Planning for Spring

2017-01-28_4926

The garden is still sleeping, but I am wide awake, waiting, planning.  These 4 of the 8 beds I can see from our bedroom window are 3 feet by 8 feet.  2 are 3×5 and 2 are 3×4.  Strawberries occupy bed 3, and look to be resting comfortably inside the bed and overflowing to the ground.

Lots of work to be done, waiting for a sunny day in the 40’s.  The wall behind the beds will be lowered by at least one row of blocks as the soil behind has compressed and washed out over the years since the previous owners built the walls.  A day over 55 and I will pressure wash all that black moss off the blocks. The wall running in the background will also be lowered by at least one row.

The black raspberry bed near the truck also needs some TLC.  One of the 6×6 boards is so warped we could put another 6×6 under it.  Plus the birdhouses need to be replaced, the poor bluebirds residing there occasionally fall out of the bottom, and the roof is half gone from one of them.

The trees directly outside the wall are ornamental, they just need light pruning this year.  Further up the hill, but still visible is the beginning of our orchard.  Presently, 2 peach trees and 4 apple trees.  Last year was the first year we had a peach crop, but unfortunately, the possums and raccoons enjoyed most of the bounty.  This year, I will be investing in some electric fencing.

The previously mentioned strawberries also suffered from loss to critters, primarily a Thrasher.  She nested in the Clematis off the bottom deck, but I didn’t suspect she was the culprit since we had chipmunk invaders last year.  I put out a safe animal trap expecting to relocate the chipmunks, but instead caught mama Thrasher more than a dozen times, she just wouldn’t learn!  So, this year, the netting will be set up.  She would eat the berries regardless of ripeness, and we only enjoyed about 2 quarts at the beginning of the season.  Not this year baby!

Last year, I had success with onions, carrots, spinach and tomatoes.  We’ll go with the same this year, but I’m hoping to get a better crop of green beans.  I have to look back at last years pictures to make sure I remember what was where to get proper crop rotation.

Last year was the first year I had tomato horn worms, because it was also the first year I didn’t plant marigolds with the tomatoes.  I hope the eggs/larvae that survive the winter can be controlled with the marigolds.  I don’t spray.

I’m looking forward to enjoying the fruits (and vegies) of my labor!  But much planning and work is to be done before the first seeds hit the soil!  Tick tock!

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