They’ve built up their dam extra high this spring. And as we haven’t had any rain in two weeks, I’m beginning to see why. Using this dry spell, Will spread a good layer of rotted manure over all nine of our gardens, finishing up the Wolf garden yesterday. Today, he took the big Oliver tractor and disc over to the 10 acres he plowed and disked last fall to get it ready to plant the oat seed I got on Monday. Wow, has grain ever climbed in price; like $5 a bag since last week or so! He’s hoping to get it worked up today and tomorrow, then drilled in before any rain comes, perhaps on Friday night or the weekend, depending on what forecast you believe. Personally, I believe the beavers! They’ve never been wrong yet. But I am hoping an inch or so of rain over a couple of days doesn’t count in their drought forecast.

Our plants in the new greenhouse continue to amaze us. Wow, do they ever look great! As getting small propane tanks refilled is pricey, we called for a 250-gallon tank to be set up. That’s supposed to happen tomorrow morning. Yesterday I tried to get our 100-pound tank filled and the propane company didn’t have anyone who could fill it or any full ones they could exchange for it. It was supposed to be 30 degrees last night, but we already knew that many times the weather forecasters said low thirties and we got low twenties. All we had was a full 35-pound tank. But after talking to my son, Bill, who is a certified LP technician, we hooked up the small tank. He said when you open the valve on a tank with overfill protection quickly, the tank thinks it’s overfilled, so it shuts off. That’s why Will couldn’t get the small tank to work on our wall LP heater before. Will shrugged and slowly opened the valve. The pilot lit! Then the heater turned on. Yea Bill! Today I filled the big tank, but we will not have that problem much longer, God willing and the propane guy shows up as scheduled with the 250 gallon tank. Will got the spot nicely leveled off with fill this morning so we’re all set.

Will hauled in some gravel and packed a nice level spot for the new LP tank we’re getting tomorrow for the new greenhouse.
I haven’t had such nice tomato seedlings in many years! Aren’t they stocky though?

Spring continues to bless us. Our daffodils are starting to bloom, and our Adirondack Gold Apricots are blooming. I sure hope the cold nights don’t cause the blooms to drop without setting fruit.

Our Adirondack Gold apricots are in near full bloom.

Today, I’m starting to plant our squash and melon seeds in 4-inch pots as it’s about four weeks before they will be set out in the gardens. With such a short season, we sure want to make sure we have enough mature seeds for our wonderful customers we feel as extended family. The hard part is deciding what to plant and where it will go in our various far-apart gardens, so the varieties stay pure and don’t cross. I have boxes of seeds and a much-changed notebook sitting by my chair, waiting for me to decide. And that is really hard — I want to plant them all! — Jackie


  1. I’m glad you enjoy the blog. Remember, Blossom, we do what we can every day. It might not be what someone else could do, but be satisfied if it’s the best you can do. We can do no more and it sure doesn’t get us anywhere worrying because we didn’t get it perfect! (Don’t believe me? Just come look at my kitchen right now!!!)

  2. I’ve stopped watching TV so missed the news we were supposed to have frost so didn’t cover the flowers I just set out. Fortunately, it didn’t frost!! Tomorrow is supposed to get into the 70’s and possibility of rain. We had a good shower Thursday and a brief shower today but not enough to change our drought status. Last year was VERY dry and we spent most of the summer in extreme drought with a ban on outside watering and a burn ban. Unfortunately, it is looking more and more likely we are going to have a repeat of last year’s drought.

    • Phooey! I was hoping our beavers were going to be wrong this year! I’m so glad your flowers didn’t freeze.

  3. I still don’t understand the “global warming” bit. -4 in N. Central TX? We have set record low temps. Then, this month, we are above average on rain. We were below average until recently. Our average last frost is March 15. Last year, we had a killing frost on April 15. This year about April 22……..

    • Global warming is really “climate change”, not warming everywhere. We’re happy, here in northern Minnesota most years. Where it used to get -55 to -65 every winter for lows, for the last 20 years, we’ve been seeing -35 for lows instead. And where we used to have four feet of snow or more on the ground every winter, now we usually have around two feet, not counting drifts. Everywhere we’ve been seeing weird weather; more storms, more severe weather events.

  4. I understand your concern for apricot blooming. Last year our pear tree was looking great then we had a hard freeze. We did not get even 1 pear in 2020. Thankfully the year before we had an abundance so I still had canned pears to get us through. I am being selfish with last couple of jars until I know for sure this year will produce. So good with no freezing temps in the forecast.

    • If the blooms set fruit then drop, we USUALLY will get a harvest. But that’s why I can up everything I can when there’s a good crop for you never know what the next year will bring!

  5. Love to see and hear about your life happenings! You are such an inspiration!
    I’m in California and we are in a drought again too! It’s so crazy! Wishing all a great gardening season! Stay busy and safe!

