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This week, we will focus on giving you spring growing guide information so you know what to plant. Last week, we talked about growing zones which are important. For instance, I grew up in upstate New York so we did not start planting vegetables in March because the cold could still produce blizzards in April. Here in South Central Texas, we start our tomatoes in the greenhouse in January because by July, the tomatoes will no longer produce due to the extreme heat. We plant our gardens in March and April most years here. In New York, gardens were planted in May.
This morning started out cool and comfortable. I opened the store and then David decided to go by George Farms in Poteet and have a visit. We visited with some of the owners and purchased some of their tomato plants they have for sale. Because of our winter storm, most of ours died that we had ready in our greenhouse. They are a family farm and are good, friendly people.
After we got back, our farm manager's son, who is a welder, came to see us about the gate we want out front. He will be building us a beautiful metal gate with our name and logo. This will give our farm a whole new look and feel.
We saw Nacho, one of our construction guys, at church yesterday. He will be here tomorrow to continue work on the gazebo with falls and a pond for fish. He will be working on the falls.
Today was an unusual, fun day. First, welcome back to our Production Manager, Jay, and to our Envelope Designer, Rock, both of whom have been out sick for the past three weeks. We are so happy to have you both back. Jay and Rock are brothers who share a home so they both got sick at about the same time.
We had a 10am appointment with a sign company in San Antonio this morning. We left the farm at 9am and got a lot of signs ordered for our farm business. We also have one of those metal ranch gates being built by someone else. We should start seeing our signs and gate within the next few weeks so a lot more people out this way will know we are here.
After that, we visited a sparkle store and David bought me some gorgeous jewelry for our 34th wedding anniversary which was Sunday, April 18. Then we went to Salt Grass Steakhouse for a delicious lunch. I had Gulf Coast Steak and Shrimp and it was so good. I am stuffed out of my mind.
So now we are back at the farm working. Nacho is here with a helper building the falls out of huge rocks. I think it will be very nice.
Nacho got a lot of the rock work done and then ran out of rocks. Then he built the railing around the pond so kids don't try to go for a swim. It is looking good.
The afternoon got hot and humid with a high of 89°. Amazingly, around 6pm, a front blew in with wind and cool, dry air. It then felt amazing. I enjoyed listening to the waterfall and walked all around the farm, just enjoying the cool air.
Today's spring growing guide tip is to be sure to revitalize your soil from last year's fall garden before it is time to plant your spring garden. Pull up old, dead plants and roots, along with leaves and weeds that might be growing there. Add fresh garden compost that you have been making all winter long from household scraps or add rabbit manure which won't burn out your new plants. Mix it all in with your existing soil and give it a good watering.
Once your seeds have been planted, provided that the temperature of the ground is warm enough, gently water so you don't dislodge the seeds and cover with one to three inches of mulch. A good, thick layer of mulch will keep the ground wet longer and will insulate and protect the seeds as they germinate.
It got down to 47° this morning and even now at 3pm, the air feels cool and breezy, such a difference from the heat and humidity that hit yesterday afternoon.
This morning, Annabelle had to go to the vet for her yearly rabies shot as well as her yearly heartworm shot. Lucy, who has osteoarthritis in the back right knee, has been having a lot of pain lately. We can tell because she is walking funny with her back legs. David took her in today. She is already taking Dasuquin chews for it but sometimes, she refuses to eat them. The vet put her on a pain pill. I gave the pain pill along with her chews to her when she got home. She ate them all and she is moving around a lot better now.
We had some things moved out of Jay's building that were taking up space and we got him a brand new desk as his old one was falling apart. We got a lot of the big seed bags out of his building so now we can see who is in there and who is actually working when we look in the window of the Production Building.
We are installing one of those tall metal ranch gates in our driveway. The guy who is doing the new gate set up is a welder. He came by today to take down our front gates and posts to make room for the new gates. He will start setting them up tomorrow.
We took payment to Comfort Commander, our air conditioner folks this morning for a new split unit that will go in our Farm Store. As soon as the parts come in and the company gets a chance, we will be getting it installed. They keep very busy.
Today's spring growing guide includes paying special attention not only to your growing zones but also to your temperatures. Not every year is a textbook year where you plant on April 1 or March 1, depending on your location. Normally, it should be hot with the ground up to at least 70° constantly by now here and guess what? For the past two nights, the temperature has dipped down to 47° Fahrenheit so you know that the ground is not at 70° right now.
Up north, the ground is not warm enough to germinate seeds in many places. Never before in our 12 years of selling seeds have we received this many emails and calls about our seeds not germinating. We check the weather in the area and every time this spring, the customer has planted seeds with the ground too cold to germinate them. We expect our customers to understand that the ground has to be warm in order to plant seeds.
Do not plant flower seeds, herb seeds, or most vegetables when it is 50° outside. The temperature of the ground is way under the air temperature. Again, the ground needs to be right around 70° consistently for seeds to germinate. Optimally, it should be between 65° and 75° but David always recommends 65° Fahrenheit. It can't go down to the 40s at night and then shoot up to 72° during the day and go back down to 50° the next night.
This spring growing guide is for planting warm weather items like peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and squash. As it continues to warm up, add in corn, melons, and herbs. Always, always check your air temperature. If you think the ground might be cold, get a soil temperature gauge and check. These can be found on Amazon as well as at local nurseries in your area.
