Winter Weather?

Today was beyond warm, it was downright hot; somewhere in the upper 70’s.  I was outside sanding on the cider press getting ready to give it another coat of varnish before putting it away, and the sun was so hot on the back of my neck and I had to lug the thing over to the shade to finish.  Tomorrow is supposed to be much the same, meanwhile dipping down to the upper 30’s at night.

I see the weather reports of the east coast and England, suffering under snow and bitter cold winds, and realize how blessed we are to have such glorious winter weather (which almost makes up for the misery we have during the hot summers).  But I do almost envy the “down time” colder-climate gardeners have when the yard is covered in snow (and I’m sure some of you would be happy to send me some of it right now).  We don’t really have a good time to putter in the garage sharpening tools and maintaining equipment, nor do we have time to peruse through catalogs and leisurely plan out next year’s planting.  Bare root trees and roses are in the stores already, and the grass grows all year (as do the weeds; especially in the winter).   The citrus is just getting ready to pick, and I only have three weeks to get Anna and Dorsett Golden apples pruned and collect scionwood before they start blossoming, possibly overlapping the harvest of Lady Williams apple.

I’ll be spending the next two weeks unpotting apple whips I’ve been growing for elementary school orchards and arranging child labor to plant them, and digging up losers here at my orchard and planting new trial varieties.  Then my rootstocks arrive in late February and I disappear into the basement for six weeks of grafting insanity, after which I have a couple days to get the stonefruit sprayed with dormant oil before the whole thing starts over again.  Still better than shoveling 2 feet of snow I guess…


One Response

  1. Thanks for the insights Kevin,

    I am an organic veggie gardener. My man and I just purchased some land in Chatsworth, Ca where we will experience for ourselves exactly how hot the summers you are referring to can be. We ordered twelve trees from you to create an apple fence on our property and though the amount of work you describe sounds a bit daunting, I am really excited to create an amazing edible sanctuary. I look forward to receiving my book and trees in March!

    Thanks for your hard work!

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