A Busy Spring
It wasn’t long ago, I couldn’t wait to begin the spring planting. Now that things are in full swing, my blog posts have been scarcer and shorter. The gardening, kids’ activities, and general life busyness that goes along with the spring time has been keeping me quite busy. I am guessing many garden blog readers and writers are experiencing the same. Our weather has stayed consistently above freezing at night and I haven’t seen a sign of it changing. It has been very wet with a few sunny days mixed in, like typical Seattle spring weather. In fact it is reported to be the wettest winter for over 100 years.
With the busyness comes many gardening activities. Many days I time my planting when it is a bit drizzly and between down pours. I am transitioning all of the cool weather vegetables into the raised garden beds. I have been finding larger pots to transplant my warm weather vegetables that are growing so quickly and I have additionally started some new ones. I received pots from neighbors, my mom, and searching around my yard and garage. I find them mixed within items on shelves and hidden behind pieces of wood. On occasion I will find one without even looking for it and it will feel like I found a gift. I am still about 5 or 6 pots short and I am sure I have more around somewhere. I have been sterilizing and sterilizing more pots, it just seems to be an easy thing to do to prevent spreading diseases.
I am maintaining the daily task of placing the plants outdoors for longer and longer periods of time to harden them off. I keep an eye on the indoor plants to make sure they get plenty of water and light. With all of the plants growing to different heights, I have been creatively using boxes to adjust their height as needed, to get closer to the light.
A few of my plants are so tall, they take up two shelves of height and I can’t remove any more shelves. The warmer weather can’t come soon enough.
The new soil I purchased for the garden beds has been a bit challenging to work with. It is a little too dense for my preference, so I purchased some additional vegetative compost and mixed some into the upper layer of the bed (for those beds I hadn’t already planted in). I have been using the soil mixed with perlite for my indoor plants. I sterilize it for seedlings, but just use the mix for re-potting into larger pots. Last weekend, my son even decided to help measure and mix some of my soil. He had a great time doing it.
With the spring, comes the pests. Just the other day, my beds that are not mulched have enough weeds that I began weeding. I contemplate mulching those beds with hay, but I can’t seem to make a final decision. The slugs continue to visit my garden, leaving themselves as evidence in the traps. I work to protect the new seedlings, but something is still enjoying my spinach. I have to be especially careful of the new puppy, she really enjoys eating onions. I have kept her out of the raised beds, but we have random onions planted all around our yard that she enjoys pulling up and eating. I didn’t even know how many we had until she started to find them.
My worm population is growing quickly with the spring weather, working to provide our vermicompost. We now even have a special kitchen bin to collect all of the worm food separate from our municipal compost bin. We collect a lot more food this way. In previous years we would just fill a recently used dirty bowl. They are happily growing their population.
Things don’t seem to be slowing down even as I am finishing transplanting most of my cool weather starts. I am starting to get into the swing of caring for the outdoor plants, fighting off the new pests, and preventing new ones. Soon, I will have to put up protection from the apple maggots, which affected our apples last year. Along with succession planting my beets, turnips, radishes, and lettuce, I am done direct seeding until it warms up a bit. Every day I come in from my daily gardening chores, even if it is a bit drizzly and grey, I always get that good feeling from being productive, breathing the fresh air, and getting my blood flowing.
Happy spring to gardeners that are beginning the new busy season!
[Image Credit: ©Garden4Dinner]