The bees arrive, the tomato seedlings rally, and pink blueberries!

Orchard Mason Bee House

Orchard Mason Bee House

 Just as I was about to embark on a series of beekeeping classes, I found Steve the bee guy on Craigslist. Steve offered to help me set up an orchard mason bee house. This was great timing because my schedule was getting crazy and adding beekeeping to the list was a little overly ambitious for this year.  So Steve came by yesterday and set up this cute little bee house.  The blue tube under the roof of the house contains about eighty dormant orchard mason bees. They look a bit like dried beans. Over the next 5 – 7 days, the bees will wake up and begin to fulfill their purpose, pollination. They will work hard for a few months, lay their eggs in the bee house holes, and will be done by June. Steve will then collect the house (and larvae) and which will be stored until the following spring. The bees do have an interesting life cycle and while they don’t produce honey, they are lower maintenance to keep than honey bees while being good pollinators.

Tomato and pepper seedlings

Tomato and pepper seedlings

A few weeks ago I bemoaned the sad state of my tomato and pepper seedlings. I’m happy to report that after following the advice of my trusted gardening friends, the seedlings are doing much better.  After plugging the heat mats in so that they would be on full time (I previously had them plugged into the same timer used to control the lights) and giving them a light liquid fertilizer when watering, the plants have rebounded and are showing good growth.

Front ornamental planting area

Front ornamental planting area

And now on to the disappointment of this weekend.  I wanted to fully weed and bark the ornamental planting area in front of our house.  Every spring this area needs a good weeding or the weeds take over.  Yesterday was the day to do this because the sun was out and it was so nice. Unfortunately, I could only tackle this project in small chunks.  My daughter was participating in her school play and there were two showings yesterday.  She also had dance class.  I probably got about 70% of the job done, but it definitely isn’t finished.  I haven’t even managed to put all the tools away.  Maybe I’ll make finishing this up my after work project this week now that we have more sun in the evenings.

I didn’t finish the weeding, but I did manage some planting today.  The weather was highly changeable, but I had about an hour of nice weather and managed to plant two ‘Pink Lemonade’ blueberry bushes. Definitely click on the link and check these out.  They look very interesting! I also started a new strawberry patch, planted a second rhubarb, and planted onion starts.  So, even though I didn’t finish everything I wanted to, it was a productive weekend.

Happy gardening.

Sandy

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11 Responses to The bees arrive, the tomato seedlings rally, and pink blueberries!

  1. leslie says:

    I saw the “Pink Lemonade” blueberries at my local nursery this weekend. They sound delicious. I already overbought blueberries this year so I will have to live vicariously through you. Can’t wait to see how they do!

  2. Leslie, was that at McClendon Hardware? I bought mine at the one in Woodinville. I haven’t seen them anywhere else. And they sold out really fast!

  3. kitsapFG says:

    I had never heard of these pink lemonade blueberries (pinkberries?!) until you mentioned them. I would love to put in more blueberries but am running out of room on the property that get’s adequate sun to support anything but moss.

    Sorry you were unable to finish the weeding, but you got alot of other things accomplished and a good start on the weeding project. The mason bees have been capturing my interest – so I will be interested to see how it goes for you.

  4. I had never heard of these pink blueberries either until I came across them at the local hardware store yesterday. I’m definitely intrigued!

  5. Those sound fun but I’m out of room too now. I’m wondering how the thing with the Bee guy works since I never got around to getting mason bees and really want them. Do you rent the house & bees? Do you have his contact info? I’ve got blossoms on my fruit trees and need some pollination!

  6. leslie says:

    I think I saw them at Molbaks in Woodinville — how funny we came so close to crossing paths!

  7. Glad to see the tomatoes have bounced back! must be good seed. Will to live you know.

    I wish we could grow blueberries here, but as of yet I’m just not willing to go to the extreme lengths they require. Our soil is so base that it just sucks the life out of high Ph loving plants like blueberries. One day perhaps…one day.
    P~

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