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
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. :)