Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Early Bird - 2012 Garden

Monday was a glorious day and I just had to get outside and play in the dirt. I didn't have any plans, I just wanted to get my hands in the soil. I decided to clean up and hoe the soil in the two newer, and only raised, beds I have.

While cleaning out the first bed I found garlic. When I first found them I assumed they were a chestnut sprout and pulled for all I was worth. Up popped a cluster of lovely and very pungent garlic cloves. I quickly transplanted them back into the soil, in a nice row, with the hopes that they will continue to grow and give me lots of fresh garlic for pasta later this year.

I also found a couple of shallots left over from last year's planting. They were already sprouting so I left them alone. But, the planting bug had been awakened and I just had to plant something. It didn't matter that there is a good likelihood of another snow fall and possibly even another killing frost over the next few weeks. Planting, in the garden, had to happen.

I say in the garden because I had already started 30 Roma tomato seeds indoors last week. It made me feel a little better when I planted them but amounted to nothing when the bug struck on Monday. So I pulled out my seed saver and looked through all my seeds left over from past years gardens.

I found several variety of green peas and a packet of radishes. Both cool weather plants that have to be planted as soon as the soil is warm enough to till. I made nice little rows in the bed with the garlic and the shallots and planted the peas, after verifying that peas, onions, and garlic could be planted together.

The other bed was another story. I turned the soil and pulled all the weeds out. No nice neat rows for this bed. I just scattered the radish seeds over the entire bed. It was a full packet of seeds so I got quite a bit of coverage. Then I brushed the soil over the bed, patted it down, and called it done. If every seed sprouts and becomes a radish we will have a fair selection to eat and barter with in about 3 weeks.

My gardening bug has not been sated by this early rush to plant. If anything it is stronger than ever. I can't wait to rebuild my other beds into proper raised beds, with 12 inch sides. I can't wait to add compost to the soil and turn it in. I can't wait to buy a few tubs of earthworms and add them to each garden bed. I can't wait to plant more bulbs, seeds, and plants. Shallots and Summer Squash, and Roma Tomatoes, OH My!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Spring? Maybe!

The weather here has been up and down for weeks now. Cold one day and warm the next. Wintery and grey most days, but summery on some days. It has made it hard to acclimatize, and I have spent more than my fair share of days huddled up inside my personal space.

Yesterday was no different but it was fight practise night so we had to go outside whether we wanted to or not. The air was very warm but it was raining. Not just a light shower either. It was raining hard enough that we were soaked in the short walk from the house to the truck.

With the rain most of the snow was melted and we noticed the first hint of spring. The daffodils, in the bed next the foundation of the house, were sprouting. Their little green shoots with yellow tips were sticking out from the soggy, cold soil at least 2 inches. The birds were also singing for all they were worth as we trudged through the rain. By the time were were ready to come home the rain had turned into a hard blowing snow.

While Mother Nature was gleefully covering all the freshly uncovered grass and dirt, she could not hide the fact that Yes, Spring is here. Soon my crocuses and daffodils will be growing and blooming, the chickens will be venturing further from their covered yard, and the birds will be busy building nests and raising the first of many clutches of babies. Soon enough I'll be hiding inside from the heat but until then I'll be enjoying the ever warming and greening world around me.