Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cold Weekend!

Hi-
This winter has been really cold and really dry, and it is causing a lot of people to worry that we will be in a serious drought this year. I hope the Farmer's Almanac is right because it says we will have heavy rain in January and Feb. But the weekend of Dec 7th was exceptionally cold and it actually rained a lot! I wasn't there but my friend who lives in the area sent me pictures and there was snow everywhere. I was sure that everything would be gone when I got there and I was right for the most part. My house is south-facing so it is too warm to keep snow for any length of time, but what a surprise to see snow everywhere in the shady spots and on my neighbor's north-facing area! It was really cool! 
Of course, the cold killed a lot of my plants. The citrus trees did fine except for the little lime tree...

I am afraid this little guy is a goner - which is sad because it was on it's second year and should have been ready to take off and grow!

Here is the basil from this summer - and well, it didn't much like the cold either.

Cut Basil - I was able to get so much Basil from these plants!

In the garden - after being cut you can still see there is a lot of basil
Dead Basil - it doesn't like the cold!
One of my trial winter vegetables is broccoli and it actually is fine after that freeze.. now if I can get it to grow into something bigger!
Lastly, since it was so cold out there I finally was able to take the sunflower heads that I saved and get the seeds out of them. This is not easy! The heads are really sharp and stick you with fine little needles. 
Just starting out breaking up the heads

Sorting out the seeds - I look for seeds that are plump and full. Some are empty shells.

After all of that - this is the bag that I decided had the best seeds.
Since no one else wanted any seeds, I only kept the best ones and put the rest out for the birds. They really could use the help right now and how many 14 foot sunflowers does one yard need anyway?

Julie