According to that lil’ ol’ rolly-poly groundhog up in Pennsylvania, we should be expecting to have six more weeks of winter-type weather. Not knowing whether the weather will be good or bad is probably one of the greatest enigmas of life, but we see a lot of folks making a living trying to guess what it’s going to do. As I’ve mentioned a couple of times prior, about the only choices we have on the subject, besides talking about it, is to either get in or out of it. However, if it looks like ol’ Man Winter might be hanging around for awhile, it certainly might prove prudent to not get in any hurry about planting the Spring garden.
If these intermittent fair days entice you out in the yard or garden there are still several things one can occupy themselves with that won’t be wasted. This is a good time for pruning any bushes, trees, or shrubs that may need shaping or have some wind damage that needs repair. Getting yard, garden, & orchard equipment cleaned or tuned up is a timely chore this time of year. That lawn mower, weedeater, or edger that was running perfectly when we put it in the shed early last Fall might fool you now. I’m certainly not much of a mechanic, but still know about starting off with fresh gasoline & keeping a new spark plug on hand. If it goes past that, then I’m relegated to taking it to Tom or Thomas.
Another activity for the yard or garden that is a bit more enjoyable than the afore-mentioned chores, is that of proper planning. If you’ve gardened your plot prior, then you probably have a pretty good idea of how it is best to “lay it out.” If not, then sketching a simple plan can save lots of trouble later on. This is a great time to peruse the pages of garden seed and plant catalogs. Marshall & yrs. Truly use “Willhite” out of Poolville for most of our ordering needs as it might well be the only Texas company left in the business. As far as plants are concerned, local plant vendors such as Abby’s or Ivy’s usually have most of the best vegetable varieties of tomatoes, peppers, etc. for around here. It is also a pretty good idea to check with the County Agent’s Office as they will get you a list of recommended varieties of vegetables for our area. Proper planning with variety selection might well be one of the most important aspects of a successful garden. Just because something is on a local store’s seed rack doesn’t intend that it’s good for our area. One good example is the perennial presence of Bloomsdale Long Standing variety of Spinach. Quoting one of my best vegetable farmers from down at Crystal City in Zavala County, Ed Ritchie, “It’s still standing, because it never did grow (mature)”. I’ve noticed a lot of varieties of vegetable seed on racks that are a lot more adapted to areas up North than down in our country.
Anyhow, now that we’ve spent enough time out in the yard, garden, and orchard this week, it would be rewarding to take a little leisure time for fishing. The recent warm weather we’ve been experiencing has really got a bunch of people putting poles in the bed of their pickups. It has been reported that bait sales have been picking up and Val Gene even spent some money for bait down at the Bend Store a week or so back. Denver gave me some of his new batch of stink-bait to try, so I’d guess that might facilitate a trip down to the Colony or somewhere around Pecan Grove. There might even be a pretty good hole somewhere out around————————Harkeyville!!!!!