Yesterday, the sun was out and highs hovered in the 40’s. I donned a sweatshirt over my long-sleeved t, put on my heavy work gloves (my Ethel ones) and headed out for some solo work time. I love the quiet of the outdoors and the time to think and recharge. With hubby home, he and Lily were inside playing/cleaning and I could focus on the job at hand.
There is something so satisfying about putting the garden in order for a new season. I am not the kind of gardener who does all the cleanup in the fall–leaving perfectly prepared beds for spring. I’d like to be, but once things actually freeze and die, I am happy to be done with those outside beds for a while. The spent plants and seed heads make nice food and cover for birds and small mammals.
In about 3 1/2 hours I built the shelves we purchased for the high tunnel; organized tools; pulled, sorted, and stored about 50 stakes; pulled out all the dead plants; used the stirrup hoe to prep raised beds; weeded the garlic bed; and dragged all the plants and other dead plant matter to the brush pile. There are a few brush piles on the property we add to in this way each year. Instead of burning them, we leave them for wildlife. The one back by the garden offers cover to deer, snakes, turtles, and more. These natural compost piles seem to stay about the same size from year to year–our adding to them balances out with the extent to which they decompose.
And what to wondering eyes did appear–rhubarb unfurling and 3 asparagus shoots coming out of the ground. Spring has sprung from the earth.
As I worked, I gathered weeds in one basket and trash in another. I threw the weeds into the chicken yard to very thankful gals eager for their greens.
Near the end, Lily came out bundled in a coat and garden gloves. I was about to go in, but was not going to discourage her wish to help, so I spent another hour cleaning up in the orchard and helping her make a few final pruning cuts to the peach trees. At this point, the garden is in need of some raking and the raspberry plants need pruned and thinned. I still have tons of frozen raspberries in the freezer and the raspberry patch is far, far bigger than what we need. It’s time to scale back. Paco suggested that we take the thinned out plants and transplant them to the back of the property where they can be enjoyed by wildlife. Good idea! Paco is a conservationist at his core–he hates the idea of taking things out. He always hatches a transplant plot.
Today I woke up pleasantly sore and feeling very stretched out. It’s nice.