Tuesday, April 19, 2011

garden update

There isn't quite enough going on outside yet to have a weekly garden update, but here is what is going on so far:
I'm trying out row covers to help get the cabbage and chard started. I don't think I watered under the plastic enough because the plants are slow to catch. I will soon be switching up the plastic in favor of row cover fabric to keep the hottest of the sun, and those crazy bugs that Amy mentioned, off my greens anyway, so I will have to wait for fall to try the plastic again.
I brought the birdbath top out of storage, cleaned it and filled it up. This year I am trying one of the floaty things that is supposed to keep the water clear and algae from forming on the dish insides. So far, so good.
The little bit of green visible in the lower leftt corner are the bulbs, chives, garlic and rose bush. A few purple hyacinths showed their colors. I am still working out the best times and ways to feed the bulbs so that the flowers come out full and happy. They looked a little better this year, so I will have to check my notes from last year, and hopefully improve again next year.
The trellis is strung up and waiting for the peas to decide to grow. I did another "spiderweb" but this year I used jute twine instead of bright orange acrylic yarn. I'm still finding bits of the blasted stuff in my compost bin.
The pots in the tiered corner herb/mum pots were rearranged. Again, I am trying not to crowd things in hopes that better airflow and more space will allow for larger, healthier plants.
In front of the far right fence I have erected a trellis from 8' tall plastic/metal stakes wired together to form a frame and more jute twine. That location will soon become home to my fuzz-less kiwis that are due to arrive in 2 weeks. Hopefully next summer I will be able to pick apples, kiwis, and if I'm ambitious, strawberries!
Lastly, the grass. Since the yard was a weed bed when we moved in 5 years ago, we used a little RoundUp to get the mess under control. Once the toxicity left the ground and we got rid of all the weeds and debris, we scattered grass seed more as erosion control than as a lush lawn. Tilling in compost and properly planting seed or even laying sod is in the long term plan for the yard, which will also involve building a permanent tiered structure of some kind for the herbs and include a small fountain or pond with a trickle of water. Since that day is still a ways off, grass seed with some mulch and a little sprinkle of long release fertilizer will hopefully at least give me something other than weeds and mud to scrunch my toes in this summer.

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