Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring Yet?

Finally a Spring-like day. I think it's supposed to be mid to high 60's with cold nights for the next few days, with little chance of rain until Thurs. So I'll have to keep an eye on the seeds out in the garden. Don't want them to dry out too much.

The rhubarb is making reasonable progress, considering how cool the weather has been. I left the hose in the frame for scale. Still no tulip buds yet, but other things are beginning to peek out. I have tiny leaf buds showing on some of the raspberry canes, and new leaves coming out of the ground. The strawberries and asparagus are not doing much yet though. That is a worry. I'm considering what to do about both, though I'll wait and see how they look by the end of April.

Only one of three asters in the half barrel out back survived the winter. Disappointing. I'll probably re-plant that barrel once the bulbs have finished. They seem to do well in the open ground. I might try parsnips in the barrel, since they don't like our garden soil, however much I dig. They don't germinate real well, and you get a lot of forked roots if the soil is clumpy. I just read a good hint on growing parsnips today. Make a 6" trench and fill that with good, sieved seed compost, then plant the parsnip seeds in that and cover lightly. So that's something to try. I only got four parsnips to grow last year, out of two rows of seed.

So here is the newly-cleared "cottage garden" area. As you can see, I am barely able to hold back the weeds around it. Morning glory is a constant menace. Even cedar mulch didn't help for long. It's a losing battle and I just don't have enough time to be out there every weekend spending hours pulling out morning glory roots. I daydream about hiring a bulldozer and just scraping off all the topsoil so I can start with new. Yeah, like that'll happen. The nice thing about this area is how well all my new iris are doing. On the far left, the round clumps of shorter leaves are dwarf re-blooming iris in their second full season. I'm hoping I'll get flowers in spring AND fall this year. We'll see.

I saw a cedar waxwing in the garden today. They're around here all year, but that's the first time I've seen one in our area. The only ones I've seen were up near Kooskia when we went rafting on the Clearwater. They are pretty birds. I like the tanagers too, but those pass through a bit later in the year. I saw three or four of those last year in early summer.

It's been a week since I applied the pre-emergent weed killer to our lawn. It's still hard to tell if it's made a difference. I'm thinking I'll have to do more to get things cleared up so we can re-plant. Once we have a decently weed-free area, we want to plant a low-water fescue lawn. One of the locally-owned garden & farm supply centers has the seed. That's one of the bigger projects for us this year - getting the lawn to look like a lawn again.

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