Life on the mountain in Zone 5 at 1486ft, we currently have 20+ mph winds with 30+mph gusts with beautiful blue skies and sunshine. The winds make being outside a little unpleasant since I still have to wear a jacket and gloves since it drops the temperature from 45ºF down to 30ºF. Brrr. But you do what you must when you have the sun out, especially after 3 days of straight rain totally close to 2 inches. But there are things that we do every year, after the snows all finally melt away and you don’t think you are going to get hit with another storm. This time last year there was still plenty of snow in the garden, so in a way we seem to be a little ahead of schedule somehow.
1. REMOVE THE MULCH: To get the garden started for the season the first order of business was to remove all the sterile hay/straw we had mulched the beds with in the fall. I always remove the thick layer we put down to protect the beds during our harsh winters, so that the soil will be exposed to the sun and warm up faster.
2. COLLECT AND CLEAN UP ALL GARBAGE LEFT OVER FROM LAST SEASON: I try not to do this but it happens, leftover bags from soil amendments, old rockwool with old roots still streaming on them left piled on the garden cart still in the garden that should have been removed at the end of last season. Out it all goes.
3. PUT THE MARKERS IN THE GARDEN – I have a really bad habit on not marking what I plant. I used to take care of some many other people’s gardens and had to mark all their stuff by the time I got to label my own stuff I was too tired or out of markers. I keep a garden journal and usually write down the seeds I used, so I have some general idea of what’s planted. Something I can do inside and put out in the garden later when I’ve compared my pictures of what’s come up to my garden journal.
4. SPREAD COMPOST: Earlier this week we scattered our compost that we have been making in our FoodCycler for the last year. It worked out so well for us being able to finally compost our food scrap during the winter months which we have never been able to do before successfully up here on the mountain. We love our FoodCycler, particularly since not only do we get great compost for our garden but it has reduced the amount of garbage that we have to take to the dump so much that we don’t have to make weekly trips like we used to which these days the less times off the mountain, the better. If you aren’t familiar with the FoodCycler, check out our post review.
Since the compost has been worked into the beds, we only let the dogs in when we are around. Kona, the blonde standard goldendoodle managed to sneak in to the closed gated garden by somehow slithering her body under the fence. It seems impossible that she could do this, but one night this week she was found stuck under the fence trying to come back out and then next night she spend a rain soaked night stuck in the garden while everyone slept. I wake up early and discovered her at 4:30am – she was okay, wet but okay. We have put some boards up where she is crawling through and at night no longer letting any of the dogs use the dog door – quarantining them in for the nights now.
5. SET UP THE TOWER GARDENS: We pulled the Tower Garden’s out and set them up. We still need to get fill the reservoirs, check the the pH and get things going which will happen in the next couple of weeks.
6. START SOME MORE SEEDS FOR THE TOWER GARDEN – I have to germinate some seeds inside and get them growing before putting them into the Tower Gardens outside. I’ll try to a better job of labelling my seeds so I remember what I planted, that is if I remember- LOL!
Happy gardening everyone!