“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Sunday, April 01, 2012

A Pattern Of Rain ... and Itching to Garden

some backyard visitors in March
Yesterday I was able to walk around our property checking for signs of spring.  Rhubarb, French sorrel, oregano and thyme are bouncing back.  Raspberry canes show budding leaves.  Fruit trees are waiting patiently for their turn to wake up.  We are completely snow free .. even the snow piles from clearing the driveway have melted.   Now the work begins getting the yard back in shape, adding additional soil to the raised beds, raking the lawn and clearing out the footpaths in the garden .. refreshing the bark.  To do this work, we will need a few days of sunshine .. and that's not happening anytime soon.

I have grapevines to plant.  Again .. wait and hope for sunny weather.

It is amazing to watch plant life unfold after being dormant all winter.  Perennials look stick dead until you peek near the soil and see life clinging near the roots.  There is much trimming to do in the next few weeks to remove the dead tops of these plants.

Our little indoor greenhouse is brimming with overwintered plants, geranium starts, seed trays, grow lights and a heating mat.  I chose the seeds to have a mix of paste tomatoes for sauces and heirlooms for slicing.  One of our 4 x 8 ft. raised beds held 32 plants last year producing 140+ pounds of  tomatoes.  We grew them using the square foot garden planting system .. training them to grow UP .. anchoring them to tall trellises.  These raised beds have thawed enough to plant peas and early spring seeds.

It looks like we're in for more rainy weather in the Inland Northwest
This will be our seventh year of having a veggie garden and there is SO MUCH more to learn.  What's going on in your yard?


Sue said...

I just got chased in by the weather--I was TRYING to hoe up the 43,000,000 Maple seedlings that popped up in my perennials beds. I'm with you-I need a sunny day or two.

Mr. H. said...

Your seedlings are looking great and I have a feeling that this really will be a much better year for gardening than the previous...as soon as the rain lets up.:) I'm curious, is your soil still frozen in places like ours is?

Mrs. Mac said...

Mr. H ~ the raised beds are thawed completely. I have only walked in our other 'in ground' garden and it's pretty squishy and feels pretty thawed. Oh .. it's snowing up a storm right now .. hope it doesn't last or stick.

Sue .. that sounds like a tedious job hoeing all the tree sprouts. I hope you get to it soon before the rain makes them grow even more profusely.

a little of me said...

seems to me you have a nice garden or property...i love gardening farm life and everything what have to do with nature ...love to read blogs of people who lived in the country thank you so much for sharing...have a nice beginning of the week

Anonymous said...

Sorry to keep you busy with all my homemaking questions. I will understand if you are too busy or just fed up with too many questions from me, but I am hosting Easter dinner this year, and I would just love it if you did a post on some favorite recipes. Also, I pulled out my old silverware this morning and polished the heck out of it using Weiman Silver Polish. I think I gave myself tennis elbow! Anyway, I'm curious whether you have an easier method for polishing silver. Is it ok to use your bare hands as I did this morning? And my polishing cloths are filthy now. I will probably just soak them in bleach water until the stains come out, unless you have a better solution.

Mrs. Mac said...

@ Kim ~ I'll answer this question first and post the second one later. I assume your silver cleaner is some type of a rub on/wash off paste. You need to develop a cleaning method and pass the job on to one of your kids (LOL). That's what my grandma did to me when I was young .. even paying me a little money :) I find using cut up old cotton flannel or sweat shirts that are moistened with water and then applied with the paste works well. I would just toss the rags instead of washing out. Using the silver more often AND keeping it stored in a felt lined silverware container keeps them from tarnishing quickly. I'll post a recipe that is ALWAYS served with Easter ham at our home.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the tips. I do need to use the silverware more often. I guess the reason I don't is because I don't want to take the extra time to wash it by hand, which I do to prevent the scratching that would happen in the dishwasher. But using it and hand washing it once a week might actually save time considering how long it took to remove that tarnish this morning!

Wendy said...

my friend has the same shelf contraption and loves it. A lot more going on in the garden than i thought. love spring!!