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Monday, April 15, 2024

Life 101: Spring Fever

By Rick Watson

I’ve gotten swept up in spring fever this week, though I know there will still be mornings to come with frost and chilly temps.

The Master Gardener’s class last week was about plant propagation.  We learned how to start baby plants from stems, flowers, seeds and cuttings.

The kitchen table now has a huge black-plastic tray filled with holly sprouts, blueberry stems, and leaves of African Violets.   I came home from sprouting class and ordered apple trees, a fig tree and more blueberry bushes.  And this year I looked for recommendations from the Extension service.  Certain varieties thrive here and the Extension Service provides information on what plants do well in our area.

Just because the picture in the seed catalog looks beautiful and perfect doesn’t mean Walker County, Al is the place for it to grow.

The plants arrived a few days later in a cardboard box.  I took my trusty fishing knife and slit the shipping container open.  I could almost hear the plants take a deep breath, put them in a washtub and soaked their roots.

I told the plants they would be home in the earth soon.  Not sure if they understood the words but I think they felt my love.

The next day the sun was crazy warm and the wind still had a chill to it.  I got my posthole diggers out of the shed and dug holes deep enough for the long roots.

I placed the plants in the holes, filled them with compost and water and tamped the loose soil around them.

It will be years before the trees are in production, but if you don’t plant nothing will bear for those in the future.

That night after digging all those holes, my arms felt as if I had boxed Mike Tyson and the time change has completely messed with my body rhythms.  I’m adjusting and the plants appear to be happy and my spring fever is cured until next year.

Rick Watson
Rick Watson
Rick Watson was a beloved member of the Walker County community, especially in east Walker County. His “Life 101” column was almost always written from the peacefulness of his 12-acre farm in the Empire community. His work focused on observing the joys of rural life.

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