temperature plummeted. The high for the day was only about 53°F.

So I didn’t get as much done in the garden this week as I had hoped to.

Potato HarvestI harvested the sweet potatoes from the four plants that I had bought at Lowe’s. As I worked I discovered that only three of the plants had survived. I harvested a whole 4 1/2 pounds! Many of the tubers were rather small.

I also pulled a small purple sweet potato that was growing as a weed amongst the bell peppers.

Note to self: keep mixing compost into the soil and, next time, add a little fertilizer at planting! The heavily weathered soil on the Suncoast has little natural fertility.

Crater LakesWhile digging sweet potatoes I also weeded the bed. Then I planted the four cabbages and four broccoli that were patiently waiting in their 8 inch pots. I used the crater planting technique. I filled each crater with water – untreated, straight from the hose. Since it rained on Wednesday and Thursday I didn’t do any watering this week.

I quit work while there was still daylight so I could get cleaned up to go to a New Year’s Eve prayer fellowship. That was a peaceful, productive way to bring in the new year.

Clay and Maggie dropped by on Wednesday to bless me with a half-dozen eggs from their chickens. They also wanted to see my garden and pick up their manure buckets. I sautéed the purple sweet potato, one of the Beauregards, and an eggplant in palm oil. We enjoyed sampling them together. The purple potato wasn’t as sweet as the orange ones. Maggie’s especially fond of sweet potatoes so I sent some home with her.

P1000374We checked the temperature of the newest compost pile – number four. Even though it was less than 9 inches deep and there’d been a cold rain all morning the temperature was up to 84°.

After looking things over, Maggie asked why I bothered transplanting the broccoli and cabbages into the ground – they were growing so well in the pots. What a silly question! Obviously, I had to transplant them because, uh, you know. Well, I mean. Hmm…

Maybe I ought to experiment with container gardening?

By the way – what’s the plural of broccoli? There seems to be some confusion online. Since the word “broccoli” is the plural of the Italian word “broccolo,” I’m going to use broccoli for both singular and plural in English. So let it be written, so let it be done.