There was a beautiful wintery sunrise early this morning that begged to be captured.
So this week in zone 8a there are a few things to be done if you're feeling motivated and don't mind standing outside in the freezing weather trying to get your fingers to work all the while dreaming of a warm fire and a hot cup of coffee to wrap your hands around. Oh wait. One of them can be done with coffee in front of a nice warm fire. Mmmmm... But, I digress.
Now that the holidays are over and done, with nothing left to do but take down the tree and lights and pack it all away again till next year, it's time to start planning the garden.
This is best done on an over caffeinated brain.... just sayin'.
While I haven't actually started yet my brain has been in over drive thinking about it. I just need to get it all down on paper. I'm sure I'll have more to say about this next week...
Yes, paper, that archaic form information storage.
Not everything in my world is done on the lap top (though there would be those that might disagree!) the reality is: dirt and water don't really get along so famously with delicate electronics. Besides there is something extremely satisfying about writing with a pencil. I both chart out my garden for a good visual idea of what will go where and how it will all fit but also try to note what varieties I'm planting where so that I can keep track of them throughout the year. It'll give me a good idea of what varieties like my microclimate or what varieties had problems with pests or diseases. But like I said, I'll give this whole process more attention next post.
So what can you do outside at this time of year? Well if you have apple trees, this is the earliest that you'd be able to prune older trees and winter hardy varieties but there is no rush, pruning can take place anytime between now and the end of February. I think it's pretty safe to say that my apple
See that little bit of green fluff in the center of the bed? Yeah, that's my apple "tree". It amuses me. *Someday* I might even get an apple from it.
After the third year, you need to prune blueberry plants every winter. The best time to prune is January to early March, when plants are dormant. The main objectives of pruning are to promote the growth of strong, new wood and to maintain good fruit production. If you prune too little, plants produce too many small berries and shoot growth is weak. Plants have weak, twiggy growth at the end of the season and fail to develop strong new wood for future production. Severe pruning produces fewer, larger berries and more new wood.
If you prune bushes correctly, you’ll have a good balance between fruit production and growth of vigorous new shoots. Experience is the best guide on how hard to prune.
For more information on cultivating blueberries in your home garden check this link.