Sunday, March 22, 2009

In The Garden 3/22/09

Tsk, tsk! I've been bad. My week has been a little crazy for a number of reasons and so I have not posted the way I promised I would. So tonight you're getting two! First, the garden update.

Things are coming along, I have to say. We spent about 5 1/2 hours out in the yard last Sunday and finished 95% of the leaf/acorn/hickory nut pick-up. You simply cannot imagine how many wheelbarrow loads of acorns and hickory nuts I'm talking about--over 100 wheelbarrows full, but in all honesty, I've lost count now! The squirrels keep to themselves in the forest and don't seem to care that there is an absolute smorgasbord awaiting them at the top of the hill. Honestly, I don't really mind. I'd rather not have them tearing things up. But if they did decide to move up the hill, I'd have squirrels the size of raccoons by the time they helped themselves to this buffet!

Monday I had to work. I had been gone to Memphis for two days the week before and spent half the day on Saturday with a client/friend in Giles County working on a plan for their farm, so Monday I had to play catch-up. If I'm being completely honest, though, there was another reason I gave up my Monday gardening day last week---because the Tuesday forecast was for sunny and 74, and boy was it ever beautiful! I did work in the yard that day, putting down lawn fertilizer and spraying a full (and smelly) batch of Moore's Mix (from the garden center whose design work I do (, a concoction of beneficial bacteria, humic acid, seaweed extract, etc. that goes down in liquid form and boosts the biological activity in your soil. Heaven knows my soil needs some biological activity! It has pretty good texture in most places, at least where I've been diggin' around, but it seems to be absolutely dead--not so much as an earthworm. So I'm trying to rectify that.

Late in the day, my landlady came up and we burned off the remainder of the big garden bed that had gotten so wild by the time I moved in at the end of summer last year. It really was a mess and it feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders now that it is cleaned up. A little RoundUp to kill the clover that has made itself at home and I'll be ready to start gardening! Finally! Normally, I would weed it by hand, but the space is so big and the clover so prevalent (almost a solid groundcover over about 1500 square feet) that I'm going to have to do it the other way, just to get ahead of it. Then it won't be so bad to maintain.

Late this afternoon I spent about 2 1/2 hours outdoors getting a bunch of the tender plants that I had overwintered either in the garden shed or in the store room out, cleaned up and repotted. I still have a ways to go, but I'm getting there. I'm sure we'll have another cold snap and I'll have to haul everything back in again, but it feels good to be getting things ready for the growing season. I'm having to work again tomorrow (Monday), so probably no post tomorrow night, but if I'm lucky I'll have a few more hours to spend in the garden on Tuesday, so maybe an update then.

Oh, I almost forgot. We went on our first spring hike today and the woods are beginning to come alive. Fabulous little spring ephemerals emerging everywhere--false rue anemone, liverwort, trout lily and more. I can't wait to see what pops up in the next few weeks!


patientgardener said...

What do you do with all those nuts?

Troy said...

I have covered an area 50 feet long and 10 feet wide at the top of our service road with a "mulch" of acorns and hickory nuts 4 inches deep. That's a couple hundred feet uphill from the house and sort of a "no man's land", so that if the deer do decide to come and snack, I won't be leading them directly to the garden. Let's see.... if we do that math, 50 x 10 x 0.33, that's +/- 150 cu. ft. of nuts. And 150 divided by 27 is just under 6 CUBIC YARDS OF NUTS that I have raked, scooped and hauled UPHILL, in a garden cart, to their dumping spot.