Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lots of happenings!

Yesterday was an interesting day here in my little Eden:
  • The Butterfly Weed sprouted yesterday! I tried to take a picture but the sprout is this little tiny thread-like piece, I just couldn't get close enough to make it show. Even the little first leaves are these thin needle-like things. Times like these, it's hard to believe this little frail sprout is really going to grow up into an 18-24"-ish winter-hardy bush. Also hard to believe these things manage to survive in the wild. Honestly, if you don't look close, you'd hardly even know it was a growing thing.
  • Pansies--went to the home store and they had beautiful big pansies at 16 for $8 (plus change). Today Rose and I are going to pot some up for the front porch--a little cheery visual evidence should help us remember that the chilly weather won't last forever.
  • Rose and I went to the community compost project pile and shoveled our last few barrels of compost. That makes 120 gallons on the back garden. That also makes approximately 4-5" over the full thing, which also makes DONE! I shoveled it in to mix and used my hoe to level it down. Now we're ready to plant the sweet peas and, once the last frost passes, we're good to go!

Funny thing about the compost, I've changed my mind and don't think it's evil any more (Rose, on the other hand still thinks it's the work of darkness).

Partly that's because when we started shoveling it into buckets and dumping them into barrels already upright in the trunk, the horrible problem of how to get this bolder-like trash can of infinite weight up into the car, the biggest part of the problem, was solved. Still had to move the compost bucket by bucket, but the bodybuilding part of my workout, at least, was mercifully removed.

But mostly I had a strange conversion experience yesterday when I was digging the layer of compost into the ground.

Because the compost transport was a fair amount of work (and also because we only owned one trash barrel) we'd been spreading the process over a few days. That meant that while I had worked the soil in the full garden, only half of it had compost over it the first day. The second half had less compost the second day, and by the third day I finished spreading the compost and started digging in.

When I went to mix it in, I strangely found that the whole thing was much easier to dig than it had been and also the part that had the compost on it for longer was easier than the other part. Strange.

Now, I freely admit there was nothing scientific about this, lots of things could have been happening. Obviously, the compost was added to make things better for the plants, not for me. But, I've been reading a bit about "No-Dig" and "Lasagna" gardening, and I just have to wonder if something was happening with the earthworms/microbes/dirt-stuff?

At any rate glad the mixing was better than I had anticipated and glad to have that bed ready!

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