Rockmelon, Snake Bean, Corn and Okra seeds planted have begun to germinate in the Cold Frame. This is much faster than we expected but with the weather as warm as it has been it shouldn't be surprising. Planting out will be early this year but it's a bit soon to get too excited. Once out of the Cold Frame if the weather cools the seedlings will sit there doing nothing for a while. Its one of the problems with succession planting of Rockmelon and Watermelon. The early plantings are slow to progress and the later plantings take off and start to catch up. In the end the two harvests merge and the glut still occurs. This year there will be no succession planting of melons.
|Okra and Corn|
Out in the vineyard bud burst has been under way for some time. Flowering is occurring as well. Because the Chambourcin is such a prolific flowerer and our ground is so poor the grapes will struggle to ripen if left alone. Every couple of mornings there is the stroll amongst the vines pinching out excess flowers. One bunch per shoot instead of the two or three.
|Vineyard greening up|
Having spoken about Honda engines and reliability recently it needs mentioning that our backup power source is a Honda engine driving a generator. It always starts on the first pull. We mounted ours on wheels so it can be moved quickly into position for exhaust fumes to dissipate. It's all fuelled and ready to go. In past years power reliability was an issue, not so much these days but we still get that inconvenient outage just on dusk. Outages are either just a brief flicker or last 2-3 hours while repair crews find the source of the problem. With Summer coming no doubt there will be a few issues either because of high winds, overload or fires.
The generator is only one part of the solution. A good selection of power leads and multiple outlet power boards are always kept nearby for easy access. Setting up the house with lights, TV etc. takes about 15 minutes. Rather than sit around waiting its easier to perform the setup at the first sign of trouble and then put everything away in the morning.
|Extension leads and powerboards|