Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Slow Progress

I haven't posted for a while because I was hoping to have a bit more to show for the week. I think we've had more snow since the official beginning of Spring than we had all winter. We very much need the moisture here, so I won't complain too much. We seem to have a couple of fairly nice days and then a little return to winter. It's coming again this weekend.

The asparagus and rhubarb arrived last week. After a couple days in the garage (because of snow) I got them planted. I worked on the raspberry patch last week to change it from a giant lasagna bed to the U-shaped patch it was intended to be. I used some of the "lasagna" to top off a couple of the newer beds that have settled down a few inches, to create rings #3 & 4, and soon will take some more to prep for the blackberries. I need to make some progress with the blackberry spot because they should be arriving in the next week or so. The strawberries should be arriving any time now. I hope they come tomorrow so I can get them planted before the weekend.

I did have a surprise this morning though. Last week, while I was out planting potatoes -and let me tell you, I had A LOT of potatoes - I even had to dig a couple small beds because I ran out of planned space and still had some more to plant! Anyway, I was out planting potatoes, and I saw the power company cutting some shrubs at a house down the street. I wandered over (after much debate with myself whether or not to do it) and asked if they had any wood chips to dump. They didn't have much in the truck then, but took my name and address. This morning, I had a load of pine mulch delivered (Free! Yay!) . Of course, it's A LOT of pine mulch... it looks a little funny because the pine needles are still green, but I don't think it matters, they'll brown and blend in before too long. I wish I had known when he was coming, I could have had a better spot for him to dump it, but I'm not going to complain. I don't have to hook up the trailer and go get it, so it works for me. I wonder if the pile will heat up since it has the chipped wood and green needles (and is about 4' tall and 6-8' around).

I've collected a couple buckets of snow from these storms. I'm making a bucket of compost tea (though I'm not sure it's doing anything, maybe I'm just making dirty water??). I also want to try making lacto bacillus (sp?) or something... I need to do some more reading so see just what I am going to make. I collected the snow now, because it might be a long time before I can collect a bucket of rainwater. I also collected a little bit of fresh, clean snow for something else I haven't had in years, Sugar on Snow. For those who don't come from the land of maple syrup, the syrup is boiled down a little more and drizzled onto the bowl of snow. It is supposed to be sort of chewy and candy-like. I must have boiled a little too long. I made some really hard-to-eat maple candy that seemed to completely encase a couple of my molars for several minutes before I could finally pry it off (pretty huh?). What was left in the pan turned to a much easier-to-eat bit of maple sugar. I have one more bowl of snow in the freezer, so I may attempt it again one of these days.

I've had a few more seeds sprout (indoors), moved the wintersown containers to the front porch (where they should be warmer), took some cuttings of the creeping phlox we have out front to see if they will root, moved another small tree (I needed to fill about a foot of dirt around the corner of the patio, so the tree had to move), and moved the 2 clematis from the front to the back.

The poor clematis, I'm surprised they were doing so well. I moved them because I'm going to plant Jostaberry bushes in front of the front porch (where the clematis were). When I dug them up, I discovered they were planted in bottomless coffee cans. One of the cans was mostly rusted away, the other I had to cut off. They were very rootbound. I'm amazed they got enough water to survive (and bloom quite nicely) last year, as I rarely watered directly where they were. I assumed they had roots out around the plants. I can understand if they were mint or something, but I have never heard of planting clematis that way (of course, I've never had clematis before). I think if they can survive that, they just might make it growing up the posts to the back deck.

***update*** Steve over at Valley Gardens (see my blog list) tells me that rootbound clematis are supposed to bloom better which is probably why they were in the coffee cans. Thanks for the info!!

I've been working on quite a few things, I just haven't gotten so many things finished. I don't even have any new pictures (can you believe it? I'll take more soon though). I actually feel a little more productive now that I have written down what I have worked on. It didn't feel like I had done much, even though I have been busy. If the weather is decent tomorrow, I need to take the poor puppies out for a walk. We've played ball a bit, here and there, but they need some good exercise and attention.


Sinfonian said...

Monster post, great work! Sounds like you've got some time before you can really get at it. That's some insane snow. Nothing like what we get here. Whew.

Good luck!

Amy said...

The snow is melted off (for now). We've had warm (mid-60's), cold (30's), snow (even some without wind for a change), thick fog, and our usual dose of wind, all in the past few days! Crazy!

Annie*s Granny said...

I have wondered if spring will actually ever get here this year, and you have it so much worse than I do. We get a couple of lovely days, and I get all excited...then it's back to cold, windy weather again. You watch though, I'll be complaining about the relentless heat before long!

Just Jenn said...

You've been so busy! And who doesn't love a truck load of free mulch? How great that they brought you some for free? BTW your 'dirty water' comment made me laugh... X^D We all like to pretend we know what we're doing but sometimes we just don't! Heh.