Master Gardener Spring Garden Fair

Garden Fair 2014-1401

Today is the annual Santa Fe Master Gardener Spring Garden Fair from 9 am – 3 pm at the Rodeo Grounds off of Rodeo Road. I think it is the best gardening fair in Santa Fe. There are demos, exhibitors, vendors, a giant plant sale, guest garden speakers and much more. The first time I went, I was blown away how fantastic it is and how inspiring it is for gardeners and that was before I became a Master Gardener. Now that I am a Master Gardener, I’m always involved one way or another. This year I will be working at the plant sale. So come on by and say ‘hi’ and get some great plants, gardening stuff and learn how to do something new in the garden. If you want to get motivated to get gardening, come to this event!

Wait! Not quite yet-Patience!

snow2_april 26

Snow-April 26, 2015!

Just when we are all chomping to get growing, here comes another snow.  Big wet snowflakes. Not surprising as we are still in April, (although late April). Yesterday I went to the Farmer’s Market to sell greens and tomato plants and I told everyone-don’t plant them yet, put them in a warm window sill, we still could have cold weather coming and here it is. Of course most of us know that the first frost-free day is around May 15th  to start planting but still I always fantasize getting everything in early and usually must wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.

Patience! It seems gardening is a lesson in patience and patience is one of  life’s lessons. We must be patient for the winter weather to end so we can put our plants in the garden. Patient for the seeds to germinate. Patient when they don’t and must reseed. Patient for the soil to warm up so the plants will grow in earnest. Patient that the crops will grow and prosper. Patient for the all elusive harvest. So keep the faith, be patient, we will be able to plant soon, not just yet.

Apple blossoms update

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After last week’s super cold spring weather of 20°F at night and then the snow (hey it least it was warmer) I’m happy to say that not all the apple blossoms died. This morning I noticed a lot more blossoms have opened and the bees are all over them which means I might get a reduced crop but won’t be wiped out completely unless we get another bitter cold night. Looks like we are back to warm days again as well. Yea!

BRRR!!! FREEZING NIGHTS TONIGHT thru THIS SUNDAY!!

220px-Old_man_winter.svg copyJust when I think that it is warming up nicely, the weather turns. Don’t be caught off guard if you’ve already planted, even cool season crops are in danger with the cold nights coming. To protect your plants, put row cover over them at night. It will add between 4-6°F protection and may help them endure the cold. You can get some at Agua Fria, Plants of the Southwest and Paynes Nurseries.

 

Here is the temperature (lows) forecast for the next 5 nights:

Tonight-Wednesday  29°F

Tomorrow night-Thursday 26°F

Friday night-29°F

Saturday night-28°F

Sunday night-31°F

 

Apple blossoms and bees

Yesterday Elodie took some fantastic pictures of both honeybees and native bees visiting the apple trees blossoms. The blossoms are in full bloom now which are gorgeous and smell heavenly but tomorrow night  (Wednesday) and Thursday night is supposed to get in the high 20’s at night which is a real bummer because the cold will probably knock off the blossoms and that will be the end of our apple season again… Meanwhile let’s enjoy these great pictures while we have them.

I call this the drunken bee-drunk on nectar!

I call this the drunken bee-drunk on nectar!

 

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Here’s a closeup of a bee

 

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This honey bee has some pollen on her legs

 

Native bees visit the blossoms too!

Native bees look very different from honey bees

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Honey bee visits an apple blossom

 

 

 

Dorothy is ok!

DOROTHY closeup APRIL 2015

Here is Dorothy in the middle of a comb being attended to by the other bees.

When we had the micro burst of wind happen last week, we found our queen bee, (promptly named Dorothy because her house was turned upside down), outside the hive. I quickly picked her up on a bar that was tossed to the ground and she seemed ok. Queen bees are very delicate and can get easily injured so we worried that she might not be able to lay eggs even though she appeared fine. Yesterday, Elodie and I inspected the hive and she is truly fine.

DOROTHY_ eggs_closeup

Look! We found eggs which means she is not damaged and the other bees will be capping them soon. They are in the comb-notice they look like tiny grains of rice. We are so relieved because a hive without a working queen is a doomed hive and the hive could not survive as the queen keeps the continuum going with the hive. Since the worker bees only live about 6 weeks, it is the queens only job-laying eggs, making brood so more bees can be born to keep the hive going!

Are you chitting those potatoes?

chitting potatoes_closeup

Are you chitting your potato seeds yet? Careful how you say that! You can get potato seeds at the local nurseries now if you plan to grow them this year. Potato seeds are actually smaller potatoes that you plant. Don’t use grocery store potatoes as most of them have a sprout inhibitor on them to reduce sprouting which is what we want.

chitting potatoes

Chitting is letting your potatoes grow those little ‘eyes’ out. Put them in indirect sunlight. I use egg cartons to hold them so the eyes don’t break off. After they grow ‘eyes’, you should plant them this month-April. Chitting potatoes now will let you harvest them 2-3 week earlier when harvesting them later in the late summer.

This year, I’m growing them in ‘potato bags’ instead of a garden bed. My friend, Janet had fabulous luck with them last year-in fact she got more than I did in a raised bed so I’m trying her way this year besides it opens up another bed for me to grow other veggies in.

For more info on growing and chitting your potatoes, go to my original post ‘Growing and Chitting Potatoes’