sprouts, bergamot, topsoil, etc.

some of the onions and flax have started to show up. will have to get out and get some peas and other early annuals planted in the next few weeks before the main plantings of the more frost intolerant plants. we usually wait until the last weeks of May for those.
transplanted some bergamot (purple bee balm) from where it was trying to take over the limestone gravel along side the first strawberry patch. it is challenging to try to get that stuff out of the limestone as we put the limestone on top of carpeting and the roots of those will grab onto the carpeting. it is a long term project that will likely take a few more years since the area likely has a pretty good store of seeds to keep sprouting and border rocks and the fence which guard the roots from being easily pulled.
the interesting thing is when getting the roots out to examine how they've been building topsoil from trapped sediments (wind, flood water and stray bits of organic material that were grown there or from the surrounding plants). the roots make a very fine dark woven mesh. so in some ways i was also harvesting topsoil from the limestone and when i bury most of the roots down deep enough that they won't regrow all of that topsoil will become good loam for a garden.
the transplants i moved along one edge of the back green manure patch. if they want to spread outwards from there that would be good, they'll give the grasses and other weeds a challenge and be nice companion plant for the orange butterfly weed. the soil back there is still pretty compacted in many places. with the lack of rain it is starting to get pretty hard again. even if the worms are doing better and i'm seeing plenty more of the debris piles that the night-crawlers put around the entrances of their burrows i still need to add more organic matter to the surface as that is really the best way to improve the soil without having to do a ton of work digging things in. that will also help the strawberries once they get to wandering around - (i'm just starting that patch for the the coming years as i phase out other areas) since the strawberries themselves often produce many more runners/plants than should be in an area they can be used to make some extra organic material for the surface. in a few weeks i can also start selectively chopping and leaving some of the green manure crop in place. that is prime worm chow...
the spring flowers are fading quickly. a few days of higher temperatures and not much rain can shorten their display. already the chipmunks have been raiding and eating some of the crocuses in the unprotected gardens. i'll be moving some of them to a more protected area tomorrow even if it isn't the best time to be moving them. and speaking of critters a groundhog was poking around and i made sure to chase it off. i want to break any of the critters from thinking this is an easy place to raid if i can...
all of the apple seedlings/saplings have made it through the winter. one is really a standout and i may leave it in place where it is until it gets big enough to flower. the rest of them will get moved this fall to the space behind the ditch that we own but rarely do anything back there. i have to thin out the bushes/trees that are starting to get going back there and so i can use that brush to pile around transplanted apple saplings to give them a chance of surviving the deer and other critters wanting to munch them into oblivion.
ah, a real rain at last, i was hoping we'd get some rain out of these storms, but until it actually gets here on the ground i don't count on it the way the storms can break up as they come over the valley. that means i can get out and plant some of that back green manure patch with some more radish, turnips, peas, wildflowers, etc. to give it some more variety and soil breaking roots. the worms do love eating those turnips when i leave them to rot through the winter. a few are now surviving to flower and reseed themselves.
other than that, weeding, puttering around, getting other weedy areas smothered or redone and replanted.
for those who are still reading and celebrate Mother's Day, i hope you treat your Mama well. :)
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