I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
John Burroughs

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Ready, Set.......Go!

Last summer, Hubby put together a sturdy 4' X 16' X 12” frame for another garden bed. After measuring out its placement, equidistant from its mates in the row, and setting it in place, we scalped the grass inside the frame with the trimmer. Several layers of cardboard, (boxes saved from our move) were cut and placed inside the frame, then we shoveled rotted manure over that with a soupÇon of grass clippings on top. It fallowed away all summer, fall and throughout the winter. This spring, clumps of grass started to grow, and dandelions speared up through it. 

The soil is dry enough to dig now, so.... we set the frame aside, and over the last two days, I've dug it out, taking out the dandelion roots and rocks and stones. There is almost no sign of the layers of cardboard.

Yesterday I finished leveling the frame in place, raking the interior smooth and chinking in the outside edges.


This is the seventh bed in the line of garden beds, the eighth one over all, as my asparagus bed is framed in similarly.

The newest bed will be the bush bean bed in its first year, as the soil is always a little coarse to start, and bean seeds are large. As I add compost and manure, the soil gets darker and more friable.

Onions, shallots and some radishes were planted two weeks ago, and slivers of green are peeking up here and there along their rows. Some lettuce and spinach went in yesterday. The pea fence went up yesterday as well, so getting them in will be next. Potatoes are chitted and ready to go in a little later this week. 

It's a little earlier than usual, but I do believe gardening season is here!!! I am positively giddy with delight! I'm sure gardeners will understand the feeling of infinite possibilities the new gardening season holds!

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Spring Chores

After a couple of coolish, damp days when we kept the fire on just a little bit, today is a full sun day, and up to 12C (54F) at noon. Of late, I've been working a bit inside and a bit outside.

My seedlings are having a growth spurt, and I've transplanted the peppers and tomatoes into bigger cups. Once they are settled and growing again, I'll prune them for sturdier stems. When day time temperatures stabilize, I'll load the seedlings into tubs and put them out each day on the verandah to harden. I didn't start them as early this year as I did last. I'll probably have to prune them back again before they can actually go into the soil. I am growing Brandywine and Black Prince beefsteaks, as well as a cherry and paste tomato variety. The Black Prince seem to be struggling to grow. I got the seeds locally and I am wondering if maybe the seeds weren't that fresh!

I did a little jelly making with blackberry and crab-apple juice I froze last fall, and as always, have to keep the bread supplies going! For Christmas, Hubby bought me two long bread pans. They hold 2 pounds of dough perfectly. I had to scale up my 'go to' bread recipe to accommodate them, and still stay within the specs of my Kitchen Aid mixer.

I got my parsnips dug, and what a horrendous snarly mess of roots they are this year! Was it the dry spring last year that caused this? I planted them in the area of deepest soil in my raised beds and sure expected a better crop than this! I have painstakingly cleaned, peeled, steamed and mashed them, and now am waiting for them to cool so I can package them in portions for the freezer. We just thaw and reheat them in the top of a double boiler when needed.


My compost bin thawed out a few days ago, so I was able to dig it out, then layer it back in with chopped leaves. While doing that, I enjoyed the cooing-warble of a flock of Sandhill Cranes migrating over. The compost will be ready for putting a good spadeful or two in each planting hole for the transplants and the vine crops.

The garlic is going gangbusters, tulips and daffs are budded, and buds are swelling on the apple trees. The crab apple tree is leafing out. Hopefully Jack Frost will not not spoil the party!

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Deer, Moose, Wolf

Spring is hurrying along up here. It is amazing how fast the season is progressing. Red maples, poplars and willows are blooming, providing pollen for the early pollinators. The deer have migrated through, and a cow and calf moose have been hanging out in our neck of the woods. On our walk this morning, we saw where the moose had broken down young poplars to eat the buds and where they had ripped sap filled strips of bark off of red maples with their teeth.

Maple syrup season is over, garlic is up about 4 inches, and it is rapidly closing on time to get gardening.  Onion sets are going in within the next couple of days, along with some lettuce and radish seeds.