Sunday, April 22, 2012

Let the Gardening Begin!

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed this week, but in a nice way.  The temperatures have risen, the lawn is starting to colour and I have a list of garden chores as long as my arm.  I started out in the veggie garden turning over beds and removing weeds.  I also added lime and bone meal as I've had some issues with the soil in that area.  Then I tried something new.  I planted some seeds.  After reading Niki Jabour's blog - The Year Round Veggie Gardener - and buying her book I was convinced I could get a little earlier harvest this year.  So claytonia, arugula, corn salad, peas and a couple lettuces were put in the ground as a trial.  Thus far the arugula, claytonia and one lettuce have germinated.  I'm watching overnight temperatures each day and covering up the seedlings with a tarp when the temperatures dip and thus far things are going well.

Walking around other parts of the yard I'm seeing all sorts of signs of spring.  The squill are now in full bloom.


Various plants in the entrance bed are starting to push out new growth like these lamb's ears.


and the lady's mantle


Which means I needed to get my behind out there and start weeding the entrance bed.  Last year we removed the sod and put in a large bed at the front of the house.  See Here.  We added compost and some plants in spring but things got behind schedule and I found myself stuffing plants into the bed in no particular order late in the summer.  That has to be corrected this year.  Sections that became over grown with weeds need to fixed up and plants put back in a more aesthetically pleasing way.

Saturday morning the bed looked like this


The weeds had taken over in this section.  And to add insult to injury I found more glass.


No matter how much I dig in this bed, just when I think I've removed every piece of garbage possible the ground seems to heave up yet another chunk of glass.  In another 20 years I'll bet I'm still digging glass out of this bed.  

After four hours of digging the bed looked much better.


I've still got a ways to go but I was able to move several columbine right away into this space.  Eventually hostas will fill this section in.  It's so nice to dig right now when the weeds are still small and ground is soft.  The job went quite easily aside from constantly picking glass out of the dirt.

I was distracted from my task though when this fella showed up.


That is a tractor hauling a manure spreader.  And I was so giddy I ran outside with a camera.


The tines in the spreader chop up all the manure and normally it would be spread out over farm fields.  In this case though our neighbour sat the spreader in one spot and let it pile up on the ground underneath.  

Placed close to the veggie garden for easy access
What a huge pile, and it cost me nothing!  Can you believe that?  I'm tickled.  I'll be adding this to my compost bins to speed up the process which in turn will be used on beds and trees.  Spring is off to a very good start this year.





25 comments:

  1. Well that manure is a rich gift!! So great to see your beds starting to mature and the lovely happenings in your garden. Finally, some good weather with a sprinkling of rain today but we need more.

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    1. Brenda, we're getting a full shot of rain this week as I suspect you are too. Jody says he can see the grass growing right before his eyes. Given a few days I expect things will start growing madly. Tulips soon?

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  2. Free manure! Yay!! I love how soft lambs ears are. It's like having a plant that feels like a puppy in your garden. Since you are a fellow pink and orange lover, here's a ground cover rose you might like: Happy Chappy ground cover rose. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/130250/ I bought it locally and noticed it's super cold hardy. Plus, it's flowers are pink, yellow, and soft orange. LOVE!

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    1. trust you to know that plant feels like a puppy's ears! it is wonderful to pet though isn't it? Lovely little rose and very bright. That's the kind of flower that brightens up a day.

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  3. ah yes, manure. Martin dumped a pile on our garden and has yet to dig it under. It stinks! and Sophie is rolling in it, ugh.
    Spring is slowly arriving, eh Marguerite? At last!

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    1. Kim, the first thing out of Jody's mouth when Chris asked where we wanted it was ' as far away from the house as possible'. Of course. The smell doesn't bother me so much but then I'm not rolling in it!

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  4. You know you're a true gardener when you're happy to have a pile of sh-- dropped off in your yard lol! And free sh-- at that! My dad used to dig up all kinds of things in our garden - arrowheads, spoons, broken crockery...interesting stuff. But glass? You have to be very careful!

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    1. one of the reasons to always wear gloves when gardening. you never know what you'll find in the dirt. I worry about the cats digging and rolling around in the dirt with all that glass. Very unsafe.

