Incurable spring fever
by Rick Watson
Mar 17, 2013 | 1147 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rick Watson
Rick Watson
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I've gotten swept up in spring fever this week, even though I know there will be more mornings with frost as thick as gauze on the ground.

The Master Gardener's class last week was about plant propagation. We learned how to start baby plants from stems, flowers, seeds and cuttings.

Our kitchen table now has a huge black-plastic tray filled with holly sprouts, blueberries stems, peppers, and leaves of African Violets.

I came home the evening after sprouting class and ordered apple trees, a fig tree, and more blueberry bushes.

The difference this year was that I looked at recommendations from the Extension service. It seems that certain varieties thrive here against the bugs, viruses, spores and varmints.

I know this sounds silly, but in the past, I never thought to call Danny Cain, the local authority in Walker County at the Extension Service. He knows what he’s talking about and can provide information on what plants do well here.

Just because the picture is pretty in the catalog and theoretically should grow in Walker County doesn’t mean it will survive and thrive here.

The plants I ordered after class arrived Friday just as we were about to head out of town.

I knew leaving them in a cardboard box over the weekend would be stressful, so I slid my hand into my pocket, fished out my trusty pocketknife and sliced opened the cardboard shipping container. I could almost hear the plants take a long breath of fresh air.

I untangled each plant from the shipping plastic, put them in a #3 washtub and soaked the roots.

I then scratched up a tub full of leaves from under the water oak with my fingers. The earth beneath the leaves was dark as fudge and smelled like I imagine the earth smelled before time.

I talked to each plant and promised I'd get them in the ground soon. I'm not sure they could hear me, but I hope they sensed the loving vibes I sent their way.

I’m guessing some of my classmates in the Master Gardeners Class might consider talking to plants a little wacky and give me a wide berth in class next week….but I digress.

On Sunday the sun was crazy warm. The wind out of the west was still a little chilly, but not so chilly that I didn't take advantage of the late winter rays.

I fished my posthole diggers out of the shed and dug holes in the earth deep enough to bury a pet.

I then placed the plants in their holes, filled it with compost and water, and tamped loose soil around them.

It could take years before some of the trees are in full production, but they never will start bearing fruit if I don't plant them.

That night after digging holes with the posthole diggers, my arms felt as if I'd boxed Mike Tyson for 15 rounds, except I still have both my ears.

The time change messed with my body rhythms so I’ve been out of whack all week, but I’m adjusting.

Have a great week.