Sunday, March 6, 2011

March 5, 2011

What a wonderful day for a birthday! I didn't wish for anything, but if I had, a little bit of spring would have been at the top of my list.  Mother Nature came through for us.  Partly overcast with highs in the mid 40s isn't amazing, but compared to what we've had for the last few months, I'll take it. 

I finally got out into the yard today.  I must say I've been a bit disheartened by the foul weather we've been having, staying cooped up inside most days, even when I had time to get out.  I think I'll spread out my eventful day into multiple posts though. I've seen other bloggers I read do that, though mostly they work long hours so can't do anything during the week, but as one can never count on good weather here, I'll just talk about my compost today.

You see, I haven't touched my compost in months.  Sure I've added my kitchen scraps to it whenever the kitty-litter container was full, but the last time I tried to turn it my pitch fork hit rock!  Today was very different.

Aside from countless egg shells that didn't break down because last year I wasn't crushing them when I put them into my kitchen scrap bin, my compost was nearly finished.  Turning it was just like I imagine a worm farm to look like when you're feeding it.  Every turn generated a dozen or more worms wiggling in the dirt.  The funny thing is the first thing I thought of when I saw them was my chickens would love this place!  My second thought was how good they are for the compost and garden.  How sad is that.  I'll have to turn in my green thumb for that one.

When I was turning the compost, I was smashing the egg shells into smaller pieces, so they'll eventually compost in place.  Then my youngest and I decided it was time to weed the garden beds.  I hadn't touched them, other than to harvest carrots, since last fall, and I had many weeds growing. 

Don't those weeds almost look like lettuce? I have let them grow thinking they may have been volunteers.  Today I made the executive decision to yank them though.  Of course it took all of 5 minutes to pull them and the moss out.  It all went into the yard waste bin rather than my compost. Let Cedar Grove worry about it. They're better equipped to ensure 150 degrees to kill everything.

When I was cleaning, I did notice my beds had settled even more this year.  If you look closely, you can see one whole 2x6 is visible now.  It may be time for a few yards of Cedar Grove compost as I don't generate enough to do more than augment my beds.

Although I couldn't add much in the way of depth with my scant compost reserves, I could do some major augmenting with the compost, so I added a wheelbarrow full of compost to the front part of this bed, then finally planted out the seedlings that were in dire need of more soil.  They weren't looking so healthy when I put them in the ground, but I'm hopeful some water and tons of great compost will perk them right back up.
Lastly, you can see that I throw my hoops up. I actually got the plastic over the hoops at around 10 pm after getting back from my birthday dinner at the folks place.  Here's hoping they survive the night in the low forties...

Hope you got to enjoy your garden today!


  1. Happy Birthday Sinfonian! I hope you had a great day from beginning to end. :D

    I am pretty sure the vast majority of those 'weeds' were lettuces! I really should let some of my lettuces go to seed this summer and try saving some of them, I always pull them out before they have a chance to set seed.

    In addition to adding compost, you can do an aeration of the beds which will "fluff" them back up - using a pitch fork just push it down into the soil and rock it backwards toward you until the soil lifts and separates a bit . Pull the pitch fork out of the soil and go back about 8 inches and do it again. Work your way down the bed (both sides) so that the entire area is loosened and broken up abit - but not turned over. Use a hoe and rake to lightly cultivate and smooth the top few inches and your bed will be "volumnized" and ready for planting. I do an aeration like this every spring using a broadfork or pitchfork to do the job. It is a necessary process to loosen the soil that is compressed from the forces of gravity and compaction.

  2. Sorry your weather has been yucky, Thankfully better conditions are gonna be here soon. My beds will need to have compost added to fill things back up too, but thankfully there's plenty left for it. Hope you had a great birthday, dude!

  3. Happy Birthday! And we actually have a little bit of sunshine to help you celebrate! Enjoy your garden today....

  4. IF you end up getting chickens those weeds can be food and eventually be fertilizer for your yard or go back to the compost bin.

  5. Happy Belated Birthday! I do hope you enjoyed your day. Your soil looks so dark and healthy. I am looking forward to seeing your lettuce seedlings grow.