    • Busy, we are, especially at this time of the year. Right now, Will’s off “playing” on Old Trusty after working all day on the new Wolf garden annex.

  6. We are on track here in Spokane, WA for having the driest spring on record :I
    Ten degrees above average too, so I planted my Hopi squash. It seems to like the heat… so far. I am thinking of planting okra too. Never tried to grow it before but I love to eat it so its worth it to try. If its going to be hot anyway then might as well roll with it!

    • Just keep an eye on the weather as it can change at the drop of a hat. We’ve had 80’s this time of the year that dropped down to high twenties at night!! Eek, that hurts. Good luck with the okra. I can’t get it to grow here. We’re just too cold.

      • We’re zone 3 up here in northern wisconsin. I have grown okra, and eggplant in my carport greenhouse during the summer when the other vegetable seedlings get moved to the garden. As the greenhouse only has one side open, and no fan, it gets HOT in there during the summer. The okra and eggplant just love it. I grow them in large tubs filled with compost, the eggplant gets about as tall as me and the okra grows almost to the roof! And they don’t drop blossoms during the heat of the summer, unlike the tomatoes and peppers, which I don’t bother to grow in there as it is too hot for them to set fruit till the fall, which by then it is getting too late in the year.

  7. The plants in the greenhouse look soooo lovely! Lucky you. Very glad the LP mystery was solved. Still 2 weeks to go before we can plant out here in Maine. Cannot wait!!

    • We feel so blessed to have that greenhouse! The plants, evidently, do too. We’re anxiously waiting for planting time to come here but cringing at all the work staring us in the face then when we must plant 24/7 to get it all in for our short season.

    • We think so too. They’re the nicest plants we’ve ever had. What a good idea that greenhouse was!

  8. I heard the apple blossoms were damaged and 90% didn’t bloom this year in a commercial orchard in Baraboo. I know I had only 3 blossoms total on 1 tree and none on the other 3 apple trees in my yard! And we need rain here in Town of Fairfield!

    • We’re lucky so far; our apples haven’t started blooming yet. I am watering our orchard as we still haven’t had a drop of rain and boy is it ever dry! Even creeks and beaver ponds (not ours yet) are starting to dry up. Pray like heck!

  9. I hope the beavers are like Punxsatawny Phil the famous spring ground hog and there is no correlation. However, I bet you are right about the beavers and drought. It is really dry here in southern Wisconsin. We’re down around 4-5 inches of rain less for the season and mornings are still cold. Our field corn has the off yellow color you see with cold weather. We too still have risk of frost. Your tomato plants look great. We finished hauling manure and soon will plant our sweet corn. I wonder if with the greenhouse you’ll have an easier time hardening off the vegetable plants? I’ve never seen so many blossoms on our apple trees-is that a sign of drought stress? I enjoy the read of what you are doing.

    • No, lots of blooms usually means a wonderful forthcoming harvest, barring a freeze. I’m watering our orchard to try and help the poor trees out. We’re really happy as the Chestnut crab we though was going to die due to being nearly completely girdled by voles the winter before last is setting out leaves and flower buds! We’re still hauling manure. It’ll be two weeks before we can think about planting corn or beans.
      We’ve got doors and windows with screens on both ends of the new greenhouse so we can keep the ends open on breezy days to help strengthen the plants and the abundant sun is sure making them stout and dark green. I think they’ll require minimum hardening off!

  10. Oh yeah, also-planted a bare root standard size Yellow transparent apple and a Cortland apple last year, from fedco, the Yellow transparent is flowering this year, is it normal to flower that fast? When do you think we might start getting apples from them, and from the standard sized bare root pears we planted? Do my best to take care of them, compost, fences, ect.

    • Yes, standard sized apples often bloom the year after being set out. However, don’t keep many apples on that poor little tree. It’s actually best if you pinch off any that set the first year so the tree can put energy into roots than fruit so it will be hardier. You may start getting apples this year, in a small amount. But by three years, most well cared for standard apples will bear some fruit and by 5 years, quite a bit.
      Pears take a little longer.

  11. Nice plants! Didn’t put the plastic on the “greenhouse” this year(a carport we bought cheap at harbor freight) as with a new baby I am way too busy to start my usual hundreds and hundreds of plants. Just some tomatoes, onions, and peppers in the windows longing to go out, didn’t even have time to start the broccoli and such, oh well, might have to buy a few plants from the local greenhouses. I wish u lived closer, you could have some of my seed potatoes. Planted waaay to many last year(7 rows 55 feet long), I didn’t get to canning them all, hauled a dozen buckets up to the attic, some froze in the February cold snap, but lots are sprouting like crazy. Hauled most of them back down, sprouting, smelling, and all. Won’t plant so many this year, especially with a new baby! Really like the blog, lots of inspiration for a younger person like me.

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