While many of us have been waiting patiently for winter to arrive, these last rounds of snow showers have made us quite ecstatic. Hopefully, the pattern of multiple inches of snow followed by warm temperatures and blue skies will continue for the rest of the season. Man, I love Southwest Colorado.
Apparently, all it took was my decision to finally bite the bullet and water the trees in the landscape a couple of weekends ago.
Over the last few years, decent snow coverage throughout the winter months, due to the combination of above-average precipitation and stretches of cold weather, has precluded me from adding supplemental water during the winter.
However, this year, with very little snowfall and unseasonably warm days, I was pushed to the point of breaking out the garden hose from storage and watering the trees that were planted over the course of the last four years.
That was on a Saturday. So of course, on Sunday and Monday the snow fell and fell.
Murphys (Garden) Laws at work: You transplant your tomatoes two days before a random June frost; you attempt to mow your lawn (after work) during monsoon season; you finally find time to plant your bulbs in the fall only to be thwarted by the 8 inches of snow that just fell. And yes, you water your trees in the winter the day before the first measurable snowstorm of the season.
The longer days have many of us looking at seed catalogs, as well, and before we know it, it will be time to seed our cool-season vegetable crops. The hope was to increase my growing spaces by the addition of two additional beds this year, but the addition of a garage and deck has put that on hold. My ambitions would have meant a significant redesign of my irrigation system. While I thoroughly enjoy playing with the emitters and tubes, I have yet to find the pot of gold that will allow me to do everything.
Tentatively, I will once again dedicate raised beds to onions, garlic and tomatoes (I know, I know). I have hopefully arrived at the point of understanding which tomato cultivars will do well in my garden. No to Romas and paste tomatoes they constantly get blossom-end rot. Yes to yellow pear and gold nugget (pear- and cherry-type tomatoes that are amazing in salads and as snacks to eat while weeding), a couple of heirloom varieties and determinates like Celebrity.
I will plant our mainstays of Costata Romanesco zucchini, yellow crooked-neck squash and some slicing cucumbers in the beds where they can run. Carrots and lettuce have gained popularity in the Parmenter household, and I would expect at least four or five plantings of both. Napoli and rainbow carrots seem to succeed every year, while a mixture of green and red leaf lettuce (can be cut multiple times before going bitter) find their way into every nook of the garden beds.
We will see what else the kids want. Maybe, just maybe, theyll say Swiss chard again.
Or even potatoes (as a tear rolls softly down my cheek ...).
email@example.com or 382-6464. Darrin Parmenter is director and horticulture agent of the La Plata County Extension Office.