March 11 garden
In early March, the grass
is just barely starting to grow and there's not very much to see yet in
the garden. But, despite the brownness of winter, this is still a
pivotal time of the growing year. Not only am I making new beds like the
one shown here, I'm also planting annuals and nurturing perennials.
On the list for the month
--- weeding around the garlic, which is starting to grow like
gangbusters now that the serious cold has fled. A newspaper layer
beneath the straw did a great job keeping weeds at bay everywhere except
around the plants themselves. But it's still better to yank that dead
nettle before it goes to seed!
Other overwinterers won't
be around long, so I'll wait to deal with weeds until it's time for the
next crop. Above, you can see the tiny bit of kale that survived the
winter under a quick hoop. Now exposed to spring rains, the leaves are
slowly but surely beginning to grow again.
Most of my attention,
though, is focused on March, April, and May plantings. To that end, I'm
spreading various types of compost on spring beds. I'm not 100% happy
with any of my homegrown compost...yet. But that's okay because a little
extra time in the dirt works wonders toward mitigating high-nitrogen
chicken bedding and high-carbon garden-weed compost. Here, I'm
topdressing beds that won't be planted until the first of May, giving
the compost plenty of time to mellow in the interim.
This final shot shows the
results of my February garden-redesign campaign. I shoveled all the
good dirt from shady beds to make one long new bed on the left side of
the photo in an area that enjoys full sun. The topsoilless areas in the
foreground will be seeded in oats and clover so goats can enjoy a nibble
as I work in the garden.
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