Today is the 19th of January and I have been putting off a job long enough, too long actually. I have procrastinated and of course pick the worse day of the week to do the deed. Finally I can say the strawberries and garlic are mulched. I feel guilty and apologized heartily to the plants and I tucked them in. Hopefully with this frigid weather they are feeling a bit warmer.
The rule of thumb is to wait until Thanksgiving time (in our area of WNY) to mulch, that gives the ground a chance to freeze and toughen up the plants. The mulch protects the roots from heaving and working out of the soil as the ground freezes and thaws repeatedly. The other rule of thumb is to wait until the Forsythia blooms to remove the mulch.
This is a bit of a problem this year **HINT: if you read this blog often enough you will get the idea that I have quirky ideas of what problems are. If you remember the end of October we had a warm spell. I was out and about and happened to notice my Forsythia was in almost full bloom. HMMMM? If I follow the rule of thumb; I have to remove the mulch I haven’t put on yet – how is this supposed to work? And come to think of it how does Mother Nature work?
The good news and the bad: the berries are mulched and the bad news is that it may be too little too late. Time will tell and until that time comes we will enjoy the strawberries that are still in the freezer. Strawberry shortcake anyone?
I thank my kitchen window daily. It faces east so whatever the morning weather is to bring us, I see a preview from that window over the sink. The usual dull, gloomy sunless days of January are over- shadowed by the occasional and inspirational sunrise that is planted in my brain until the next one comes along. In February I can follow the sunrise traveling over the woods toward our barn. The closer it gets to the barn, the closer spring is; rather like a pay it forward time lapse for my winter weary brain.
Over the years this window has provided entertainment from kid antics in our side yard. When our kids were young they and the neighbor kids played there with a strange variety of items: large tarps that they held by the corners waiting for the wind to fill and drag them to the farm field below, an old discarded water bed mattress used as a trampoline, finally a real trampoline, ball games, and the best of all fishing for cats. This craziness is a kid on the end of a fishing pole with a weight on the end – kid casts and the kittens come running to chase the interesting thing zig zagging through the grass. Last summer this game was constant by grands and great grands who were visiting.
While I am preparing a meal, doing dishes, hulling strawberries, whatever the task; I am always mesmerized by the view from this window. Right now I see apple and pear trees that need pruning (funny when I get down to them the ‘where to prune appropriately’ picture in my head has vanished)
Soon I can look forward to plowed ground, small green shoots coming from the bulbs planted by my granddaughter and myself. Below that are vegetable gardens followed by fields that extend to the road that borders our property. But now I am content to watch a large variety of birds in the suet and seed feeders. Even the occasional squirrel who hangs upside down on the corn holder is a welcome sight to behold out that window. When I see the sun headed toward the barn I do a happy dance, knowing we are headed toward February and sunnier days. It is the promised dessert at the end of a winter meal.