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  5. I have a glass jam jar, collect the bits as they heave up, and it all goes safely off to be recycled. WHY do people enjoy breaking glass??

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    1. in this case Diana I believe they actually burned the glass as well as breaking it. It's the remains of burned garbage. My garden bed was likely where the household garbage was disposed of.

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  6. Another year. I am looking forward to seeing the years worth of progress. You definitely need to do some time series posts after this year. I feel like you have made so many changes already!

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    1. I think you're right. By the end of this season there should be some pretty big changes obvious. A few before and after shots could be interesting.

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  7. The bed looks so much better! Worth the four hours. :)
    Amazing what works its way up out of the ground. We used to find arrowheads all the time in the orchard at my grandparents' farm in NB.

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    1. The unfortunate side is that some of the plants worked their way out of the ground too!! I didn't mulch this bed knowing I would be moving plants and regret it now because a number of them were pushed right out of the soil along with the glass.

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  8. Wow, four hours of digging, I couldn't manage that! Bed looks amazing now. My pasque flowers are blooming, as well as hyacinth but big snow/rain storm supposed to be coming today..had to put my containers of pansies in carport..leave Friday for Noranda and Sunday for the island, can hardly wait! Hope my garden can get dug up this year & the weather will be warmer than last May.Can feel the excitement in your post, that you can fianlly garden again. I planted peas early and they are up. Happy Gardening Lannie

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    1. In retrospect I wish I had organized this bed a little better. Spending all that time removing weeds now was unnecessary if I had planted and mulched well last year. I like to learn the hard way it seems. How exciting, you're coming to the island! I'll bet you have all sorts of plans and I think the weather will be much more cooperative this year.

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  9. How rewarding early spring chores can be! Especially digging in that entrance garden and getting it into good shape. And don't bemoan the glass shards that keep turning up in the soil there --- where there is broken glass you will also have diamonds in your dirt, so just keep digging.

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    1. I like your theory :) I did find a marble and that was quite pretty but a diamond would be wonderful too.

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  10. Marguerite girl .. only a true gardener would get that happy over "S**T" hahaha .. I got really happy with great compost I found at a little nursery .. funny how we look at the world compared to non gardeners ?
    Your garden plot there is going to look beautiful .. but what is up with all the glass ? is there a story to it ?
    You haven't run into any .. hum .. bodies yet eh ? LOL
    Joy wink wink

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    1. You should have seen my husband's face when I asked our neighbour for manure. Definitely something only a gardener can love. I believe the glass is from garbage that used to be burned (no garbage service in these rural areas just a few years ago). No bodies yet but I did dig up one huge bone, likely from a cow, one day. Hubbie was none too impressed when I carted that into the house. I thought it was kinda cool.

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  11. Marguerite,
    That was very nice of your neighbor to drop you off a pile of manure.
    Looks like you have been busy and with the nice weather we had been enjoying I think everyone was outside enjoying the sunshine and working up the beds.
    Bought a Honey Crisp Apple tree on Sat. Can't wait to plant it.

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    1. It sure was great of him, couldn't ask for a nicer guy. We've been very fortunate with wonderful neighbours here. I've never tasted Honey Crisp but I keep hearing rave reviews of that apple. It's very exciting planting trees this time of year. I keep thinking about a pear tree.

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  12. Marguerite, We had such a terrible dip in the thermometer that I put off all thoughts of gardening for a few days. (We even had snow flurries!) Finally today, the temperature climbed up to pleasant and warm again. I trimmed a few shrubs and did some transplanting. I have added some manure, although I have been working with small bags of the stuff. I wish, like you, I had a neighbour with a ready supply. It was super thoughtful of your neighbour to bring you a free load of it. Your plants are going to be sooo happy!

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  13. so nice to see you getting gardening again Marguerite and all those seedlings in the next post, lovely manure, you are off to a good start this year, I shall enjoy dropping in to see how things are progressing, Frances

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  14. Isn't this a wonderful time of year! I'm in Maine for a long weekend, and I've been spending my time doing exactly the same thing. I find the before and after of spring clean-up especially satisfying. The weather here is unseasonably cool and windy, but it's sunny -- and the cool temperatures are actually great for this kind of work. -Jean

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