Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Date with February

So now, its February.  In my kitchen, February looks like this:

Warm, molten even, with an inner glow.

And this is the kind of calendar that rules my life.  Brutally concise, Puritanical, rigid, unyielding.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

For this is February and the inexorable timetable necessarily rules.  Without order in February, abandon hope, all ye who enter March.
It is February when the potting mix stacked like so many Cubist icebergs outside must thaw.  It takes days.....and a time to every purpose....for these
to be transformed into these....

.....then packed into crates and unloaded four by four into a greenhouse to warm.

We stir in slow release fertilizer because this light fluffy mix has great drainage and water holding capacity, is weed and disease free, but it isn't soil, it just acts like it.

We water the baskets down to moisten the mix through the whole pot and break the dry crust on top.  This time we plant four little begonia plugs, urging them out of the plug trays gently to preserve as many roots as we can, nestling them in the soil carefully so they won't drown when we water them in....

with an old stiff hose that probably looks something like this.  The well water is as cold as ...well, name your poison. Until the ground floor of the greenhouses absorbs enough sunshine, the water will be frigid, the hoses will be recalcitrant and the subject of mild cussing.

After the baskets are well watered and before we hang them, we check the leaders on the basket lines to make sure they aren't plugged by algae, dead insects or spider webs..

From this point, the hanging baskets will be watered 50 at a time...

It's February....a time to plant....some spicy Garden Salsa peppers...
or some early cauliflower.

.Some sweet Big Berthas with the seeder or some Romas and Supersweet 100s destined to be the earliest tomatoes on the block....

To every thing there is a season.....it is February.  Still winter in this country.  The groundhog mails his prediction in without opening his eyes.  We shed our hats, scarves, gloves, coats and sodden boots 'neath the radiator in the kitchen, hoping they will be not just warm, but please, please, dry when we pull them on in the morning.  

But....turn, turn, turn, one fine day the sun begins to turn the drive to mud, the drifts to puddles, the white to brown.  We shed some layers.  The car thermometer confirms hard fact to our hopeful senses.

And we are not the only living things to come to life, to unfold...
...to bloom..
and recognize, realize, rejoice and begin to count down the waning days of February.

1 comment:

  1. Greenhouses smell good in February. An olfactory preview of spring.