February in the Garden

February is hopeful, and yet cruel, month. The sunlight has increased to 11 hours a day, the early plants are awaking, and I long to be outside doing — What I long to be doing is always rather vague. I just long to be doing.

On a very cold day (the 8th), I went out to prune the grape vines. Now honestly, I am not much of a pruner. I tend to just let things grow wild and tame them only when they encroach on other plants. Last year the grape vines were so thick that I couldn’t get to the trunk of each vine and a Robin decided the tangle was the perfect place to raise her young ones . . . I mean free food right outside the nest. Who could resist that?

I decided to bring a few of the twigs inside and place them in vase of water as part of my Imbolc table. I am anxious to see if they will bud. I will be delighted if they decide to root. Each morning I check the water level, check the bottom of the twigs for rootlets, and check the buds for swelling. At the very least, it has brought me joy and curiosity. It makes a great Imbolc centerpiece.

Update Feb 12: No rootlets or budding

Update Feb 19: no change

Update Feb 26:

Along with the grape trimming, we laid out cardboard for weed suppression in 3 new beds: a skinny asparagus bed, bed #16, and bed #17. Bed #17 has t-poles with bamboo sides woven around three sides. This will be the permanent compost bed. It’s divided into three sections. This should make it easier to fill and turn the compost.

I rooted three rosemary plants off my bigger plant. They seem to be doing well so far. I’ve scrubbed seed starting pots, have seed starting soil ready to go. Early next week I’ll start the first seeds.

Michael has started clearing the drainage ditch and the stream beds in preparation for Spring rains. We still need to clean out the chicken yard, but the chicken house will stay heaped up with bedding through mid-April.

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