Thursday, April 3, 2014

First Chores in the Garden

Yesterday was supposed to be a beautiful sunny day just shy of 60F. So of course it was cloudy most of the day. I know we had onshore winds predicted, so I'm guessing our clouds were courtesy of the ocean moisture. Inland it was probably sunny. I don't live too close to the ocean. Maybe seven miles (11 km) as the crow flies. Closer if you count Boston's inner harbor. But that is close enough for the ocean to change our weather. Usually it means we are cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Since it was cloudy, I didn't feel like going out to garden. I was really hoping for sun. So I decided to start making more soil blocks. I could get some more plants seeded. I poured some hot water into the dry soil mix to wet it down and as I was doing that the sun burst out. The blocks could wait. I had sunshine outside.

Though the ground was still frozen it won't be much longer. And there were plenty of chores to do that didn't require turning over the soil. The main chore was cleaning up the paths. Sweet alyssum lines the paths in the summer. They grow pretty thickly into the paths. I wanted to clear them out and get them composted.

Ripping them out was easy. But I never did get the dirt and cruft totally cleaned up. My broom is in very sad shape. It is an old straw broom and most of it has worn or rotted away over time. There isn't much left to it. I really need to get a new one. It was a lot of work to do the little cleaning I did, and it isn't all that clean. A good rainstorm will clean up a lot of it though.

The next chore was to clean up that sad looking kale that I showed you yesterday. I got all the old dying leaves off. The patch still looks pretty sad, but it looks a lot better than it did.

While I was out sweeping, I noticed my apple tree. I had a couple of crossed branches that I trimmed off. But the photo above showes my major issue. On the right side I had three branches, all one right on top of the other, each only 9" from the one below it. This is way too close for my main branches. I really wanted the lower and upper ones. The middle one was the most vigorous one. I wish I could have kept it, but I figured I ought to pick the best branch location. And I really needed that upper branch. There isn't a branch above it. It is the highest one on that side of the tree right now.

I really appreciated the late afternoon sun, but I think my plants loved it more. I've been hardening off the onions and my early greens (lettuce, mizuna, and tatsoi). As soon as I can work the soil, I'll be planting these. Well unless we get some really nasty weather predictions. But the long term forecasts say that the weather will stay nice.


  1. Yay for sun. We've had a lot of rainy weather in the last month (many days with 4 or more inches), and my kids attend a garden class. We are behind in everything in that class because of the amount of rain, so yesterday they all worked in the garden and my girls got a little sunburn. Nothing major, but there's been so much rain that I completely forgot sunscreen. Now I'll remember. :)

  2. Your gardens always look so nice even when there is nothing in them. The onions and greens look like they are doing great already.

  3. Your seedlings look healthy, hope the good weather stays in your area, we had a dusting of snow last night, nothing was damaged :P

  4. onions look good and healthy

  5. Oh it must have been so nice to get out into the garden to do some cleanup. Mine is still under snow, but it is melting and I should see the soil by this weekend.

  6. I am hoping the weather stays nice for you and gets nice for me. We are getting quite a bit of rain now but had a couple nice days. Your sidewalk is so nice and neat looking. Did you do that? Nancy

    1. No we hired someone to put in all the walkways. Though I did dictate where they would go in the garden.

  7. I plan on transplanting out my early greens and scallions this weekend under row cover. I can't wait to be able to harvest some leaves soon.

  8. Wow, those onions are impressive! The 10 day forecast looks great so I think we'll be seeing some real garden progress!