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Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Good Sunday morning everyone!

Posted Sunday, April 19, 2015, at 8:32 AM
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  • We harvested a few bell peppers yesterday from an overwintered plant I put in the bales and a surprise tomato that came up in a pot this winter is starting to flower.

    That is also in a bale and from the flowers I would guess it is not a cherry tomato, but past that I still have no idea. The excitement is building!

    The two eggplants have been outside a week and a half. Both are flowering again (they did this winter but no fruit). Maybe with some insect activity I will FINALLY get some homegrown eggplant.

    Another exciting thing for me is that NO flea beetles are present, YET, but being older plants, I expect them to withstand some attack when it does come.

    I picked our first iris yesterday with three beautiful blooms, putting it in a vase on the kitchen table. I had to go looking for it this morning and found it relegated to an obscure spot on a sewing machine stand. Guess that was not a good idea. :-)

    The fig trees have not shown any sign of life yet. I expect they survived the cold this winter but they may be burned back to the ground again.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Apr 19, 2015, at 8:52 AM
  • Quick update, the iris is back on the table. LOL

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Apr 19, 2015, at 9:11 AM
  • One of my figs is sprouting at it's base.....I fear the second one is dead........

    What do you mean " burned back to the ground again " ?

    Last winter I did not take the figs inside for the first time.....Usually I have figs on them by now..... I need a greenhouse.....The pots are too large for me to move alone......

    -- Posted by Palindrome on Sun, Apr 19, 2015, at 9:46 AM
  • My peonies are fixing to bloom already and radishes, beats and pumpkin have broke ground....so far so good...that's a cute little turtle.....I've seen them the size of a man whole cover, even as slow as they are moving they are quick when snapping and I understand they won't let go until lightning strikes!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Sun, Apr 19, 2015, at 10:09 AM
  • The other fig might still recover but those in pots were certainly challenged with the single digit temps.

    By "burned back to the ground" I mean "freeze dried" :-) The parts of the plant above the soil line were frozen past recovery. Usually there is enough warmth in the soil to keep the roots alive but potted ones do not have as much "mass" to keep them alive.

    If it is sprouting, you're safe on that one and the other might just need a little more time. If you are able to protected the plant above ground, you can often grow the fig into a tree form, but I am not sure it is worth the effort needed.

    I used to encircle the figs (ones in the ground) with concrete reinforcing wire (like the tomato cage chefgrape had last meeting). Then I filled it with leaves to insulate the bush.

    In the Spring I would open the cage and let the leaves continue rotting, just brush them off until the twigs started showing again. I now pile wood chips up all year long and let the dice roll. I'll cut back what dies and new shoots will emerge.

    If you cannot move your potted figs in next year, I would suggest surrounding the pots with good insulation and maybe use a heat tape underneath. It should only need to be turned on when going though a long spell of freezing or extremely low short spells.

    Your peonies seemed to have enjoyed the cold. :-)

    I did not let that "cute little turtle" close to my pudgy little fingers but yeh, it was cute. We had one in our goldfish pond for two years. I watched for signs that Snappy was going after the fish or frogs but never had an issue.

    Of course we fed Snappy during that time. He/she would come to the surface when we were feeding the goldfish and wait for us to throw special turtle food. After the second year, Snappy went on his/her own "walk-about".

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Apr 19, 2015, at 11:12 AM
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