Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Garden is coming alive

Every thing is starting to wake up and come alive.  The soil is waking up all the seeds (weeds).  This year I've been able to stay some what ahead of the weeds.  I've found that it's better not to wait to see the weeds but give the raised beds a stir about three days after a rain.  The little weed seeds are sprouted and get nipped right away.  Tiny little weeds become big weeds over night it seems.  Every year a new weed plague comes to the garden.  This year it's Creeping Charlie.  It's appears to be every where but easy to pull up out of the ground and dispose of.  My disposal area is just to heave a bucket full up over the back wooden garden fence into the wooded area. 

I had in mind to expand the sweet corn fortress by adding two more raised beds but once I got started it ended up being four more.  It went well and in just about three days the beds were lined with a rock border and ready to be dug.  First time digging is tough.  Vines, rocks, and other interesting finds make the virgin digging quite intriguing.  It's been a real boon to have free old dumpster carpeting to help keep the weeds suppressed until I can work on an area of the garden.  

 There's the last of the raised garden beds for this year.  My neighbor where I live does lawn and landscaping for a living.  On occasion he will tear out a rock wall and replace it with the nice looking concrete retaining wall blocks.  I always want the rocks to use in my garden.  They are much better than wood because they last forever.  Now the challenge becomes hardwood mulch and fencing to keep out the raccoons and other night time critters that like my garden.

This is bed number 9 and is planted with the potato crop.  The first grass mowing has been used for mulch.  It will decompose and allow the nitrogen rich elements to soak down into the soil under the mulch to fertilize the potatoes and it will be a deterrent to weed growth.  There's always a few weeds that can come up through the thickest of mulches but far less that with bare soil.  Potatoes will have no problem finding their way up through the mulch.

The strawberries are starting to flower and look like I may just get a few berries this year if the birds, rabbits, or other critters don't get there first.  It's always a battle with wild life, weather, and city officials.

This Spring the power company came by and needed to trim trees.  They worked an entire day on my property trimming up trees.  The good news was that I convinced them to trim off a big branch that hung out over my garden area.  Now instead of  losing the sun every day at 2pm for half the garden it will be good until about 4pm.  The threat of falling on top of my fence some day during a wind storm is gone as well.  The trimming crew informed me that my big cottonwood tree next to the picnic table was covered with .... poison ivy.  It's a good thing I've never been susceptible to the effects of poison ivy.  However, it would make it a danger for visitors.  

It's a good thing that planting season isn't far away.  The seedlings are busting to get outside in the garden.  Lots of work will be required in the next four weeks.  Hopefully, the weather will be kind and let the work get done.

Well, that's all for now.  Have a great Spring day.


9 comments:

  1. It looks like you're getting a lot of work done in the garden. And your tomatoes and lettuce look amazing.

    I've been antsy to do some planting as well, but it's been raining every day since the garden got tilled.

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    1. Phuong, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Those plants are just aching to be planted but the temps at night are still getting dangerously close to freezing. The last frost date here is May 15th. I've learned the hard way not to be so fast at setting out plants. Hail is a real issue this time of the year when temperature are warm in the day and cold at night. There's plenty of season to grow so getting in a hurry to set out plants can be disastrous.

      It has rained here as well. At least two or three days a week for the last month. I usually get one or two days a week to work in the garden. The good thing is that the ground has staid moist and workable all Spring. I have one more bed to dig and that will be completed for this year. It's another bed that hasn't been dug before so it will take at least an hour and a half to get it dug properly. There are lots of vines hidden beneath the soil intertwined around rocks. It makes for tough digging the first time. It takes about three years to condition a bed into a nice rock free minimum weed bed. I'm at the point now where all I have to do is give the beds a good stir about three days after a rain to keep the weeds from growing. It's always better to cultivate and have to pull weeds.

      Thanks again for reading about my humble garden in the inner city.

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  2. So much happening in your garden. I like the rock to edge your beds. Great reuse. We have a pile of limestone from a neighbor who removed it from their front yard and have plans for it in our garden. Eeek on the poison ivy. Had a run in with it once as a child. Itchy! Those plants want to be in the ground don't they? So much comes on at once, but all good. Nice to see you're enjoying spring.

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    1. GoSS, The year is looking good so far and much has already been accomplished in the first two months of the gardening season. Soon the real planting will begin. I really am enjoying the Spring this year. Of course, it's my favorite season. I really love the bright beauty of the Spring flowers. The mid Spring flowers are beginning to come alive with their blooms. Iris and peony plants are just about to pop. I have started Marigold this year to plant for the summer color and the hanging baskets on the poor man's living patio are about to be purchased.

      So life is good and Spring is here.

      Thanks again for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      Nebraska Dave

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  3. You're sure fortunate to be able to get rock from your neighbor. They look great, and yes--they are far more durable than wood like mine.
    Hope you have a terrific year in the garden

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    1. Sue, thank you so much for always leaving a comment on my blog. It's been a slow start for the gardening year. I know you are going to laugh but the night temperatures are still scary close to freezing so I'm holding back planting any thing except the potatoes. I probably could plant the lettuce, onion, and cabbage seedlings and perhaps I might do that this week. Well, that is if the rain ever stops. We have been getting plenty of soaking rain that keeps the garden too moist to plant any thing. It's been a very cloudy Spring with only a few bright sunny days. I'm sure one of these days it will pop from cold and rainy to hot and sunny.

      Thanks again for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      Nebraska Dave

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  4. I really enjoyed your update Dave. I had to Google creeping charlie, but it's exactly what I expected it to be and yep, we have lots of it here too!
    Your post reminds me that I need to do a much better job of suppressing weeds in the alleys between beds, as you have done. Every year I end up having to weed eat between the beds, throwing glass clippings into my lettuce!

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    1. Bill, weed eating is probably a better solution for the big operation that you have. My garden is small and more manageable than yours. I devote a lot of time thinking about and building weed solutions. Some day I won't be able to put all that effort into weeding simply because of age. So while I can, I am making an effort to get my garden to a point of minimum weeding and just be able to grow in the garden beds. That my be a pipe dream but it's what I'm striving for right now.

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment on my humble blog.

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