Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mid-Spring Garden Chores

My list of what needs to be done is so long, but with the weather we have had the last month, slowly things are getting crossed off.  High on my list end of March was getting the bean rows ready to sow:

First part of April I bought some Geraniums, and one ended up here in the planter in front of the bean house.  the other planter was snapdragons and lobelia.  Geraniums are great to have in the garden ( and by your front door) as they help to repel flies.

Yep - I am bad.  I should have pulled down the old vines last fall, but it got so cold and wet, I just got lazy.  Plus, I had to start making Christmas presents - so garden chores were last on the list.  Now here it was late March, early April, and I needed to get the bean house ready to plant!

Down came all the old vines

I'm so glad it was a sunny day when I did this.

Besides cleaning off the old vines, I had to top off the beds - it took about a yard of soil mix to do that.  I had to repair a few boards, dig out a lot of stuff, all the pot marigolds that self seeded from last year were sprouting, so I potted those in peat pots to replant on the north side.  I planted the ends that get shaded by the grapes first so they could get a head start, and tucked them in real well with row cover.

The apple tree was crazy with blooms this year - for those of you new to this blog, I planted this apple tree from a seed of a Gala in 1998.  I never expected it to ever bloom, which it did about 4 years ago.  Last year it produced a handful of apples - this year, it looks like it will produce a lot more!

Still debating on whether or not to prune out some of the apple starts - maybe thinning out some of the bunches to 2-3 per group.  Still thinking about it.

Blueberries are doing good - I was surprised because that late snow we had fell just as they were budding out.  

These are my two elderberries that I have planted so far.  I ordered a bunch of 10, and potted up the rest.  I can't plant any more till the rest of the fence is built -  but they all seem to be doing okay so far.  Next step is to get these mulched for summer to keep the moisture in.

Pyrethrum is finally blooming - snipping off the flower heads every day I can and adding them to the drying trays.  Bugs beware!

I have been tucking in different types of lavender here and there around the beds - to provide habitat for bees and just to have on hand.  I have always wanted to try lavender scones...

All the work I did in March and April in the berry patch has really paid off.  There are so many blooms on the Marionberries this year.  I couldn't walk over in that area for several weeks there were so many bees.  I even saw a raspberry yesterday that looked a couple of sunny days away from being ripe.  I am looking forward to a bumper crop of berries this year.

Ongoing project - mulching.  Every bit of cardboard I get, I lay down and cover with straw or grass clippings.  A lot of organic farmers use cardboard to control weeds between the rows, hold moisture in, and attract worms ( they love the glue in the cardboard).  So far it is working well - I have a lot less grass to deal with this year than last year.

Did I mention I am eating peas and radishes every day?

One reason I never toss out scraps of wood - these are little boxes for my acorn squash.  A couple of years ago I put plants in my onion box, and the vines went down the box and onto the grassy area between the grape arbor and the raised beds, but the vines also took over the raised beds.  This way, I have a way to keep starts safe, give them some good soil to take root in, and keep them out of my raised beds.  I put in two types of acorn squash yesterday - carnical and the Danish Green acorn squash.  I didn't get pics, because i was so tired and sore after working for two days in the garden, I could barely move.  I really hate having fibromyalgia, and often push myself too much and then I have to sit and rest.  But at least that means I have finally been able to update my blog!

The day I look forward to all year - the first bowl of strawberries from my yard.  they are not the huge, on steroids, sour ones you get from the store that are grown far south of here.  These are smaller, but sweet and delicious.  Had to run out and pick them before a thunderstorm moved into the area Friday night.  Actually, I had my first ripe strawberry a couple of days before this.  Can't wait for the raspberries!

What you don't see:

Potatoes - I have two beds, that as soon as the vines get a little height, get a straw/soil mix around them, or some chopped up hay - whatever I have handy.  Both beds are at about 3 feet right now, and ready to add another row of boards to them.

Grapes - in the middle of re-potting the table grape starts that I started in 2009.  they are doing great.  I don't think they will bear any this year, so can't sell them yet.  Maybe next year.

Almost have the fence down along the driveway - west of the tomatoes, so that I can plan my bush beans ( for dry beans).  working also on the fence along the front of the property.

And mowing what little grass I have, and working on getting the area for the chicken coop to be built ready.

So if  you don't see a posting from me for a couple of weeks, it is because I am really swamped!

Good luck in your gardening endeavors - if you have a question, ask away!  All questions do go to my email so I will try to get back to you as soon as I can.


1 comment:

  1. Geraniumns repel flies!? Tell me more! I don't like the flower much, but if that is the case, I envision our chicken coops covered in window boxes and hanging planters dripping with geraniums. =)

    We made lavender scones once and didn't really like them that much. I can send you the recipe if you're interested.