Monday, April 6, 2015

This Year's Garden

My plants die. Pretty much without fail; my plants die. Those plants that are supposed to be wonderfully
Stevia 2.0 - luckily, it rerooted itself. Maybe it'll live.....
resilient and practically self-sustaining? In my house or yard, they die. All that "easy to regrow from scrap" stuff you see in your Facebook news feed? It dies. Ever wonder what happened with my various botany experiments that have made appearances on the blog? They died. Even if I don't forget about them and neglect them, they still die. (The only thing that I can consistently grow is mold in the back of my refrigerator.) My inability to keep plants alive is at odds with my desire to have a large garden full of fruits and vegetables as well as culinary and medicinal herbs. Every year, I think of how wonderful it would be to have delicious fresh things to eat. I look at the plants for sale at all the stores. I buy seeds and try to start seedlings. Eventually, I have to have learned enough for it to work, right?

This used to look really nice before I took over.....
This year will (hopefully) be different. Instead of my normal blundering about like a blindfolded bull in a china shop trying to figure out what I am doing wrong, I have enlisted gardening mentors. And I am cooking them dinner on a weekly basis, so I will be able to get some frequent course correction. I am going to need it. The gardens both look atrocious.
There are transplanted strawberries in there somewhere...
This afternoon, I plopped the Little Girl in baby jail near the West Garden, and I started working on my homework. I raked it out, collected seeds from last year's plants, and pulled the dried flower stalks from most of the garden. I also started turning the soil near the neighbor's garage. 

The East Garden looks even worse than the West one does
As I was working, I unearthed some strawberries that I hadn't killed yet. Those were carefully transplanted into the freshly turned soil, and thatch raked from the lawn was put around them to hold the moisture that the predicted rain should be putting on the garden. (There will probably never be enough berries from my garden for all of my jam making needs, but it is always nice to be able to grab a few ripe berries for a snack while working.) We will have to see tomorrow evening what sort of a grade I get on the work.

I did not see new growth yet on the perennial herbs or the grape vine, and I am a bit worried that they did not have enough insulation to make it through the bitter winter. It is still early though, so we will just have to wait and see how it all goes.

I have started to realize just how many leaves are in the garden and how long they take to break down into the lovely compost that I need and how much easier it would be to use them for mulch if they were put through a chipper/shredder first. Maybe we will have to see about putting it in the budget to get a nice used one this fall. It would be way more fun to do all the raking if I got to put the leaves in a shredder.....

1 comment:

  1. You don't need a chipper. You need a mower with a bag attachment. I just "vacuum" up the leaves with the mower and dump on the garden. You are correct, they do break down quicker having been chewed up a bit. Same for all the grass clippings. Really a pain to keep dumping the bag every few minutes, but worth the effort.