After this extraordinary winter
I'm at the bottom edge of Zone 8, and let me tell you this winter did a number on my plants. The ginger is dead, though the galangal might survive. The lemon grass is dry hay, and the lemon eucalyptus might make a good tomato stake.
All three bananas (raja puri, ice cream, and ... um ... was that a dwarf Cavendish?) froze to the ground, with all their inner trunks turned to brown goosh. My youngest son had fun with the machete. I've had bananas for close to twenty years, and this is the first time they've frozen down to the ground. This is disheartening, but it does open up space for the two new fig trees my husband insisted on getting last spring, never mind we have (or rather had) no place to put them in the ground.
Luckily, most of the citrus survived. My baby kiwis look dead, but since the stem on each is still pliable I have hopes they're just dormant. I need to build trellises for them, or at least for the female. The male can go climb a tree somewhere.
This past week, we excavated the little pots with the remnants of last year's blueberry cuttings. Most of the tags are gone, but the vast majority of them were one kind ... Premier? Powderblue? I think one of those. Anyway, there's definitely one Tifblue, so I should still get cross-pollination. The baby blueberries that were in the ground were mowed (again) by my too-helpful neighbor, so we just up-potted these with the plan to keep them potted until they're more than knee-high.
Two of the thornless blackberry cuttings are still alive. I need to get some bamboo to make trellises for them.
The sunflowers are coming up thickly, so I'm making sandwiches with the thinnings. The sunflower flat is tucked inside the coon trap to keep hungry chickens at a distance. The sweet banana pepper and cayenne seedlings are now securely elevated with the strawberries and catnip plants that survived the winter. Other flats hold okra, red and white cherry tomatoes (both Mexican strains that are reputed to do well in the heat), mixed purple flowers, tobacco, pennyroyal, and something I hope to eventually remember. They haven't sprouted yet. I foolishly thought the chickens would leave the tiny seed alone until they sprouted. Ah well, I didn't really have room for one plant per seed anyway.
I'll plant the baby corn and the heirloom rice when I find space for it, which might not technically be within the boundaries of my property. I should divide my salvia plants next time I go out. I still want to plant more tea and bee plants, but have to figure out where. Maybe in the lemon grass planter or the ginger barrel.
The garlic, both regular and elephant, is doing fine. This is sigh-inducing because it turns out I don't really like elephant garlic.
We have a bare, chicken-plowed splotch of dirt where the thriving little patch of snow peas used to be. Oh well. I thought my husband was watching the chickens when they were let loose. He thought I was caging the plants. So now I have a space for summer squash, right?
It turns out chickens lust after sparrowgrass shoots, and don't mind up-rooting fencing to get at them. The fencing is back in place now, with bricks stacked around it. Cross your fingers for me.
I have no clue where to put the sweet potatoes when they arrive.
I've been given some taro. Does anyone know how much shade taro can tolerate?