Friday, March 29, 2013

First Garden Weeding

Snow still covers the ground in the shadow of the high meadow but this gently southward sloping garden bed has thawed and is ready for weeding.  Daffodils have claimed most of the planting with snow drops and Dutch iris along the edge.  This planting receives diligent care.  A fall weeding was followed by a top dressing of compost.  New weeds appear under the snow.  They need to be removed now while the flower growth is small.  A foot long piece of quack grass root was pulled from under a group of snow drops.  Quack grass persists here and it is difficult to remove.  Any broken piece of root develops into a new plant.  Still, I hope that none remains in this small area.

We have no luck with plants that finally find ground late in the season.  This English thyme spent much of the summer in a pot on the wall.  It was finally planted but its roots had no time to reach beyond the pot.  Which of our many frosts pushed it out of the ground matters not.  Today it was pushed back into the soil but its survival is unlikely.  If we hold to our promise of ordering fewer new plants, we might be able to plant all in a timely fashion.

Another shortcoming involves our collective inability to discard perfectly good plants.  Many catnip plants were found growing in what had been the carrot patch.  Despite the careful preparation that preceded last year's sowing of the carrots, sizable catnips were interspersed with the carrots.  Clearing out the mess yielded several small plants.  We have little luck transplanting catnip and all of these should have been dumped into the compost pile.  Five were tucked into the freshly weeded ground.  If they live, we will have to find a home for them.

The tray of lettuce plants spent some of today outside.  We believe that exposure to a light breeze builds stronger plant stems.  As we move closer to our last frost date, these walls will become covered with plants in pots.  The four pots in the picture contain plants that never found a spot in the garden last year.  The garden bench needs new wood and the day lilies need attention.  Last year by this date, the daffodils were in bloom.  It appears that this year's season in the garden may finally have begun.

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