Here in Michigan it seemed like spring would never come but I think it finally has! This weekend was the first nice weekend I've been able to enjoy. We have had some nice days up till now and either they were hit and miss or I was out of town when they happened. I'd take a redo of this weekend for the next month.
I slowly got a lot of work done in the garden. We have two major "garden" areas and this weekend I got one "almost" ready. I hoping to finish up some work on it today if the rain holds off!
This year I started some seeds indoors (as usual) with heat mats (not usual for me.) My husband got them for me earlier this winter and I'm pretty impressed with the difference. A lot of seeds that I have trouble getting to germinate came right up. For me I have no trouble with things like zucchini, melons, basil and usually do okay with tomato's as well (though they seem to be trickier to harden.) What gives me problems is peppers and many of the "herbs". This year using the mat both the "rooster" pepper and "mini" peppers came right up. The poblano's still didn't but I was using seeds that were 3 years old so that could be part of the problem. I think the heat mats will definitely be worth the investment!
|Pine needle "mulch"|
This year in an effort to not spend a lot of money on the garden (saving the money to make some new boxes later this month) we're using pine needles. I had done this years before in my raspberries and they did fine with it. Pine is acidic but we're using them around the boxes not "in" the boxes so it shouldn't bother the plants who don't like the acid. My husband collected lots and laid it on THICK. We have more to collect as we need to finish the paths in this garden and then move on to our second garden area. Luckily we have 13 acres of woods with lots of pine needle droppings. I love to use free things.
The idea for this type of covering comes from a movie we watched called, Back to Eden. It's worth watching if you're into gardening at all. He talks about noticing in nature how there are not weeds everywhere and how layers and layers of leaves, pine needles etc... cover the ground. It's very interesting.
|Parsley that over-wintered|
|Oregano spreading like crazy!|
|faithful full rhubarb|
I may get the zucchini and some squash in today. Still need to weed the strawberries and get more pine mulch in too. If not today it will have to wait a week or so as I'm off to another convention later this week. We'll see what today brings!