Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Walkabout the back field

Yes, it is still rainy. Likely to be for a few more days as well, and I have been enjoying the time away from the garden and rejoicing in the natural moisture for the ground.

Yesterday was "lost" to monthly major shopping. In addition to groceries, I scored a couple of shepherds crooks which I will use for wind chimes. One is currently hanging from the garage eaves and is beating the corner badly. The other has been sharing my single crook with a metal sculpture dragon fly and the two get badly tangled which does not help either. Maybe I can get the hooks installed tomorrow and the dragon fly moved; I will have to wait for K to get the chime off the garage or haul out the ladder.

I also picked up a d-handled shovel. This will help considerably in the planting of the rest of the asparagus roots and the new order of same that just arrived. The ground is actually draining well enough that, if it is not actively raining, I may work on that a bit tomorrow. I also got a Spirea bush to plant. Spirea and Lily of the Valley were two of the early bloomers that I enjoyed as a child at home in MI. I planted the LotV today, to the west of the Craft room on the north side of the house.

I went out initially -- a day "late" -- to bury last fall's corn dolly in the garden and anoint the soil with apple juice in blessing. This fall, with any luck, my corn Goddess will be born and raised here!

While I was out I dumped the compost bucket and pitched a bit of the grass that had blown off the pile last year back on it. I am waiting for friends to bring me some pallets with which to build a real compost area, but for now I will tend what I have. After dealing with the kitchen waste and dumping the cat box leavings out in the back, I wandered around looking at the emerging vegetation. I need to learn the various plants in their infancy... "weeds" and not ... and I think I have decided which will grow up to be goldenrod and I have found many patches of a nasty ground-hugging creeper that will be the focus of my "war" this year. I need to go back through my Master Gardener notes and find out if this plant is a perennial or just a very vigorous annual, but in any case, I will be attacking it any where I find it, with my trusty mattock.

When I wandered out to the back (north east) corner where most of the little trees are growing I discovered ferns as well as the trees and other growing things. K had commented that his place must be more damp than the rest of the land and I have to tentatively agree, though I have never noted it to feel any wetter to my feet. I wonder if the water is just closer to the surface there? If we could possibly dig a pond? I know I want to walk about a bit with dowsing rods to see what they can tell me, and to research the plant life there a bit more.

Along with needing to tag the actual trees and bushes (with ID as well as just differentiating them from tall annual growth, to help K with the mowing) I will need to get back there with the mattock, as well. I was also surprised to find -- in addition to the ferns and the birch and kitty willows that I knew were there -- the "remains" of a maple that had apparently been accidentally cut in the fall mowing! That will be encouraged, for sure! I am also thinking about trying to dig and transplant some of the smaller trees, using my existing "stock" to expand the range of the proto-woods across the north boundary. We will see what happens in that regard.

Still no sign of any sprouting on the things thus far planted, though the transplants are holding their own and the ultra-early seeded row is growing.

Next year I want to try an experiment, to learn more about what the optimal early planting time is, by doing very small plantings of spinach and lettuce every week from the start until the first week of May.

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