Spring has definitely sprung on the Eastern Shore − it’s 82° today! Mother Nature is toying with us. Though it looks and feels like warm days are here to stay, we’re still a wee bit too wary of any possible cold nights before we get our seedlings into the soil. I will say, the pink magnolias weren’t afraid of an early spring.
Last weekend, M & I rototilled some more rows. Though, first we had to take out the holdover carrots, chard and brussels sprouts from the fall that had to make way for the tiller. We’re tripling our fenced garden area this year, with every hope of reaping a serious harvest. I can just taste the “candy cherry” tomatoes and “sugar ann” snap peas…
Our next project is coming up with a weed-blocking strategy. Some friends told us about a method of putting down cardboard or newspaper and covering it with green mulch (freshly cut grass, magnolia petals, coffee grounds) then topping that with thick brown mulch (cured wood chips, sawdust). Apparently this will suppress the weed seeds in the freshly tilled soil, help retain moisture and eventually break down and become part of next year’s topsoil. We’re going to give it a shot on some of our beds to see if it really does cut down on weeding. I did some googling, and it appears that organic gardeners have been using this technique for decades and plenty of people swear by it. We shall see.
I’ve been out mowing (I have a sunburn to prove it) and dumping the clippings on the cardboard sheets. And though we’ve also been wood-chipping like crazy this month (more on that later), but the chips are too fresh to put on the garden. We’ll have to take the truck down to the town dump to see if the free mulch they have has cured enough to put out on the garden soil.
We are also considering planting a flower garden, with the possibility of selling cut flowers. Or perhaps I’ll just hoard all of the flowers and have fresh bouquets in every room. I suppose I’d also be willing to give some to friends. (Read: anybody who wants to come visit will not leave empty-handed!)
In other news − M has been collecting more gigantic logs lately from an tree service friend he made. Looks like we have a few days of milling to look forward to : )