Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Snow Is Gone

Yesterday's heavy rain finished washing the rest of the snow away.  The huge pile near the mail box was the last to go.  Earlier today it was little more than a dirty shapeless lump.  Growing under the snow, the pernicious weed Shepard's Purse is already about to open its flowers.  Mature new seeds are about a week away.  This early start pretty much guarantees that this plant will always be with us.

Traditional garden soil would be unworkable so soon after a heavy rain and the last of the melting snow.  Our planting beds are surrounded by stone paths or sod.  We are able to work wet soil from the edge without compacting it.  The dominant weed here now is Shepard's Purse.  Its early flowers are amazing but pale in comparison to the giant root mass.  I remove each plant and its attached soil to make room for the compost that will be added prior to planting.  This removed garden soil also serves to cover the accumulated kitchen waste that now covers the top of the compost pile.

We grow lettuce, spinach and beets in this walled bed.  Young rabbits pass through the wire cages with ease.  The combination of the old trailer skirting walls and the interior wire cages protect the young tender plants.  No system is perfect and we had a wood chuck burrow under the wall.  I was most distressed by the yellow stony subsoil that it brought to the top of planting bed.  Instructions say to plant spinach seeds as soon as the soil can be worked.  Early hot rainless days have in the past caused our plants to bolt when they were only about one inch high.  We will likely pass on the spinach this year.

These clip clothespins were used to attach the shade cover to the wire cages during the heat of  last summer.  Becky picked up the tattered scraps of shade cover that remained and discovered that some unknown caterpillar used one as a place to overwinter as a chrysalis.  Perhaps we should rotate the pin so that its near vertical orientation is preserved.  This was a truly amazing early day spent outside and active.

1 comment:

Beth @ PlantPostings said...

Oh that's amazing! It looks like it might be a black swallowtail chrysalis? It's a fun time of year, isn't it? Time to plant and time to discover.