Works in progress

“If you do not sow in the spring, you will not reap in the autumn.” – Irish proverb

Luck o’ the Irish to you! Have you been taking their sage advice and making strides in your garden yet?

I’m happy to report that the first warm, sunny weekend in March has finally pushed my lazy bones out of doors to begin preparation for this year’s garden. Things are moving! Seeds are growing! It’s a wonderful time of year!

Alas, though, easily distracted as I am when hints of spring begin to show themselves, I didn’t do a very good job of carrying any one project through, start to finish. Like Leonardo Davinci, I got a lot of ideas and projects started, and hopefully in the coming weeks I’ll wrap them up one by one. Perhaps listing the various projects here will keep me motivated to see them through!

Lettuce and kale sprouting

Lettuce (black-seeded simpson and buttercrunch) and kale (dwarf blue curled scotch) are the first seeds I’ve got going this year.

Starting seeds indoors
Since the raised beds aren’t quite ready yet, I started an early batch of lettuce and kale on Thursday so we can transplant them soon (and I’ll direct seed some more in the garden in a week or two, too). They’re already thriving, thanks to a nice sunny spot I found for them! This is a storebought seed starting tray, but I am also saving up toilet paper rolls to try a nifty homemade tray.

New raised bed 2013

We splurged on organic topsoil to fill raised bed #3, after last year’s disastrous delivery of “dirt.”

Building up garden soil
My husband built us our 3rd raised bed this year, so we started from scratch building up the soil. We bought 20 bags of organic topsoil (“Petes”) and 10 bags of Pete’s “Kickin’ Chicken” manure at a local garden supply store. Some of the manure (which is a blend of chicken and cow manure and compost) will go to amend the soil in our existing 2 raised beds, and the rest will go into the new one with the topsoil. Hooray!

Mulching project

In the process of removing landscaping lava rock and replacing it with good old fashioned hardwood mulch.

Mulch, mulch, mulch
When we moved in, the beds by our side entrance were covered in landscaping lava rock – not a look I particularly liked. To make it worse, baby border grass sprouts from tiny bulbs each spring, and it’s very hard to get out. We’re trying to find a taker to haul off the lava rock on Craigslist, but in the meantime, I’ve started raking it up and putting down a nice, thick coat of hardwood mulch around the Star of Bethlehem flowers, tulips and daffodils.

Pansies and door frame

Planting pansies (“buttered popcorn mix”) in containers is the one project that I completed this weekend!

Door frame painting
Since we got our new back door a month or so ago, I’ve been working on painting the door frame step by step. This weekend, I managed to prime the outer door frame (the inside frame is done). Just a coat of paint or two to go! At least it looks cheery flanked on both sides by containers I planted with yellow and white pansies this weekend.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and happy gardening to you!


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