Sunday, April 11, 2010

Can you dig it?

Thyme greening up again

I'm so ready to start digging and playing in the dirt, but the best I can do for the now is to pull up a few weeds or turn over the soil in the raised beds and walk along looking for signs of life.  And that is exactly what I've been doing.  A few of the daffodils have buds forming and so they'll be opening soon, I think.  The tulips are quite a long way off from sporting their bright colors.  Some have great gobs of leaves above ground and others are still barely poking through the soil. 

I found my thyme plant coming back to life in the raised beds and  I'm excited about that.  I trimmed it up and the smell it left on my hands was earthy and fresh.  I love fresh thyme and can't wait to plant the other herbs I enjoy using in season.   This year I'll be planting basil, rosemary, and parsley while the dill, chives, and mint will volunteer on their own.

This weekend I spent some time out in the sunshine pulling up the dried remains of last fall's Black-eyed Susans, the second wave of Bachelor Buttons, and the stalks of the hollyhocks.  I chopped off the old blue flax and the mint stems.  I saw glimpses of green coming up here and there, and I recognized some of my happy little flower friends who were just peeping up after a long winter.  There was Hollyhock, Pasqueflower, Prairie Smoke, Columbine, Dame's Rocket, Bleeding Heart, Iris, Blue Flax, Poppy, Viola and probably some others that I didn't find beneath the leafy mulch.  I  found the rhubarb nubbins coming up and the chive spears are shooting up too.  I love to snip fresh chives and use them liberally in my cooking or fresh in salads and as garnish.  Such a tender oniony flavor.

I wish I were digging and planting, but it is simply far too early for us up north to start into that.  I usually don't begin setting out seeds and garden plants until mid to late May and some years I have waited until the first week of June to plant.  One farmer we know said, "If you can't put your bare butt on the soil and feel comfortable, it's too cold for planting."  That's really the truth.  I haven't tried putting my fanny in the garden, but I do want my hands to feel warmth in the soil before I can trust that a seed will want to germinate. Last year when I was spading my raised beds, I came upon clumps of frozen soil.  When you're turning up frost, it's a sure sign the seed will just rot in the ground.  Been there, done that.

We are expecting showers of rain this week and so I'm hoping to spread some fertilizer on the lawn and plant grass seed in the bare spots where we removed some dead bushes and trees last fall.  I'll add an extra shot of old, rotted sheep manure to the rhubarb patches and dump a little on the front flower beds too.  Mix it all together with a gentle rain and you've got manure tea.   It's good for you...............if you're a plant!


Look who is singing me awake each morning!  The Western Meadowlark.  He's much nicer to wake up to than an alarm clock and he starts his song right around sunup. And guess who sings me to sleep?  Be sure to click "listen."

4 comments:

  1. Your area sounds much like ours as far as when to plant etc. It is good to see signs of life though isn't it...it will come. Have a good week....come say hi :D

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  2. What a beautiful bird! I'm still chuckeling at the thought of you sitting your bare bottom in the garden!

    And guess what? I have hollyhocks starts! I'm so excited, although I've seen a VERY big fat bunny (which I suspect will be producing little fat bunnies) so I'm hoping it doesn't start munching on those tasty leaves again this year!

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  3. Hello lamb friend, Oh, I love hearing about your garden doings. We had such a warm day yesterday - it is tempting to dig. One thing I have learned about my dreamy gardening self - I need to "make hay while the sun shines" meaning that while I have all this vision and verve for the garden, I need to do something. I have waited until June many times because of the frenzy of school. But now that I'm so interested, I'm going to try to do something. That's funny - butt on the ground. Your bird is sweet. I have hoards of little brown birds around the feeders - so humble. I wish you a sweet Monday filled with waves of contentment. YOU are good.

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  4. Isn't it fun when you start seeing plants pop up, come back to life. I have been lazy about my garden but your post makes me want to get out there and do it xoxox Clarice

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