Boy, today was a good day. My brother and father were taking out the stumps of the trees he needs to remove to build 3 more 4x4 beds along a NS fenceline. Anyway, because they were taking the stumps out, it meant no work today! Yay, garden day... Oh, and yes, the weather was good for it, overcast and 60. And don't worry, I didn't forget to take pictures...
Most of the day was actually spent weeding. Spring has sprung in my yard, and unfortunately, it seems the weeds got the lion's share of the growing in. The main culprit seemed to be shock weed. At least that's what my Aunt called it. Then of course we had the standard dandilion infestation, the occasional morning glory panic attack and even removing some over-grown blue bells (I think). Frankly, if I can't eat it, I could care less about it, but that shock weed had completey taken over the rose garden. And in case you didn't know (I didn't), once those little stalks shoot up, they've got seeds all over them, so when you pull them, they release their seeds all over the place. Great! I've been pulling them and tossing them into the yard for the mower to pick them up to compost them. Oops. So, this time, when we were gutting the rose garden, we put everything in the municipal yard waste container. Let Cedar Grove deal with it. I'm not getting anything from them anytime soon. Sure that's an awful way to think of it, but I do believe they superheat their piles with canvas and innoclants or whatever. Maybe they can kill the weed seeds better than my measly piles.
Particularly difficult was the dandilions that grew up around the base of the roses and throughout the iris islands. It was a painstaking process, but in the end, we got the garden looking like this...
As my Aunt said though, it will look good for a week, until the weeds grow again. My only hope is that it isn't nearly as bad in the future.
After that, I finally got to mow the back yard lawn...
Much as it was slow going due to the length of the grass, it didn't generate nearly the grass clippings as the front did last week. So when I composted it, I needed more material. So what did I get to compost... the green onions gone to seed. They sure smelled good. I also yanked out the bolting over-wintered spinach from my beds. However, since they had minor leaf minor damage, they went into the yard waste container.
Notice that I ddin't chop them up before I composted them. I figure I'll see what Mother Nature does with them first. Besides, I didn't feel like breaking out the lawn more or the chipper for some onions, hehe. Now for some browns. I didn't feel like using my wife's paper route left overs, but she had a better idea. One of the less known browns for composting is dryer lint, and we seem to generate a ton of it. Or maybe it's just that I never think to empty the garbage can in the laundry room, hehe. So when she was gathering the kitchen compost, I had her throw a big handful of lint into the kitchen bin.
So after aerating the existing pile (note that after two weeks it was still steaming hot in the middle of the bin (good compost!), I layered the onions, some lint and the partially completed compost. Then I topped it off with the fresh grass clippings. It's getting to be a really big pile all of a sudden!
I should mention that the kids were constantly asking to help. They had no interest in playing with their toys, or on the swings, or anything a normal kid would want to do. They wanted to help. So aside from helping to dig in the rose garden, whenever we found a worm (we found several), we would let my kids transplant them to the blueberry bed (don't ask me why, they wanted to put them into their gardens, but the soil was solid so the worms couldn't dig in). Here's a picture of a particularly large one that my youngest was having fun relocating him.
While we were out there, we saw a half dozen bumble bees doing their things. I kept trying to convince them to move over to my blueberry bushes and my fruit trees, but they weren't listening to me (much like my kids, hehe). You see, spring has sprung and my fruit trees are finally blooming, so they could really use some bee support.
I sure hope whatever happened to this pear tree to make it not produce last year doesn't happen again. If there is no production this year, it's coming down. Much as my oldest really likes pears, there are plenty other candidates for that space, all of them dwarf so they don't shad most of that section of the yard.
Anyway, here's a close-up of my plum tree flowers, they're beautiful white ones.
Now I wanted to finally show you the peas under the cold frame, share the evidence of tomato lethergy and also my gardening at night. I hate it when I think to talk about something when I'm posting late at night, but can't get a shot in the dark. Oh well.
Note the gravel in the bed. That's my youngest. I can't seem to convince him that putting gravel in the garden beds is a bad thing. Grrr. Hehe.
And now the droopy tomato plants...
See EG, not everything works for me and tomatoes my first year growing them from seed, hehe.
Lastly, not sure if REM would be proud, but Ciscoe likely would, but here's what I did last night at 10:30 after watching his show on TiVo (see yesterday's post).
Oh, and if you see the clumps of espresso cakes, they're gone. One of the chores I gave the kids when they were clamoring to help today was to break up the clumps (they had gloves on). Besides, according to some research I was doing on coffee grounds, apparently they're good for your skin, hehe. Don't worry, I only use them in my garden.
I truly hope you had as good a day in the garden as I did.