Having fun with tomatoes

I just love getting my hands dirty with transplanting. It is such a time of hope. Good food in a few months. The remainder of these tomatoes are for the Central Valley Garden Club plant sale in early May.  Until then they will be toasty warm in my greenhouse.

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Mason Bees in my garden

I enjoy nurturing the native bees and providing nesting homes for them. Since we have five fruit trees, four blueberry plants, 50 strawberries and multiplying raspberries, my garden keeps these bees working. I like them because they work in the rain, unlike other pollinators. I have some cute bee houses and some practical, jury rigged ones and they both do the job.

The wire one above is what I will explain. Mason Bee season here in the Puget Sound lowlands runs from about March 15 when you put them out until mid July when they are ready for storage. Recently I have learned about these predatory wasps that drill holes in the cardboard straws to lay their eggs, ultimately killing the developing Mason Bees. This year I am using white cardboard tubes placed in natural reeds, hoping to discourage the predatory wasps. The tan tubes with mud closures are the bees from 2017 and the white tubes are the nesting sites for 2018.

Winter weather has us shivering

The Pacific Northwest is in one of the coldest winters of the last decade. Last year was the winter that wasn’t. This year my ground is frozen and the air temps have gone down to 20- 29* F overnight for the past two weeks. I do still have Snowdrops trying to push up and bloom and a few Helebores getting ready to bloom also. I think a weather shift is coming however. We expect rain and relatively warm weather later this week.