Thursday, February 28, 2013

Starting Fresh in 2013

~ Black Earth soil ~
On the top of my 'wish list' for this year was a pallet of garden soil. Not top soil, not potting soil, not manure - but something of a mix of all of them but better...

The Black Earth arrived just today & now it sits in the pouring rain waiting for slightly less damp weather & definitely less damp gardens.

I'm covering everything over in a rich, deep layer of fresh soil. Starting fresh!

A few things enjoy our acidic conditions, but not too many veggies thrive in beds that have been neglected or improperly attended to in regards to nutrient addition. This year I've already limed the beds - but am a little concerned I was rather light handed on the application. I'll check my notes on what the application rate should be & I just might have to throw a bit more on in a couple of weeks.

My compost tumbler is about ready to be emptied & I can just bury that in the beds as well. I've got some bone meal & newspaper & am just waiting for a few more weeks to see if there are perennial greens that pop up in the beds so I can lift them & replant them after the new soil goes on.

Can't wait to see the fresh soil! Will keep you updated on the new look & hopefully I have enough to fill up 2 new raised beds I installed last year but filled only with yard waste. I'd like to start growing something in them this year (think hazelnut shrubs...)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Other Spring Rituals

~ rhubarb sprouting ~
Another easy spring chore (I call them rituals) involves the hunt for the first rhubarb sprouts. This particular plant was already sprouting around Christmas, so this is kind of cheating...

I dump compost on the plants during the winter to protect the crowns, but come February when there are warm sunny days, I gently move the compost around to see if there are sprouts & clear a small bit away from them. The slugs in the compost will nibble at these fresh greens & we don't want that. I then put a bit of fertilizer around the plant (usually what ever I have left over from last season, so it might be lime or bone meal or blood meal - just a sprinkle) & then I grab my 5 gallon bucket, turn it upside down & plunk it over the top.

Done! I'll be harvesting fresh rhubarb in a few weeks.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Rituals of Spring

I'm home - back home from being 'away' & I think I'm going to stay for a while, a long while...

Spring is late. Yes, here on the wet coast, I celebrate Spring's arrival on February 1st - ritually, by going out & finding that first crocus. This year I missed it - I was 'away'...

This year, I doubt there were any crocus in bloom on February 1st. But I found one on the 13th & it took me a bit to locate it too.