This morning, Matthew opened the store for me. I stayed at the house and worked as we had a new housekeeper come in. She was here for four hours. She did okay but was not big on dusting. I finished up for her when she left. I guess it was not too bad considering that our last housekeeper has not been in four weeks. She won't answer when I try to contact her. I have cleaned some, but there is just no time during the week for a good cleaning. There is just too much work to be done.
About two weeks ago, I spoke to a lady recommended by one of our team members who loves to clean and organize. She is in the middle of a project but said she could start coming out one day a week to help me out with the house. I sure hope she can. I just don't ever have enough time to do anything anymore.
Today's spring growing guide is about Planting By Moonlight. In this article, David talks about what to plant during the different phases of the moon in spring. Again, you must pay attention to the temperatures at the same time.
This morning, the air was humid and the sky was overcast. The guy who is doing our gate started it this morning along with a helper. He also had a green paint to show me for the gate. It is close to the green we have in our logo and is called Alfalfa Essence. He wants to make the actual letters white. About an hour later, the guy who will do our automatic keypad entrance showed up to ask us how we wanted it. He will have an estimate to us by Monday.
Soon it started pouring hard for a few hours. We really need the rain so our crops can grow properly. Then it stopped. Now the sun is out and the gate guy has all of the posts set in cement. He said he will be back in the morning to work on the gate. It is really high, which is just what we wanted.
David heard about a new food vendor in Lytle and sent Matthew to pick up some plates for us. Vic's Cocina had the most delicious chicken salad croissant sandwich plates with a non-canned fruit cup and chips. It was so good.
Phil patched the drywall where the air conditioner units were and it looks good over in the commercial kitchen building. He has been taking the units out this week and he repaired the outer walls first.
The hummingbirds have been showing up. They are so tiny and cute. They have drained their feeders and it was just one week ago today that we put them up.
I have been adding things to the David's Garden Seeds® website in between customers, vendors, and our team members coming in to ask questions.
This evening, it got dark and poured with thunder and lightning. Some of the area got big hail. We got no hail but it poured. Then around 9pm, the power went out. A few seconds later, our generator kicked in. When I went to bed, the power was still out but not for us because of the generator.
Today's spring growing guide advice is to be prepared for spring storms including hail. Areas nearby got hail tonight, even though we didn't. Obviously, the plants out in the field in between the rows of orchard trees, are unprotected but a lot of things were planted in our hoop houses which are covered with shade cloth and/or plastic which will protect plants.
Good morning. Time to open the store. I paid all of my bills this morning for the business and the home. Jay and Rock came in to work today and they brought breakfast tacos. Yum!
Now I am at the store, but we have not had any customers today. I have been working on a new heat tolerant seed set page and it is finally finished. If you live in a hot location, like Texas, be sure and check it out for vegetable varieties as well as flower varieties that will do well in the heat.
David has completed a page about the cooler than normal spring we are having here in Texas and everywhere in 2021 and you can read it here. You can consider this page written by David to be part of our spring growing guide.
We ended up having some customers who are farmers. They bought ten packs of one kind of seed and five of another, as well as some single packs of different varieties of vegetables. They loved our store and said they would definitely be back. They took extra business cards to pass out to their friends. We really appreciate it.
Svengoolie played Gargoyles. We watched that last year on Svengoolie. In fact, it was the first movie we ever watched during Svengoolie. We had pizza and wings. Toward the end, I crashed and woke up about 40 minutes later in the middle of Star Trek, the original series playing on MeTV.
Today has been a good day as we did not have to rush off anywhere. We stayed home from church because the welder came this morning to do some dangerous work with a crane. David decided we needed to be here in case anything bad happened. Thankfully, everything went well. the arch is up where the name of our farm will go as well as our logo.
I have been getting a lot done. I rearranged my office in the house and I got all of our granddaughter's birthday presents wrapped for next weekend.
Interestingly, the weather is not as humid as I thought it would be. It is 90° but doesn't feel too bad as far as today's humidity goes.
The baby chicks were moved to a large dog kennel but they have been living inside of a shed because the nights have been pretty cool. They are six weeks old. Now that the weather is getting warmer, we moved them today out to the chicken coop. They will remain inside the kennel for a while so the bigger hens don't peck them to death. This way, they will get used to it, the hens will get used to them, and I won't have to constantly clean up the shed. The chicks have been making a mess, throwing out the wood chips and hay as well as chicken poo.
Right now, the hens are staying away from the chickens. They seem a bit apprehensive about the cage.
Our neighbor is still not ready to have her guineas back. It has been about a month since they were getting a coop ready for them. In case you are new, the guineas from across the street started visiting our birds every day but would go home for meals and to sleep. After a while, they would go home to eat but slept here outside. Now, they stay here constantly. I am not sure why. We do not feed or water them. They poop all over the little porch we have on a shed out by the coops.
Our baby bunnies are doing very well. It turns out that the newest mom had nine babies and the second time mom had eight babies. Her first litter was seven and one baby died about a month later. All 17 babies are thriving right now.
In today's edition of the Spring Growing Guide, not all seed varieties are the same. Just because you can grow lettuce in your area, doesn't mean that all lettuce varieties will grow well in your area. It is all about where you are located. Some varieties of seeds will grow really well in the heat while others grow well in the cooler weather. This is true for all kinds of seeds, not just lettuce.
So location and climate are important factors in our spring growing guide. Choose the seeds that will grow well in your growing zone and in your climate. Plant the seeds, not by month, but by temperature because some years, like 2021, are not the same as other years. Respect the spring growing guide. Please be sure to note all of the times I have mentioned the temperature in this page about spring growing guide points.
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