Less Noise, More Green: Working the soil and the first signs of spring!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Working the soil and the first signs of spring!

urban farming
Rhubarb breaking through the soil. I'm so happy to see you!

It is time for me to show my soil some love. There is so much to do before I can plant outside and I feel like I am running out of time! Luckily, yesterday was a balmy 60 degrees and I jumped at the chance to get outside, do some inspecting, and work the soil. Here's what I found.

To my delight the earth wasn't frozen and I could dig. This is the soil I have to work with at the front of my house. As you can see it is very sandy. I am going to have to add a lot of organic material!

Hostas, thank you, but your service is no longer required.

I am creating an edible landscape at the front of my house, but before I can amend the soil or plant anything, I have to remove a lot of plants. I have been itching to get started on removing the hostas while they are still dormant, so I began by digging up six large hostas located on the side of the house.

The bed, with the hostas removed. The blueberry bushes to the left need to be moved as this is where the peas will go.

I still need to transplant two blueberry bushes and two rhubarb crowns from this bed, as well as removing a rhododendron. In the front I need to dig up two rows of hostas and a barberry. The yews need to be pruned back and one yew possibly removed.

After all this is done I can amend the soil. The plan is to add lots of compost and manure as well as lime to raise the soil's pH. It's a lot of digging and I haven't even started on the back beds. I don't mind as this is good physical labor, which I need after a very sedentary winter, and the end result will be much healthier soil (and a much healthier me). I need to get a move on, though, as I want to plant peas in the next couple of weeks!

While digging up the hostas I had a little look around and look what I found - signs of spring!


urban farming

and garlic - green, living things. It did my heart good to see it. Maybe this winter will end!

Inside, my seeds are doing well under the grow lights. I harvested the last of the spinach experiment this week and used it in a stew.

grow lights

I have eggplant growing on a heat mat.

grow lights, urban farming
Geraniums and cabbage doing well.

grow lights, urban farming
Black Eyed Susans just popping through the soil.

grow lights, urban farming

Leeks are almost ready to fully emerge. Broccoli seeds are nearly ready to be transplanted to bigger pots and I'm waiting for rosemary, lavender and sage to make an appearance. This weekend I'll plant another batch of new seeds.

I don't want to jinx it, but I think I can see the light at the end of the winter tunnel. Is spring finally ready to arrive?

Please let the answer be yes!


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