Saturday, April 26, 2014

Redesigning the garden Part 3

Warmer weather keeps drawing me outdoors. Hven't knitted in a month because everytime I have a moment I have a gardening book/catalog in my hands or my hands are in the dirt.

We, husband mostly, have been hauling recycled concrete tiles for walk ways, garbage recycling station, bed edging and 3 loads of rabbit poo which we have spread around the beds.

Rabbit manure is a great fertilizer. It is not “hot” like chicken, cow or horse manure and can go directly into the garden area. Over the years we have noticed more earthworms and much higher production in the beds where we have applied rabbit manure. This is only one of the reasons that we plan to have a couple of fiber bunnies in a year or two. I knit a bit and hope to learn to spin in 2014. (actually have 2 bags of wool fleece in the garage that I hope to learn on)

Last week we planted the hazelnut bushes and a mini sweet cherry bush. They seem to have adapted well and are leafed out and looking well. Three apple trees – 2 out of three are blooming - and one autumn olive to go.

A section of our backyard is partial or very shady. One area next to the patio that we did not realize was there - hidden under years or moss and debris is very shady so it is becoming a woodland garden. Friends have given us hostas, bleeding heart, violets, rose campion, ladies mantle, and asian poppies. We carefully planted them far apart to take speading into account. Soon we will mulch around them. Still working on getting the moss off the patio but hope to borrow a pressure washer in a week and get the area clean. I am looking forward to morning coffee and afternoon games of cribbage with my hard working husband.

Bleeding Heart

In the front yard we are again fortunate to have plant sharing friends. Hollyhocks, peony, snapdragons and parsley have come to their new home.

Yesterday I discovered 3 organic sweet potatoes have sprouted with great enthusiasum. More starts for the garden. It seems likely that they will grow under the blueberries. Hopefully they will make a living mulch and produce a few to eat.

Sweet potato starts

In the greenhouse we have cucumbers, calendula, basil, and chives. A flat of just seeded giant sunflowers, dill, turks turban squash and bunching onions have joined them. The nights are still often in the low to mid 40 degree range though next week is promising to be warmer.

Greenhouse sprouts

Two potato grow bags have plants growing. New potatoes with fresh chives and butter for dinner very soon I hope!

Traditionaly, in this area, we do not plant out until Mother's Day, May 11th this year. Some old timers wait until the snow is gone off Silver Star – a low rounded peak to our North east. We have only two weeks to complete bed preparation and get ready. We may wait another week in case of late frost. It seems our climate, like all others, is changing. First and last frost dates are no longer “the usual” and we must be flexible with our timing.

What and when are you planting this year?

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