Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A few signs of spring and the spring to do list

These are my plum trees.  They are the first of my orchard to flower.  They are young trees planted several years ago.  Two years ago I had a handful of very small plums form on the the tree in the foreground.  Last year the tree in the rear had a couple of plums and the tree in the front had about a dozen but this is the first year that they have had blossoms like this.  I am excited to see what happens this year.  

My small orchard has two apples, these two plums and two pears.  After hearing about some success in our neighborhood with peaches which I thought were questionable for our zone I am considering adding  a couple of peach trees.  I have been trying to add some fruit each year.  Last fall I was gifted with some strawberry plants from a bed that was being dug up so I am hoping that they had enough time to get established before winter.  The year before I planted some fruit bushes, two elderberries, a gooseberry and four sand cherries.  The rabbits have been hard on the sand cherries but the elderberries and gooseberry are starting to leaf out.  The year before that I planted some cranberries and transplanted my blueberries trying to get a soil that is acidic enough for them to grow but it has been a struggle and I am not sure if they will make it.   

My asparagus is starting to come.  Last year was the first year that we were really able to pick much of it.  I have been adding new plants each year and have some seedlings started for another row this year. 

Spring brings lots of projects all wanting my attention at the same time.  I am rearranging the greenhouse.  In the winter I have the tables away from the glazing but in the spring when I am growing seedlings that will transplant into the summer garden I can set up extra tables closer to the glazing to make room for more plants.  

A while back I was soaking, scrubbing and sanitizing my seed trays and planting seeds.  Now those seedlings are being transplanted into bigger containers and since I reuse my containers those containers are now being soaked, scrubbed and sanitized.  I have a soaking tub, a sanitizing tub and two potting soil tubs taking over my kitchen.  I am still seeding.  I am making multiple trips from the house to the greenhouse hauling pots back and forth.  It's great. 

I am prepping the garden space and have planted a few things.  I put a few rows of sweet corn in, I am hoping that it isn't too early.  I have planted a few leftover potatoes.  I am not sure if they are going to work but I have room so it is worth a try.  

I moved the pea trellis and planted a row of peas.  All of that happened during a week of warm weather.  Now we are having windy, cold, wet weather so right now work on the garden outside is on hold. 

I am also working on some projects not related to the garden.  Two years ago when my sister's daughter was graduating I helped out by making some cupcake wrappers and some paper 'scatter' to add to the center of the tables.  Now that her son is graduating this year I am doing something similar.  Where her theme was girly--flower vases and candles dominated--his theme is camo and blaze orange.  He is a hunter and fisherman as well as an athlete but his tables will focus on the outdoors rather than the sports.   

I blogged about Kaylee's party and shared pictures here.

This is what I am working on for Chase's party.  He will have cupcake wrappers and his name and year, just like his sister, but also he will have small picks with deer mounts sticking up out of bite size sweets and hunting and fishing themed table scatter.    

Sunday, April 17, 2016

First garden post of the season

I live in zone 4 so we are about a month away from our last frost date but we didn't get a lot of snow and especially we didn't get the big recent snows that parts of our state had so the ground is dry enough to start prepping for plants and planting some of the earliest seeds.  Today, with rain in the forecast Dad came out to till the North half of the garden.  Last year with the battle with the deer the garden was overtaken with weeds and the front half is in permanent raised rows so that will be worked by hand but the back is just one large area and so that can be tilled and today dad came out and tilled it.  The brown parts are the left over dead weeds from last year.   Dad suggested that we till it again in a week or so and I think that sounds like a great plan.  

On the south half of the garden, I have started to prep rows.  The first few rows are turned, I am applying composted manure to the rows and I have planted two rows of potatoes and a row of peas.  The pea trellis is installed.  The potatoes are ones that my sister had from last year and I am trying them to see if they will grow.  If not there is still time to replant with new seed potatoes.  

I am hoping to get some deer protection up before the plants are up and providing temptation for deer and rabbits.  And dogs.  I have been finding big holes dug in the yard and garden.  I have not caught any of our dogs in the act so I am not sure who to blame but it is getting annoying so I am hoping to figure it out and figure out a way to put a stop to it.  I am suspicious that it is Codie because when we just had two dogs she would bury her bones and Sadie would watch where she went and dig them up.  

P.S. Thanks Dad!!