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Surveying the Land

March 14th, 2013

During the 6 months we’ve been living here, I’ve been keeping a close watch on the garden.  The way the sun moves across the sky and the shadows it casts on the various part of the garden is something I watch.  Also of interest to me, is where the wind blows strongest and the snow drifts.   Of most importance though, is how the snow melts and the water runs.
surveying the garden 1
surveying the garden 2
Where the snow melts first is important, because it’s a good place to plant things like hellebores, snowdrops and crocuses.  They can take the cold and won’t mind at all if a heavy frost blankets them after a thaw.  They’ll be able to bloom beautifully without worry about a blanket of snow.  These spots would not be good places to plant things those things that might be lured into budding out early, only to be frozen out when the frosty air blows again
surveying the garden 3
At this time, I’m particularly interested in the snow melt and how it moves across the land.  How quickly the soil dries out is important because I want to know where I can plant my first sowing of cold hardy greens for early spring salads.  I’ve also taken particular notice of the areas in the garden where the water collects, while some plants enjoy wet feet, many do not.   There are a few areas that will be in need of a little excavating in order to allow the water to drain more freely, or perhaps a few small seasonal ponds will be installed to encourage toads and frogs to multiply in the garden.
surveying the garden 4
Yesterday I spent a half hour out walking about looking at the edible spaces in the garden.  Now that the snow is gone it won’t be long until I can start sowing spinach and onion seeds.  Depending on the weather, I might be able to plant some spinach seeds next week.

Do you have any trouble spots in your garden?  

Rocks: My Gardening Nemesis

April 22nd, 2010

I’ve talked about our rocky soil before. Everywhere I dig I find rocks of all sizes. From tiny pebbles to boulders I have to get Mr Chiots to help me dig out, they’re everywhere! I spend more time removing rocks from the garden areas than I do on any other garden task, even weeding. It’s especially bad in new garden areas that haven’t been worked before.

Last spring I worked up this new area in the garden and I picked out tons of big rocks while preparing the area. This spring we reworked the soil with some amendments and I picked out several bucketfuls of smaller rocks, only a few large ones.

Next year I’ll still pick out a several bucketfuls of smaller rocks and probably the year after that as well. I still get a bucketful of rocks from the front foundation bed when I weed and I’ve been picking rocks out of it for the last 9 years!

I’ve always got a bucket by my side to throw the smaller rocks into. I make piles of the bigger rocks around the property and we use those for rock walls and for stepping stones in the garden.

I’m currently saving them to edge the driveway in my efforts to keep the driveway gravel out of the garden on the lower side garden. (yes I have to pick those out of the garden as well *sigh*)

What’s your gardening nemesis?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.