Monday, December 12, 2011

A Jekyll and Hyde December

.09 Acres is having an identity crisis this December, and I fear that Dr. Henry Jekyll and Mr. Edward Hyde are living in my garden shed.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in the well-appointed garden shed at .09 Acres. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Let's start with Dr. Jekyll, shall we?! The vegetables at .09 Acres are much like Jekyll. They are mature and respectable. The lettuces and chard are good looking, tasty, and protected by the mini hoop house. The carrots, beets, and broccoli are doing just fine while prominently exposed to the elements. At this point in the year, they are all content in their beds until harvest. I'm not one to boast, but my greens look like they belong in a gardening catalog. If you were to walk by the lettuce bed, you might even respectfully tip your cap as if you were passing Dr. Jekyll on the street.

On the flip-side, my fruit trees, shrubs, and brambles are behaving in an irrational and unpredictable Hyde-like fashion. The inconsistent weather, much like Mr. Hyde's strange potions, is triggering all kinds of strange reactions from the plants. Raspberries continue to mature on a  semi-regular basis almost like it's early fall. The Celeste fig tree and espalier dropped all their leaves weeks ago. In contrast, my Violette de Bordeaux and Negronne fig trees are still covered in leaves and figs. It is quite grotesque to see them growing side-by-side. My Red Russian pomegranate is the only "normal" tree in the yard, having gone dormant in November. But who may be inwardly lusting for some sinister transformation.

A little bit of Jekyll, but certainly a lot more of Hyde at .09 Acres.

If .09 Acres is Dr. Jekyll (and Mr. Hyde), I guess that makes me Jekyll's loyal servant Poole. This December I've been out in the yard early in the morning and late in the evening to cover the greens in plastic. I've also changed quite a few things in the yard to keep Jekyll happy and productive. I dug up and potted my in-ground blueberry bushes and replaced them with a young Angel Red pomegranate tree (visible on right side of above picture in middle of straw mulch). I also transplanted a Peter's Honey fig and an unknown fig from my yard to my aunt and uncle's property and replaced them with Strawberry Verte and Hardy Chicago figs (visible on left side of above picture in middle of straw mulch).

Hopefully this will decrease the likelihood that Mr. Hyde shows up again at .09 Acres, but I may be losing my mind in the process...


Indie said...

Ha, what a cute post! It's the weather, I tell you. I blame it all on the weather!

Anonymous said...

Loved the post, Dave. You have a flair for well as gardening!

Can't believe how much warmer it is in Hampton Roads. Out here in the foothills, we have had frost and mid 20 degree mornings more often than not. Although today it is 52 degrees at 9:27 am.

We still have a bit of lettuce and the kale is hanging in. Hope the carrots are doing the same. Tried a hoop house and the winds that whip down from the mountain tops tore it apart. Will try again with proper clips.

Harvested the rest of the beets and, after eating some of those red beauties, canned the remainder with onions and pickling spices. Yummy. Only downside is that there were not enough to make more than 4 pints :(

Loving this country life.


.09 Acres said...

Indie, the weather has been very goofy here in recent weeks.

TSF, that is definitely a lot colder than here in Newport News. You will have much better luck with the proper plastic clips. They will securely anchor your plastic regardless of the wind. Looking forward to tasting the pickled beets!

What Pigs Don't Know said...

Cute post! I was wondering what was going on there in that big empty space to the right of the photo. Why did you pot up the blueberries? Was the spot too wet? Or are you just a fool for pomegranates and this was the only way you could come up with adding another tree? -Carrie

KL said...

I am also like you trying to slowly convert all my back and front yard into growing fruits, vegetables and native plants for the pollinators. But, seems like you are much more courageous that you can get rid of all the grass. I am not that courageous yet and doing it slowly :-). By the way, why do you have to pot-up the blueberries? They survive fine in cold weather. And, I have also heard that disturbing blueberries decrease their crop production?

Anonymous said...

We just got a hard freeze here and my artichoke finally looks like it is dying back. I can't believe it survived this long. But my raspberries died back long ago, maybe because I didn't water them enough during the dry summer. My arugula was the only fall crop I planted and I was out in the dark picking it before the temperature hit 20 earlier in the week! I forgot until it was almost too late. Thanks so much for your great post. They are so educational and entertaining! Helen in TN

.09 Acres said...

Carrie, I love blueberries but the pomegranate tree loves its current location. I didn't want it to be lonely and opted to dig up the blueberries (next to the pom) and replaced them with another pomegranate.

KL, glad you are also going edible and have flowers for pollinators as well. Blueberries don't need to be potted up and are very cold hardy. I simply opted to replace them with another pomegranate. Might regret that in later years because blueberries are delicious.

Helen, thanks for reading my blog! Sounds like you have a great variety of garden projects in TN. Do you find artichokes difficult to grow? I'm very interested in trying to grow them sometime.