Sunday, March 7, 2010

Garden Clean Up Day

In the past week this:

and this:Tulips? Daffodils? I don't remember planting anything there...

have popped up in my yard. That, combined with almost 60*F (balmy!) temperatures today I deemed today Garden Clean Up Day. We had put leaves all over our raised beds in part out of laziness last fall and in part to act as a mulch. And, I didn't harvest all of the mustard, radishes & a few other things before the winter thanks to no light when got home and a hectic schedule. But, for planting (which will now not be until the end of May or so thanks to home repairs), that stuff needed to go. Now. The urgency was due to it being a beautiful day after a long, snowy winter and to the knowledge that in 2 more months I'll be even MORE pregnant which just makes lifting things & stooping over hard.

We also purchased more potting mix for the containers that will need to hold our herbs and early spring veg (carrots, turnips, arugula, kale, kohlrabi and swiss chard), again thanks to the construction. And, we purchased 2 bags of compost for the larger raised beds that I went ahead & spread around to make things easier for when I'm 7 months pregnant. Now, we do have compost bins but I realized mid-winter that the well-intentioned husband had been adding new veg waste to the pile that was "sitting" to decompose. In theory, I could use a screen and sort out the finished compost from the unfinished, but I'm pulling the pregnancy card. No worries, however: that compost won't go to waste as it'll probably be ready to use in the summer just when my tomatoes need a bit of extra feeding and I'll be prepping some new beds.

Thus far, I can report that the garlic has popped up nicely. I only planted half of what I bought. I'm going to plant the other half now as a bit of an experiment. I've read that a spring-planted crop of garlic isn't as big as a fall one, but I wanted to try it out.

And, surprise!, the mint and lemon balm (also part of the mint family) are still alive. Yes, even after near zero temperatures and feet of snow. I needed to dig up the mint (those pots are going to be used other herbs), so I took cuttings and am rooting them as I've done before. I was kind of hoping the lemon balm would die, to be honest...

Anyways, with this weekend's purchases:

$12 in potting mix
$11 in compost (2 bags)

the grand total on the garden spent so far is...

I'm in awe. I mean, yes, this garden *could* be cheaper (like, I could have screened that compost & saved myself $11...if I had a spare screen), but not much. But I think it's all well-worth it. It was so much fun going outside today and getting dirty again. Plus, my garden is sometimes the only light at the end of the tunnel in winter; the daydreaming of what to plant where is my favorite way to improve the winter doldrums.

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