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okiedawn1

February 2018, Week 3, Planting and....Rain, Sleet, Snow

What's in your forecast? I bet it is an interesting assortment of various weather conditions.

My forecast for this week includes rain, wind, rain, wind, rain, fog, rain, rain, rain, sleet and snow (in the form of a wintery mix on Wednesday). I cannot remember if there is any sunshine in the official forecast, (I went back and looked and there is not a single mention of it at the present time) but I'm hoping the sun will come peeping out of the clouds as much as possible. I suspect many of you have a forecast very similar to mine.

It is hard to complain about receiving rain in the midst of drought, so I simply won't do it. After being stuck inside with dogs and muddy paws and a mop that is going to be used much more than I like to use one all week long, I might be whining about mud though as the days drag on. The cats will be distraught. No amount of catnip and cat toys is going to make them happy about all that rain.

So, I'm trying to think positively despite such a gloomy forecast. After all, we need the rain desperately and it will be a blessing to receive it. I am positive about that! I also am positive I will be whining about mud. Ha! If the NWS is right, we are expected to receive at least 3" of rainfall this week, with the best chance for "Heavy Rain" on Tuesday. I think I've forgotten what heavy rain sounds like pounding away on the roof, so I'm kind of looking forward to that. There's always the chance the forecast will be a bust and we won't get all the rain they say, but the air feels so differently now---so full of moisture and so much more pleasant than all that dry winter air that I feel like the weather pattern change will indeed bring rain.

If it is going to rain every day as forecast, what time is better than the latter half of February when every pretty day sets off gardeners' fantasies and dreams, making them think Spring is here (it is not), Winter is over (it is not) and that they can go out and plant anything and everything they want? (I am showing restraint in this area).I actually think the rain is falling at a great time for anyone who's seeded cool-season crops already, but maybe not such a great time for folks who haven't done their soil prep yet because now it could be too wet to plow and rototill. Those of us in parts of the state where this week's rainfall alone could total 2-7" might be better off waiting and sowing seeds into moist receptive soil after the rain ends rather than risking having up to 7" of rainfall wash the seeds away. Much depends on how level versus how sloping one's garden plot is as well as whether the soil drains fast, medium or slow. With a sloping garden atop a base of red clay soil, clearly I've been watching the weather and avoiding sowing seeds until after this week's rainy weather passes.

Unfortunately, the rain likely will germinate many of the cool season weed seeds that have been lying there in the soil waiting for the moisture to finally happen. That means weeding season will arrive in March, but then, doesn't it always?

So, I've got flats, paper cups, bags of sterile soil-less mix and seeds to try to keep myself occupied indoors this week. I've got my raincoat and boots ready for the endless trips out to the chicken coops to feed and water the birds in the rain and mud. I have books and magazines to read, bird food for the bird feeders, a bag of rawhide chews for the dogs. There's only so much you can do to entertain yourself while it is raining every day, but I'm sure I'll manage. I'll do my best to avoid online shopping---it is so easy to click and order stuff you don't need and seeds you'll never get around to planting due to that lack of space. If gardening has taught me anything, it has taught me that I absolutely, positively do not need more seeds when I already have too many as it is. What sort of plans do y'all have?

Is anyone expecting to see the sun?

Today is starting out as expected here---not too cold but cloudy, with fog and rain in the forecast and no indication that anyone down here will see the sunshine today.

Dawn

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