Was it only a week or so ago that we were freezing down here in Florida?
I vaguely remember conditions so cold that ponds froze, beards were needed, and gloves were for warmth, not protection.
Today, it's not even 8:00 am and the temperature is 64.
Yesterday, I shed my shirt and slapped on some sunscreen while working in the blueberry patch.
Two weeks ago I bundled up in layers and gloves just to rake some pine straw.
In the southwest corner of PFHQ I planted rows of pines years ago. The one in the picture was already there, my planted pines are not quite that big yet, but they are big enough to produce a nice carpet of pine needles for me.
Pine straw is a really good mulch for my blueberry bushes and it's a lot more fun to rake it in cold, low humidity weather. So, I grabbed my trusty, very rusty, garden cart and headed into the piney corner.
We use this old cart for everything and it is starting to show it's age. The rusted handle broke off a few weeks ago when Junior was hauling a load of firewood, so he rigged this rope in it's place.
I made a few trips back and forth that day ...
That twiggy dead looking stick between you and the cart is a young, dormant blueberry bush. There are about 4 in a row in this area that are the newbies. They've only been in the ground for a year or two and never had any decent mulch so they should enjoy the pine needles.
All of that blueberry maintenance above was on January 9th when we were enduring a record breaking series of freezing days.
Yesterday, I transplanted a couple of big blueberry bushes from pots to ground. They had started out as little bare root babies, about a foot tall in a box of 4 from Sams.
At the time I potted them so I could nurture them a little, rather than just sticking them in our sand and saying, "Good luck little blue dudes!"
Somehow, two seasons slipped by, and they were 4 feet tall and really, really, ready to get out of those pots.
Planting them, I noticed one potentially disastrous effect of the long cold period we just went through.
Their buds are swelling ... one was actually opening.
Poor little guys think they've been through a whole winter due to all those chilling hours,
It's only late January, there are more freezes to come ... maybe really bad ones based on this year's record so far.
If those blues bud out and then we have a hard freeze, my summer blueberry crop is toast.
Let me tell ya, a lack of blues will really give me the blues come harvest time.