st paddy's day

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cleaning the Garden

Today was my first day of the 2010 gardening season!

We went by Lowe's to pick up things for Brad's welding project and I was excited to see the onions and potatoes available. So, of course, I picked up my Yellow Granex onions, some russet seed potatoes, and seed packets for lettuce and spinach. As we left Lowe's for North Haven Gardens (NHG), it started to rain a little bit. It did not deter me at all. When we got to NHG, I was a little bummed that they were out of cauliflower plants, but the garden associate assured me that good things will come to those who wait :) That is exactly why I love their store! So, I picked up my compost (Back to Earth Composted Cotton Burs) and we headed home in the slightly heavier rain.

After everything was unloaded from the car, it may have been raining harder but I was determined to do at least an hour worth of work on the gardens. I pulled off all of the bird netting and stored it in the shed. In addition, I pulled the tomato stakes out of the ground, only breaking 2 of the 5. I also stored the tomato cages. When I assessed my situation, I realized that our bermuda had really taken over the gardens in the late summer and early fall. In reading on the NHG website, they suggest putting down newspaper under soil to help prevent the bermuda coming up into the garden. So, I will be buying a paper for the first time since Thanksgiving tomorrow.

I started pulling up as much as possible by hand. Today I didn't want to pull the soaker hoses out of the gardens, so I didn't break out the hoe and rake to till the gardens. Plus, the strawberry patch created so many runners last year that I was having to pull the bermuda runners out from around the strawberry runners. After working for about an hour, the gardens are still overrun with bermuda but I feel like I made some progress. I even pulled out about 2 pounds of carrots out of the north garden!

Here is what they look like now:

This is the south garden. You can see all the parsley on the far side that is still dying. We even have some onions growing back in this garden.

Here is the strawberry patch with the bermuda still growing it, but there is a lot less than there was before I started.

This is the north garden. You can even see a few of the stray carrots that I pulled up when pulling out the bermuda. I am looking for a roasted carrot soup recipe for tonight. Sounds tasty!

Here is the herb garden, the thyme on the left, the rosemary on the right and the extremely sad sage in the middle. My goal is to pull the sage next time I am out and pull the bermuda out, making way for possibly basil or another herb. I am not sure if the basil will do well in this garden since it does not get full sun but half sun. I have plenty of time, though. Basil does not get transplanted until at least late April. I have lost too many basil plants over the years from early planting to worry about trying to get a "head start" on the season.

And finally, I have only 22 pounds left to hit goal weight after many months of walking, spinning, and now running. My goal is to hit my goal weight by April 30, right about time for squash planting. I do have to thank all of my friends and family because, without their support, this would not have been possible. Here is where we are:

I am going to try to update my blog weekly going forward as I plant onions, potatoes, lettuce and all of the other terrific spring goodies. Here's to a great growing season!