Monthly Archives: March, 2016

March

… er… I should say, the last week of March…

I usually take off a week in March to work in the garden. My father comes down from Canada and gets a breath of spring before spring actually sets in in New Brunswick. The ornamental cherry is looking lovely. There are lots of bees. Yay!

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The seeds are growing well at Jason’s house and some are actually so tall that he is having difficulty dealing with them. I don’t think he thought they would do so well. He keeps telling me is is time to plant them out and I keep telling him, not until mid April. Some came to my house so he could cope…

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On Thursday last, I finally got the last of the Irises out of the bed in the middle. The bed is loaded with Johnson Grass (the bane of my gardening existence) and had to be moved even though it is totally the wrong time of year. The bed is now covered with thick clear poly in hopes of frying the hell out of the roots and finally killing the grass. Wish me luck!!!

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When I was digging the last of the Irises, I found one that I had dug up last year, still alive, growing in the shade under the dogwoods…hmmm… so I planted three between each tree and we will see how they do. Thank you Brandon for your help and encouragement!!! Gizzy approves.

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The next three pics are just the stuff I planted a few weeks ago. Later is another pic and there is quite a difference in only a few days!

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Ok, This is my father…just a young guy at 83 years. Without a word of a lie, SIX days he pruned and hauled out climbing roses, wild raspberries, honeysuckle, and vining poison oak. He wrested with a barbed wire fence a bit too. I can actually see through into the field behind my house now.

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I had another bed that had to be emptied of perennials. I moved as many as I could to this small bed and decided to give it as proper edge. I ran out of room…

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So I had to dig a new bed…

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Meanwhile … he’s still at it…

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I had wanted this bed on the other side of the walk to sink pots into for invasive herbs. It had become totally overgrown with weeds and Johnson Grass. I started digging it out. The first day went ok. Obviously the clay needs some major amending.

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The second day I ran into some major Johnson Grass roots. This is just a small bit. I filled two buckets before I got smart and just dug out all the clay as deep as I could see the roots.

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It’s just a start …

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This is my dad’s arm after 6 days in the hedgerow at the back of my property. I don’t know what kind of immune system he has, but no issues from poison ivy/oak. I would have been covered. The other arm was almost as bad! Let it be known that I did not ask him to do this task. I think he likes the Redbuds and Dogwoods growing wild and can’t stand to see them choked out by the climbers. He also serviced my lawn tractor and mowed the lawn twice.

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All in all a very productive week. I have about a month and a half before the heat and humidity kicks in and I hibernate for the summer.

 

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Here we go again …

Every spring I am energized, ready for a new gardening year. By June, when the heat and humidity her in North Carolina has firmly set in, I am toast. I just cannot hack the heat, humidity, clay soil and Johnson Grass!!!

This spring, however, I feel like I have a few things more to my advantage. First of all, the garden is in better shape this spring than last. I only have two raised beds that are totally overgrown with weeds. The others are only slightly overgrown with weeds!

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Of course, there is still the problem with weeds surrounding the beds, but I did get the pre-emergent down last fall and I am determined to do it again when it’s due!

In December I had a perfectly lovely day and found myself out weeding one of the beds. There were three lettuce plants that  had germinated late in the fall. I weeded the bed and thought what the hay! Let’s sow some snow peas! I had a lovely little row germinate in no time.

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Unfortunately, this is all that survived. So tomorrow I will sow some more to fill out the row and I’ll have some early and some later.

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The second reason, I feel I am ahead of the game this year is that my sweety has put together a new grow light stand. I am thrilled. I really missed starting my own seeds.

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There is nothing like picking the varieties you really want and starting them yourself. We set it up at his house since there is almost always someone there to tend them, and I have been getting daily photo updates. I forgot how fast things germinate. Several were up on the second day. Very gratifying!

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The third thing that will help … I am calling in help. Last year, when my yard looked really bad, I came home to find a business card magnet stuck to my mailbox. I laughed out loud. Obviously they thought I needed some serious help. Usually I HATE people leaving flyers and junk on my doorstep, but this was ingenious! It was small and not easily lost. It sat stuck to my fridge where I knew I would find it again. Today I made the call.

Lastly, I have found friends interested in starting their own seeds too. It’s great to bounce ideas off each other and let’s face it, it’s a great motivator! Now, off to get ready for a little seed swap tonight…

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