Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools!

Mother Nature is playing with me again. She sent a nice April Fools snowstorm to those of us in New England. It seems I should have taken photos yesterday rather than at 6am in the morning. I really have been working hard to get the yard ready for spring. You see that white photo above? Well all those sticks represent where my blueberries and peach trees will be. Yesterday my townhouse mate and I went out and dug peat moss into the blueberry areas. This took quite a while as the soil here had been driven on numerous times. And some areas where the blueberries are going by the driveway were not well dug out by the landscaping company. The interior of the bed was well done though. There is nice soil a ways down.

The peat moss is to change the pH of the soil. Eventually the soil here will all turn pretty acidic since that is what happens when we get a lot of rain but until then I have to help it along. Blueberries are native around here. But right now the pH is at 7. Blueberries would die with that pH. They need a pH of about 4-4.5 to thrive. The peat moss probably isn't enough as peat has a pH of around 4.5. I will need to get some fertilizer for that family of plants, as we are also planting three Andromedas and a Dwarf Rhododendron which are also in the same family and require similar conditions. Oh and the cranberries. I mustn't forget them.

Beds full of compost

Earlier on Tuesday I had a delivery of 4 cubic yards of compost to top off my garden beds. I calculated that I needed 1.75 cubic yards for each inch of depth and I wanted to add two inches. That would be 3.5 cuyds. Well I ordered four assuming that I would have half a cubic yard extra. And it was the minimum they would send to me. Well they sent more. I cleared out one bin for finished compost, but it will more than fill that bin which holds about a cubic yard itself. I think the rest will have to be scattered around the yard randomly. Nothing has been planted yet except one 'Little Gem' Rhododendron. So sprinkling the excess will still be easy. But why do they send more than I ask for? Another company did that with the soil too. I carefully calculate how much I need and more is NOT better. I still have about half a yard or more of compost to move, but most of it is done. I'm so sore.

Garlic on Wednesday

Garlic today

Pea trellis just waiting for peas to be planted

So the bed are ready to be planted when the weather cooperates. The pea trellis got put in yesterday before the rain started. I'll plant peas, favas, and spinach this weekend. My MIL is in town and a lot of my time is already spoken for, but hopefully I'll be able to get a few minutes in. The seed is already soaking right now, so it will HAVE to be planted.

The weathermen promised more seasonal temperatures for the next week. Though you know how accurate they are. Right now one has Monday pegged at 65F (wow wouldn't that be nice); another has it at 47F (a few degrees below normal); still another at 45F (pout). Really? 20 degrees of disagreement and only three days away. I really hope Channel 7 is right and the others are wrong. I could use a nice warm up. Hope your weather is better than mine at the moment. And I feel really sorry for those in northern and western New England as their forecast was closer to a foot than a few inches.


  1. I'm with you on the disagreement in weather. It was just depressing to wake up this morning. At least we're in the area that didn't get much. Next week looks overall better, but lots of rain to foul up the works. I'm going with Channel 7 being right, just don't look at the weather channel too. I'm finding that I'm addicted to weather. There are 3 apps on my phone specifically for it.

  2. It's snowing here too!! It won't last though since our ground is no longer frozen. This has been the worst weather predictions that I have ever seen. They are not even close to being the same for two days in a row!

    Just pile a little extra compost on your veggie beds. It will settle down in no time!

  3. I totally feel your pain with the snow. I am about 1.5 days ahead of you on the weather, and today it is supposed to be around 45 and getting warmer. Hopefully that means good news for you as well!

  4. But it's so pretty! I am ready for spring but this is probably it for the white stuff so I'm enjoying it. You can see my pics at
    I'm colder and further behind you so I'm working on pruning. Lots more rose work to go.

  5. Keeping my fingers crossed for you that you get the warm up scenario. I would be a bit frustrated to be so close to planting some things and then have the storm system come in. Spring snowstorms never last very long though and by the looks of things you have been busy with all the advance prep work - such that the beds are ready and waiting for you to get to them with some seeds and plants. :D

  6. Did you have to cover your garlic plants? We've had similar weather here too. Your raised beds look great! How many do you have and what are their dimensions?

  7. Daphne, I feel your pain! We had 8-12 inches of snow last week. It has mostly melted now. Winter does not want to let go this year.

    Sounds like you have been busy weather aside. Hopefully you can find room for the extra soil. You'll have lots of muscles by the end of spring :-)

  8. How discouraging! I know you're excited to get those gorgeous new beds planted and growing. Come on, Mother Nature, play nice!

  9. Well, the good news is that that amount of snow shouldn't hurt anything and you KNOW all the work you did below it will be there when it melts.

    As for the pH for blueberries, a neighbor adds sulfur once a year. I did peat, pine needles and fertilizer for acid loving plants. Don't have a tester so I don't know. Sure hope you dial it in.

    I'm glad they delivered more compost than you bought and figured, as there is always need for more compost! We bag it up, use the bags to kill weeds then use it where it's needed later! GL and stay warm.

  10. Now that's depressing...I hope this snow will be the end of your winter weather!

  11. Snow again! Well I must say your beds look so neat and ready for planing though. We hit 70 degrees today, or just above that, and now it's supposed to snow tonight- we'll see. We managed to get 3 more beds ready with amendments and all. My back will pay for it tomorrow, I'm sure ;).

    I meant to ask you- you trim your onions, but what about chives? And if so, when? It's hard to believe that I've never grow them before now. I'm creating a kitchen bed right outside, well- the kitchen!

  12. The Mom, And sadly everyone agrees on the 45F forecast now. Sigh.

    Robin, I'll probably just scatter the extra around the yard in general. It is pretty easy getting rid of compost.

    Tiny Gardener, I hope it warms up. I usually get my MILs weather a day or two later, but she got 80s this last week. We never saw that warmth.

    Esther, I don't have anything to prune yet in the yard. I can't wait to get things planted.

    Laura, All the snow is melted already and I was out planting peas today. That made me really happy.

    RandomGardener, No I never cover my garlic plants. They can handle really bad weather all winter long. A little snow won't phase them at all.

    Dan, I hope I get some muscles back after slacking off all winter long. It takes a while to get back into shape.

    Granny, Today she played very nicely. It was 50+ and mostly sunny today. That is what I want the next week to look like. With maybe one rainstorm in the middle to water things.

    Sinfonian, I've thought about adding sulfur. If they don't grow well I will, but I'm hoping to avoid it. I really wish I had a pH tester. I only know because I sent samples to the extension service.

    Jane, me too

    Tessa, mmmm 70s would be so nice. I think my prefect day is in the 70s. I've never grown chives indoors. I've only had them outside. So I've never trimmed them. I've never found a reason for it. Well unless I want a harvest. But usually for that I take a bunch and cut from the bottom.