Good News, Continued….
After a harsh winter, the spring warmth continues to bring good news in regards to a couple of my garden oddities.
First, the artichokes continue to prove their health and vigor after spending a good part of the last few months in the core of what amounts to a plastic covered haystack. The front plant has at least a dozen crowns actively growing, which should ultimately translate into 30-40 chokes. The plant (plants?) is not as large as the rear hoop-house resident plant, perhaps due to a more confining bed or cooler average soil temperatures over the winter. Or both? The rear hoop-house plant has fewer crowns, (4 or 5) but is much larger in every measurement that the front one. It also is weeks ahead in development and (as Mrs. cohutt recently discovered) holds the inaugural 2014 artichokes, which are growing larger by the day.
The second pleasant confirmation comes from the rice paddy. Last year I just left the rice on the plants for the birds to enjoy (which they did) and hoped that enough would remain to reseed the paddy this spring. In order to accelerate the process a rough poly tent was constructed to (hopefully) raise the soil/water temperature in the paddy, the theory being that this would produce earlier germination and maintain frost protection for the young plants. This “partially” worked in the very top section as the main hoop house partially shaded the lower part of the paddy. The result was the top 1/4 being choked with young rice seedlings but the bottom 3/4 was virtually empty.
No problem. I spent a pleasantly “hands on” session (rice paddy goo-mud up past my wrists) separating and transplanting individual seedlings into a nice orderly grid in the lower 3/4 of the paddy. There’s still a concentration up top, but we can live with it for now. (Note that the small duckweed bloom gives away where the the sun was hitting the paddy as well).
One other spring “good news” footnote is that unlike the Confederate Jasmine, the Carolina Jasmine came through the winter just fine.