Sunday, May 9, 2010

How does your garden grow?

Happy Mothers Day weekend! I thought it would be the perfect weekend to get started on my gardening. I bought so many seeds this year and I should have started them indoors the middle of March or beginning of April but I didn't, because I was a slacker.

The weekend ended up being on the cool side, but it was sunny, so it was time to start, no more excuses. And I have to say, it was the perfect way to spend my Mothers Day weekend. There is a garden bed on the side of my garage that I completely ignored last year. It was totally covered with mulch but there wasn't a single plant in it. It grew weedy last summer and I did what any good home owner does when they are pressed for time - sprayed it with Round-Up.

This year, because I let my strawberry container plant freeze (and die) over the winter, I decided that it was time to dig out that bed and turn it into a strawberry patch. At the farmers market I bought four starter plants thinking the bed was only the size of a folding table. Wrong, it's like two folding tables long. Oh well. I'll use the other half for a mini garden this year and just encourage the strawberries to spread over the coming years.

I raked and (snow) shoveled out the old mulch, mixed up soil for garden beds with some Omagro compost and dumped it into the bed. I knew it was too cold to put in my plants, but all that beautiful dark soil was just sitting there. So I sowed my cold-weather seeds: spinach, carrots, and onions. The onion seeds are from last year though, so I'm not sure they'll take. If not, I'll order some new ones, but since onions are supposed to keep critters away from carrots and greens, I figured I'd give them a try.

Then I decided to Round-Up the weeds in the sidewalk cracks. (Just because I organically grow my own produce doesn't mean I enjoy pulling weeds out of the sidewalk. Blast 'em with chemicals I say.)

Then I cleaned out the large containers on my deck from last year and planted some sweet peas and covered the spinach I had already planted with tulle (trying to keep bugs away. They keep eating the leaves). I got a beautiful trellis at Lowes today for my peas. I hope they grow and climb this year. I didn't have very much luck with peas last year.

THEN, I also bought a pruning saw and managed to saw the two inch root of a dead or never blooming (rose?) bush in my front landscaping. That thing was the bane of my existence. Thorny but no flowers, riddled with vines, and when I tried to dig it out last year, it wouldn't budge. But I did sufficiently kill it as the branches were very dry. So I sawed that dang root and pulled it out of the ground. Victory was mine!!! I relished tossing it into my yard waste bin.

In its place I planted a tulip bulb from a plant I had bought at easter. The tulips and leaves died, but the sticker said I should be able to plant the bulb. We'll see if I get tulips next year.

What else did I do? Oh yeah, there's a funny patch in my front yard where there used to be a large tree. I put down some topsoil and some grass seed, but I didn't exactly follow directions, so we'll see if it takes or if I just made it worse.

I did put my herb plants into pots, but they got moved indoors because of the weather, along with some beautiful hanging baskets of purple flowers I bought on impulse yesterday. And the strawberry and bell pepper starter plants. My kitchen is a temporary indoor garden.

What a great weekend.