Saturday, June 13, 2015

Digging in the Dirt

The old ceramic bird feeder that wintered neatly against the shed, 
now ready for spring retrieval. (5/24/15)
Our family garden has finally come together over the past two weekends. With my summer break still a few weeks away, and with it more time to dedicate to such things, my wife and I took every opportunity to get between raindrops in an effort to grow some vegetables. As is the case annually, my role is destroy and prepare, while my wife plants and nurtures.

Though our roles stay pretty much the same, we will annually alter our some of the techniques that we employ in an effort to kick-start the garden. This year, for example, we chose not to use compostable paper to minimize weed growth as in the previous two years. Though it did result in an aesthetically pleasing appearance for the garden, the digging in the dirt that comes with hand weeding, is something I enjoy and the mulch necessary (in addition to a few well-placed stones) hold the paper down did not seem to benefit the soil.

There were far fewer weeds this spring due, I think, to the mulch employed
the previous spring to hold down the rolled garden paper. (5/24/15)
As I turned over the surface level dirt with a pitchfork, beautiful brown soil 
was revealed. (6/2/15)
A well-timed rain the evening prior, made the task of weeding and turning over 
the ground much easier. (6/2/15)
Two bags of the compost we earned over the winter thanks to our 
participation in community composting added some valuable nutrients to 
the dirt. (6/2/15)
The crops were rotated this year, with the tomatoes moving front-and-center, 
peppers to the left and squash to the back. Cucumbers were moved to an 
alternate location elsewhere in the backyard. (6/6/15)
Apparently Epsom Salts are good for plants and not just old
people in bath tubs, a misconception I had previously held. (6/6/15)
Read to GROW--ugh! (6/6/15)
While the rabbit clan living under our shed won't eat tomatoes or peppers, 
they do seem to enjoy Brussels sprouts; thus, the "cage." (6/11/15)
The cage came first--one evening after work--and my wife
planted the Brussels sprout plants a few days later. (6/11/15)
With the plants safely in the ground, and with local precipitation plentiful of late, all that's left to to sit back and see how things develop!

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