|After removing the last of the compost from the location in the |
foreground of this photo, I added a 6" layer of leaves and pine needles,
and then addedthe old lime basil twigs and sugar snap pea vines.
Spring compost!It was time to clear out the last of the compost from last year's pile. I needed to use it to refresh some of the rows where I'd harvested the crops and it was time to nourish the soil around various shrubs.
When I get to it, I'll turn the old compost pile onto the freshly prepared space. Then the cycle will start all over again.
Isn't it amazing how one spring garden chore leads to several others?
|I saved the seed from the lime basil and the marigolds|
that were growing in the space where I wanted to
build a squash mound.
Building a squash moundI had a 4x4 bed that grew only marigolds last year--no crops. Along the far edge was a row of lime basil, which we really enjoyed. (Link to Nematodes, marigolds, and crop rotation to see it in the summer and find out why I planted so many marigolds.) The bed had been just sitting there through the winter, but now it was time to clear out the dead stuff and build a squash mound. I wanted to do this quickly because a rainy front was coming through.
First I collected the seed from the marigolds and the lime basil, and then separated out the marigold skeletons from the basil stems. Then I raked the soil back from the front half of the bed to about 4" deep, laid in the dead marigold stems, added a 4" layer of compost, and then raked the original soil back. I did the same thing to the back side. After that I build a squarish swale and mulched the sides with pine needles. I'll bury my next batch of kitchen scraps in the center. It's still a little early to plant squash, so I'll let it sit for a couple of weeks to let it settle.
|The second phase was to rake the top 4" of soil from the back toward the front, add the marigold stems, and compost the same as the other half..|
|Squash mound with its center swale is now ready for some kitchen scraps in the center, and then I'll let it sit for a week or two before planting squash seeds. As I was finishing up this task, the rains came--2" in just a couple of hours.|
How dinners have been changed by our harvest-of-the-dayWe enjoyed a lovely vegetarian hash dinner the other night. It includes: wild garlic, garlic chives, oregano & rosemary from the garden. Plus store-bought zucchini, red potatoes, onion, green pepper, and celery all browned in olive oil in a covered frying pan until the onions were caramelized and the potatoes were soft. I then divided the hash into two servings on either side of the frying pan and topped each serving with an egg and covered again until the eggs were cooked. Topped with freshly ground pepper and salsa, Yummy!
The next night, my husband created a batch of tabbouleh, which will last us 3 days or more. The recipe varies and one of the factors is the harvest-of-the-day.
|Harvest for tabbouleh: garlic chives, wild garlic, carrots, and a good-size bunch of curly parsley.|
|Adding the soaked bulgur to the rest of the salad.||Ready to serve. Yummy. We'll probably add shrimp tonight or the next for variety.|
Our recycling neighborhood, Mother Nature, and more...
|A found bench! Our neighborhood has a tradition of putting stuff out on the curb the day before trash day and people roam the streets for stuff they can use. Recycling at its best!||Mistletoe really stands out in the spring!|
|Carpenter bees have been chewing into the blueberry flowers to rob the nectar. I hope that there is at least some cross-pollination happening so we get a good crop this year. For details on why this is important, see my article Florida blueberries.|
|A fluffed out red shouldered hawk the other morning. It's saying, "Hey, you lookin' at me?"|
|Sometimes natives don't look so great in their pots, which is one reason big box stores would have a hard time selling more of them. There's been a good discussion about this over on my Sustainable Gardening Facebook page. This is a beautyberry bush (Callicarpa americana) that sprouted too close to its parent. I put it in a pot for the winter, and now is a terrific time to plant this tough and attractive plant. Let's see... Where will I put it?|
Green Gardening Matters,