Wednesday, April 20, 2016

mid-April garden report

For several years, I have been traveling to Stitches South in mid-April, and spending my free early-spring moments getting last-minute things done for that trip, often including finishing up patterns and working out social media ads.  This year, I had decided I needed to stay home and get some long-neglected things underway, and coincidentally, the company I represent (Windy Valley Muskox) also decided not to go!  Well that was easy.  So I've had more time to do some planning for the garden and yard.  I have completely failed to make time for this the last two or three years, and by the time summer rolled around, it was much to late to catch up.

Let's just call this the 'before' picture.

First, BFJ and I came to an agreement that while we do still need the fence around the garden (we no longer have a dog, but the boys play ball nearby,) it needs some repairs.  We've had lots of warm days in March and April, and have managed to tear it apart, but having lots of snow and rain mixed in means we haven't gotten it put back together again, yet.  I've got it partially painted and hope that it will dry out enough this week to finish that step.  The rest should be easy, nailing it back together and stapling chicken wire back up.  Previously, the fence was in the brown family, with paint left over from the shed, which I thought would "blend in."  Not sure that really was charming.  Now I'm repainting it white, which will most definitely stand out, but I'm hoping for a classic nod to gardens I admire.  As I was contemplating how to make this garden better than previous years, I looked through my Pinterest board, 'potagers and lovely gardens', and stumbled on the concept of "meandering paths."  Just what I was looking for.  Something simple, doable, but will add some much-needed charm.  You might notice above that I'm in the process of working the path out, too.

Next, seed starting.  I bought all sorts of fantastic seeds last year, and had some left from previous years, but did nothing with them.  One of my little cherubs agreed to use his science fair assignment to find out if my seeds were still viable.  We counted, labeled, wrote up, and then placed ten seeds each of various kinds and "expiring" years, on wet paper towels inside Ziploc bags, to see if any of them would germinate.  From 2006, we had a sprout rate of 50%, from 2013, 80%, and from 2015, 100%.  This seemed like a good sign so we made up little newspaper pots (recycling, you know) and planted all sorts of peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins, and squash.  It's been six days, we've got 6 or 7 little sprouts, but all envelopes say 10 - 14 days so I'm hopeful for an excellent set of beginners.  I'm also keeping alive the brussel sprouts I bought too soon, knowing the garden would be ready to plant at any moment...  

I'm keeping my eye on those lilacs and blueberries, and spreading mulch and pulling weeds.  As previously mentioned, lots of snow and rain have happened, and it makes one feel justified that one wasn't quite ready for spring planting, but soon.  I'll let you know.  

1 comment:

Thimbleanna said...

Oooh, the beginnings of a spring garden -- so full of promise! It looks like it's going to be beautiful -- I hope you'll share a picture when it's finished!