Monday, April 27, 2009

Garden work

It was time to get at the main vegetable garden, as I really need to plant spinach, peas and lettuces. But before that can happen, the whole garden needed a bit of tidying up, and I started this morning by knocking down the remains of the Jerusalem Artichokes, raking out an assortment of dried plants from last year and burning the whole lot as I went along. I also began transplanting Horseradish from one side of the garden to the other. This particular garden is an outlined block "U" shape, perhaps a hundred feet long by 25 feet wide, though the center stretch is only about 15 feet wide... so as time goes by, I realize what works and what doesn't. I try to keep perennial plantings at the ends, so I only have to worry about the center for annual crops. I have a large Asparagus patch at the farthest end, Garlic and Beebalm patches near that, and now the Horseradish will join them all. On the opposite end, I have Rhubarb, Catnip, Horehound, Egyptian Onions, Welsh Onions and those cursed Jerusalem Artichokes... which MUST come out soon. Why I stuck them in there is beyond me... sigh!
I have two gardening tools that I could never be without... a stirrup hoe and an old tiller, which I purchased at a yard sale a few years back. I prefer not to turn over the soil, but on occasions when I have been lacking in my weeding skills, I use this to skin off the surface weeds and top few inches of soil to prepare a new bed for planting.
As I was working, the Guineas were putting up an awful fuss, so I walked over to the fence to see what the commotion was all about. A red fox was near the outhouse, daring the Guineas to come closer, so I chased him off back into the woods and proceeded to till the garden. About half-an-hour later, they started again. I was expecting to see that fox, but this time, an big old Tom Turkey was strutting alongside the back fence with about a dozen shreiking Guineas beside him on the opposite side. The more the Guineas shrieked, the closer he strutted... til finally he yelled back. After about 5 minutes of backtalk, he strolled off towards the pond.
Mom was up over the weekend to give me a hand at cleaning out the back Berry Garden and re-running the fence around the perimeter. I made the mistake of letting the fence be a trellis for giant gourds last year, and the sheer weight of them brought the fencing down, which allowed the deer to get in throughout the winter and nibble off the raspberriy and blueberry bushes. The following day we weeded out the Strawberry patch... so things are coming along. I should be getting fresh Asparagus in another week, and Strawberries in another month! And my mouth is yearning for fresh Spinach, so I hope to get that seeded within the next day or two. It has been unusually warm today... in the mid-eighties, but rain and more seasonal (60 degree) temperatures will come back tomorrow. Well, it's getting close to dinner time, and I need to wash the dirt off! Til next time...

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