Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring In a Holding Pattern


'Honeycrisp' apple tree in bloom.

Bells of Ireland and heirloom peppers looking nice.

Peas and garlic in the potager.

Strawberry with a "black eye" showing this blossom has been frozen.

Frozen tips on the dappled willow

Petunias from seed for pots

Heirloom tomatoes

It seems spring is in a holding pattern. After the warmest March on record, and possibly one of the drier ones , too. Spring doesn't feel like it is going anywhere. My apricot bloomed five weeks early. We had a number of days with pretty cold temperatures. I think my apricot 'Moorpark' has mis-stepped and picked the wrong time to bloom. I am pretty sure it froze hard enough I will have no fruit. A few of my earliest buds on my very early variety of strawberry 'Honeoye' have "black eyes". A sure sign those berries have frozen also. I have heard the Door County cherry and apple growers are worried. The California fruit grower have has cold weather and hail; a harbinger of a lost crop.

The first year I owned the house here in central Wisconsin, I drove up from IL with a trunk load of plants to transplant and found the ground frozen solid on April 5. I have carrots "up" this year, not just planted. Yet I think fruit will be in shorty supply this summer.

I do have some beautiful daffodils this spring and a scattering of tulips they appear to have perenialized. My petunias started from seed for possible pot fillers for my Handsome Son's Graduation are looking nice. The heirloom tomatoes and peppers are doing great, too.

It seemed my rhododendron PJM bloomed for just forever this year, rather than a flurry of hot days the end of April (the flowers have long since gone by this year).
I have a dappled willow which I keep closely pruned. The early spring new foliage makes this shrub look like a pink and pale green brocade, hence the name 'Hakuro Nishiki', dappled brocade in Japanese, or dappled willow in good ole American-speak. This year, I can see some spring foliage has froze.


  1. When are you going to plant your tomatoes?

    1. The next full moon is like May 5 or 6, which will most likely correspond to the next cold snap here in central WI if the skies are clear. Depending on the weather, I will probably attempt to harden off my transplants for a couple weeks between May 8 and 22. At that point, I will check the website and plot the weather trend for the forthcoming 10 day cycle and choose a date at that time. I tend to plant a few at a time, largest first, so not to risk all at once. I have planted anytime from May 15 to June 15. Weather is pretty variable in WI. Peppers I wait until I am sure, never before June 1.