Better than salt money

Work like you were living in the early days of a better nation

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It’s spring, or summer, or something.  Seasons on this coast are less defined than they are on the Calif. Coast (contra those who say, “Calif. doesn’t have seasons”, we do.  What we don’t have [in the densely populated parts of the state is freezing temps and snow).  Back in late March my grapes had “bud break“.  This was a bit of a problem because the nighttime temps were still falling below freezing, but the garage (in which I overwinter it, since it’s in a pot, not the ground: and since it’s self-stocked, not grafted, it’s not going in the ground.  I don’t want it to suffer from Phylloxera) doesn’t have enough light to sustain the plant.

So it was in and out, and in out, for a while.  Slowly the leaves did their thing (A lot more slowly than in Calif.).  When the temps were regularly in the 40s I moved them (and the etrog) outside, as well as the “Peruvian Daffodils” (which are a lily),  and bought some oregano, and basil.  A couple of weeks ago I put some za’atar seeds in the grape (maybe one of them has come up, more go in today when I leave for work), and some garlic chives in the etrog.

So my morning rhythm is back to what I am more used to.  I get up, walk MBF to the train, get some coffee, and examine the garden.  In the afternoon I go out and look at them again, watering as needed.  The olive in the front I check when as I come and go. It overwintered a bit hard, but they are hardy, and there is lots of nodal activity, so I suspect I’ll be training/shaping it in short order and it will again be dense.  Next winter I hope it does better (since this sort of hardship can’t be all that good for a bonsai).  I may move the pomegranate out in a little while. It’s much more a classical bonsai, and wants more sun, but also more water.  If I skip a couple of days it’s in a sad way.

I’ve been having some minor problems with scale insects.  The etrog had some, and there was what I think may have been a Parthenolecanium corni on the grape yesterday.  But Safer’s soap, and an attentive routine means I am not likely to have any serious problem with them hurting the plants.

I don’t know if the tarragon managed to overwinter.  I was afraid I’d terribly underwatered the pot (I didn’t want the roots to rot from being overwet).  I may have, for the tarragon, but the grape seems quite happy; if I’m reading the signs right (I’ll be more sure in another couple of days) it’s putting out flowers, so (for the first time in about five years) I ought to have some actual grapes off my grapevine.