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Mid-March Garden Update | Speedkin

Mid-March Garden Update

Most of you already know but, for those that don’t, here’s the nutshell: I boogered up my ankle this past week. I’m hobbling around on crutches right now (thanks to Debbie for the crutches!) but at least I can do that. I’ve been icing & elevating as much as possible. Yesterday morning, I sent one of the kids out to dig up some comfrey so I could make some salve — seems to really be helping. (Simmer a cup or so of finely chopped comfrey root and/or leaves in an equal amount of olive oil until it’s all mushy. Strain and add some beeswax to make a goo. Slather on a few times a day. Easy peasy.)

Needless to say, my personal garden progress has slowed way, way down. But before the drama, we headed down to Stark Bros with Susan again. I had two trees from last year’s trip die so they replaced them. One of the pears was replaced with the same. The other one that died was a Japanese persimmon and I had it replaced with another apple tree, a Grand Gala, I think it’s called. My receipt is in the other room so I’m going from memory here. They also replaced my failed Starkrimson rhubarb. I cannot recommend Stark Bros enough. They are so friendly and they sure held up their one-year replacement guarantee with a smile on their face. So nice to experience.

Also, Susan forced me — forced me, I say! — to bring home 50 strawberry plants (Ozark Beauty and Honeoye) and some citrus. Now, the citrus, I blame fully on Anita. You see, a couple of weeks back, Anita sent me some seeds for Calamondin Orange — and three tree seedlings: Calamondin Orange, Key Lime, and Meyer Lemon. How cool is that? I grew a Meyer Lemon and Key Lime a few years back when some friends from Florida (Hi, Alan & Diana!) gifted them to me. Those eventually died, however, due to the rough environment in our Oklahoma house. Anita’s gift set off some sort of citrus craze in me. When I saw more citrus at Stark Bros, I couldn’t help myself. I bought a Tangerine, a Valencia Orange, a Key Lime (which actually had three in the pot) and a Meyer Lemon (which had two in the pot). My kitchen and living room are now filled with citrus! And it’s all Anita’s fault. ;-)

Steve has kicked butt in the last couple of days. He’s managed to finish building Charlie’s raised bed in the front yard, along with three more beds for perennials in the back yard. I got the raspberries from Stark Bros planted in the first one before the ankle incident. Oh, wait. Did I not tell you about the raspberries? Yeah, I’ll have to think of someone to blame those on… I planted those six raspberries, along with the one surviving one the ones my mom bought me last year, into that first new raised bed. The 100-ish strawberries, I got planted yesterday by crawling around. They include not only the Stark Bros ones but also some WalMart ones: Jewel, Allstar, and Quinault.

I started a few more seeds BA (before ankle) but can’t remember which I planted then and which were from the first seed starting session a while back. Whatever they are, there’s a pile of plants out sunning themselves on the front walk again this year. Potato pulls, TPS, celery, rosemary, parsley, cilantro, etc, etc.

I’m late with the warm season veggie seed starting. All of my seed starting things are in the basement so I’ll have to see if I can crawl down those steps in the next few days to get tomatoes, peppers, ground cherries, and that sort of thing started. Better late than never, right? It’s not terribly late, as far as averages go, but this warm weather we’ve been having makes me feel so late on everything!

Side note on the bees: They’re doing well and enjoying the warm weather along with us. I’m afraid of early swarming before we know it so I was going to get out there and reverse the brood boxes and see if they might want a super on. But then the ankle… (I’m starting to sound like a broken record, aren’t I?) So, along with Steve’s thousand other honey-dos, I’ll have to ask him to get out there and do that soon. Poor Steve. He’s burning the candle at both ends right now plus having to listen to me whine about my ankle. It’s a wonder he’s not yet insane. He does have access to ear plugs — that might be his secret!

One more note: A bunch of the fruit trees are blooming now! So gorgeous!! I tried taking a pic of the peach tree but I kept falling over just leaning on one crutch. Doh. Maybe I’ll get some pics before the blooms are all gone. For now, just imagine a bunch of gorgeous fruit blossom pics scattered throughout this post. :-)

11 Responses to “Mid-March Garden Update”

  1. Mo March 17, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    Wondered what had happened to you but just thought you were busy with the garden. Take care!

    • Diane March 18, 2012 at 9:43 am #

      I’m still here. Just slightly dented. :-P

  2. Oldnovice March 17, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    Sorry to hear about your ankle. I twisted mine before Thanksgiving of 2010 and it’s STILL not totally healed. ‘course I didn’t have comfrey salve. My mom was a huge fan of comfrey everything.

    Did the citrus starts I sent survive the trip alive?

    My peach trees are already done blooming already. As warm as it’s been in the midwest, you can imagine how much warmer it’s been down here. I still fear that we’ll get an April freeze that knocks everything on their butts.

    My seed starting from the seeds you sent have sprouted. I started a bunch of sweet pepper because they’ve been Astrid’s favorite veggie, but No. 1 told me recently that she’s not so keen on them anymore. Of course you (more than most anyone) know how those damn toddlers change their minds as the wind blows.

    Heal quickly.

    • Diane March 18, 2012 at 9:46 am #

      Yep, citrus did well on the trip. I sent you an email but sounds like it took a detour to neverland. The one you thought was dead… was. The other two, however, are doing great, settled in and putting on new leaves. You did a great job packing them!

      I’m sure we’ll probably get a freeze or two before all is said & done, too, but that’s okay. They’re still small trees so I’d have to go pinching off the blossoms/fruit for the most part anyway until they’re a couple years older.

      Want me to send you some of the comfrey goo?

      • Oldnovice March 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

        No thanks on the comfrey goo. I have a birthday in early May and will qualify for Medicare, so I’ll finally have a reasonably priced venue for health care. I’m thinking I just need some rehab tips for the tendons. Of course it could be that I actually broke something and it healed incorrectly in which case I’d probably need it rebroken and set. I’m the only one who notices that something’s still not right; my friends remark on how my ankle is finally okay. So, I suppose it could be something that I’ll just have to live with (like so many age-related things).

        Thanks so much for taking the citrus off my hands. I hated to just throw them away, but knew they couldn’t survive here.

  3. David Mc March 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    You’re not eating comfrey though, right? It’s linked to liver failure in humans.

    But comfrey root as a salve has low side effects (eczema) and some research to show it eases pain:


    • Diane March 19, 2012 at 9:55 am #

      No worries, I’m just using it topically. I’m aware of the controversy over internal use of comfrey but thanks for checking. :-)

      • Oldnovice March 22, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

        My mom was fond of comfrey tea and she lived until her mid 90s, so …

        • Diane March 24, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

          Those studies are somewhat controversial but I’m just using it in a salve so I’m safe regardless. But, yeah, I’ve known lots of folks who drink comfrey tea — made from real plants, not extracted portions of it — and they’re healthy as can be.

          • David Mc March 25, 2012 at 2:36 am #

            I know people who’ve smoked tobacco for many years and they aren’t dead. And the people who are dead from smoking, I guess I don’t know them because they’re dead.


          • Diane March 25, 2012 at 10:09 am #

            I know people who live in cities, spend most of their time indoors, and eat storebought food & meds and they aren’t dead. But you still won’t catch me doing anything so daring! :-P

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