Monday, March 22, 2010

Raised Beds and Spring Busyness!

Raised beds are a great thing. If you don't have them, you should think about it! They make vegetable gardening easier (less weeds and bending) and they allow you to control the soil and create the most hospitable bed for raising your veggies. There are many shapes and styles available in all different types of materials with varying price ranges. I personally prefer raised beds that aren't too tall and are made out of natural materials so they blend in with the rest of the garden. I made mine out of 2x10s screwed together in the corners. They are anchored in the ground with 1x2(ish) wood stakes driven into the ground (best way to do it is to screw the stakes to the built beds AFTER they have been driven into the ground.) Super simple, not expensive, and good looking! I have been having fun planting them up this spring! I have heard of people using all different types of things to construct raised beds: hay bales, scrap wood, metal siding, even tires. I would love to hear if any of you have any other ideas!

Here are a few of the things that have been keeping me busy, 
and a reminder about stuff you should do as well!

-Start your spring crops
-Prep potato beds, it's almost time to plant them!
-Plant asparagus, berries, grapes, rhubarb, etc.
-Do any clean up in your garden and flower beds left from last season
-Weed beds
-Apply systemic to insect prone trees (birch, willow, etc.)
-Edge your grass
-Fertilize your grass (it's almost time to put down crabgrass preventer as well)
-Start watering your grass
-and plant, plant, PLANT! Now is a perfect time for both you and your plants, less stress and heat for both parties involved!

Happy Spring to you all!



Saturday, March 13, 2010

Be Patient With The Wind

This is the time of year that I dread the most...............the windy time!!  I have to be outside the majority of the day to set the nursery up and to do the many tasks that are before me.  This means that I have to be out there come rain or shine, wind or snow, and once in awhile a beautiful spring day.  These beautiful spring days are what keep me going.  We have had a fairly mild winter and spring so I should not complain but I still do when the wind is blowing me sideways!
This morning at 8:00am I am out watering the trees and wondering what I am doing out in a hurricane wind storm.  But, then I look at the trees and berries and all the beautiful plants and they remind me that they need the wind.  Yes, that's right, need the wind.  They need it to grow strong.  If any living plant does not ever have a breeze blowing against its structure then it becomes a weak, wimpy plant. One that always needs your attention.  So I carry on...........trying to remind myself that 'this too shall pass'.

                                                                                      Take Joy, Susan

Please join us, March 20th, 10:00am, for our first seminar of the year. 
An expanded version of last year's
'Growing an abundant Harvest'!
We will be discussing your garden...from
the soil up!  We will address soil types,
amendments, weed and pest control,
abundant gardens in small spaces,
unusual vegetables and plant selection!

Our seminars are for everyone, from the novice to the expert.  They are free of charge. We provide refreshments, and fellowship.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Must Read

'Down the Garden Path' by Beverley Nichols is an absolute must read for all you gardeners out there! 

Beverley Nichols is a brilliant, English writer of garden books from the early 1900s. This is not just an ordinary garden book that tells you what plant should be planted where, but it's a collection of funny, personal stories about Beverly's own garden. A story of his first real garden and his entertaining journey through it. We gardeners share a certain sort of humor that no other 'non-gardener' would understand. I know this as I put this statement to the test- I(gardener) try to share some passages  from this book with my husband (non-gardener) which have me dying with laughter and he just returns a  somewhat blank stare back at me. I don't understand how he doesn't see the humor and he wonders what in the world I thought was so funny...There you go, a perfect example. 

An excerpt:

       "Until you actually own a garden, you cannot know the joy. You may say 'oh yes, I love a garden.' But what do you really mean by that? You mean that you like to wander through rows of hollyhocks, swathed in tulle...(you, not the hollyhocks), and that you like to drink lemonade under a tree with a nice young man who will shortly pick you a large bunch of roses. You hope he will take the thorns off,  and that there will be no earwigs in them, because if you found an earwig on the rug in the car you would die with horror. (So should I). You like walking out onto a terrace and looking up at a wall that is covered with the pale, tipsy plumes of walk under arches of orange blossom, thinking the prettiest thoughts...and you may even stoop down to pick a bunch of pansies, if they match your frock. You like these things, yes.

       But you do not like groveling on the earth in search of a peculiarly nauseating slug that has been eating those pansies. You do not like putting a trowel under that slug, hoping that it will not suddenly burst or produce fearful slime, and tipping the slug with gratified horror into a basket. You do not like bending down for hours to pull up hateful little weeds that break off above the root...(not groundsel, because groundsel is a lovely weed to pull up). ..but small docks and wretched things like that. You do not like these things, for one reason and one reason only...because you do not own the garden. All gardeners will know what I mean."

...and you gardeners out there, like me, will know exactly what he means! Gardening is a love/hate relationship at times. It's a trial in nerves and patience. It is dirty and insect infested at times. But it is also rewarding, beautiful, therapeutic, a creative outlet and so many other things that outweigh the 'trying times' by far! I am so happy all you gardeners out there understand!