New Season

20 03 2012

Ahhhh……

Like a breath of fresh air on a first day of spring, today was….well, that.  The last two days have been closer to the 0C mark but the end of winter certainly approaches.  I will have next week Mon-Wed off.  I can’t wait to be getting some things into the ground!    Spinach are definitely going in and I’ve just indoor seeded some leeks for transplant in a few weeks.

Some things are sitting there raring to go.  I have two bales of hay waiting there to be spread as a nice soft mulch.  They are resting beside my extended rain barrel.  In the front corner, I got a leaf holding plastic “cage” composting container.  I just filled it half way with a bunch of leaves and left it there.  Once I prepare that bed, the remainder of the leaves is going over to the corn bed to be mixed in.  I’m hoping that at least some nutrients leached into the ground right there.

In the far corner, you can see my tiny garlic patch covered up by a layer of all of the decaying nasturtium plants from last year.  I checked out underneath the webby mess and I only saw two tiny little sprouts (compared to a solid dozen last year….though I am several weeks earlier).

Beside the compost pile, there is a black tarp.  A bike and sundry other odds and ends are back there.  Numerous stake and teepee rigging are leaning up against the compost bin as well.  That is all going to change.  I will be putting a second compost bin in where all these things are leaning.  All of the rigging and stakes will be employed out in the garden.

The little circle patch used to be a spot for a choke cherry.  But that bush was gangly and the fruit inedible.  So I ripped it out and last year, we had our Pea-Tee-pee set up there.  It was virtually, the perfect spot.  The plan is to make it a bit more hospitable underneath so that our little one will climb in and eat peas from the inside while playing in the shelter.

I am curious as to which rhubarb will emerge as I’m fairly certain I may have ripped both of them out by mistake (oops!).

In addition to a little planting out, I intend to redo the edging of the entire garden with 2×6 cedar planking.  I’ll let y’all have a gander when I’m done.

As obvious as the hay bales are in this picture, it’s the subtle brown colour along the fence where most of this action is gonna be seen.  Amongst those wood chips is our “Haskup Berry” plants.  We got two (you need one pollenizer) and only one of which really seems to be taking off as should be expected.  This year, they will both get more water (something that I’m pretty sure was lacking last year).  In ADDITION to that though, the far right of the bed will be a little strawberry patch.  The wood chips will be gone and the straw will take it’s place.  I figure I’ll probably put about 10 plants in.  Garden strawberries are pretty outstanding and I look forward to eating a lot next year!  The little bubble that is extending off of our deck; well that’s going to be a herb bed.  No set herbs have been selected for this bed yet (though I’m fairly certain that mint will make an appearance). I expect some lavendar and rosemary but for the most part, that is a team decision

We grew nasturtiums at the base of the deck last year and, while it looked good, I think I’d like to see a bit more variety this year.  Last year’s nasturtiums were the HUGE domes of leaves with only a few flowers poking out at the end.  I’m attributing this to my choice of using a high nitrogen fertilizer near the start and not following up with a great phosphate/potash content afterwards.

I think I may also be creating some beds around the new seating area my friend just help me put in at the tail end of last year (we were, sadly, 5 cement pads too short to get the job done).  I expect that in the next month, that will be done.

Lastly, I treated myself to something radical.  Two years ago, I bought a gardening spade for 30$ at Canadian Tire.  Nothing fancy, but I certainly figured it would do the job.  And it did for a season and a half.  Now it’s a scrap tool; used only as back up.  In addition, I bought a very nice edging spade last year; Nice until I tried it and realized how terribly weak the blade was.  So, I went to Lee Valley and picked up a stupendous shovel and garden fork pair.  These two feel like Sherman tanks; solid and strong enough to get what I need done.  I won’t mind using our old garden spade but really only in a dirt moving capacity.  I’m glad I now have a digging tool.  My great comfort in this is that I now know that I’ve bought high quality tools that I should not have to replace for YEARS.

Also got a bag for my reel mower.  No big deal…but will be able to do better with composting grass cutting, for sure.

Let’s all join hands….and go get ’em dirty!!!!

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