Spring is here.

Out in the yard, green has just about replaced all the brown, (my husband keeps it looking good), and it’s time to get this year’s garden going (my job).  Due to my pattern of procrastination, I usually start too late to get the best yield, but this year will be different.

It will!

It’s the first week of April and I’ve already put in 19 man hours of weeding, turning soil, pruning and fertilizing. (Yes – I am logging the hours.)  It appears I’m best at growing weeds.  THEY WERE RIDICULOUS this year! I purchased a fantastic deal on Living Social to have Mayhone Garden Care come out and prep my beds. I’m not sure if Mahone Garden Care is a shady operation or if they were just too overwhelmed with the volume of service purchases, but I when I was unable to reach them to set the appointment, (other customers reported this same problem), I got a refund and with my lips poked out hit the beds myself.

Determined to keep chemicals to a minimum, instead of spraying a weed killer, I’m weeding the manual way – pulling the easy ones and for the more stubborn weeds, turning the soil and sifting out the weeds and their roots.  To save my back, I picked up a GardenWeasel WeedPopper tool. It works well.

I can’t get over how physically demanding, monotonous and generally unfun weeding and bed prep is. I know there are people who love this, (my mother for example), and I’m really trying to enjoy this part of the process but I don’t. I do however love the later stages of gardening – nurturing the plants, watching them grow, most importantly reaping the harvest. So I stick with it. No sense trying to reap when I have not sown.

So, in the past few weeks, I’ve made 4 passes thru the beds and about 70% of the weeds are gone. Following are a few status pictures.

This is year 3 for our daylillies. They are self dividing well and look really hardy.

In the herb bed, the rosemary, mint and lemon balm survived the winter. (The mint is taking over). This coming week, I’ll add basil, thyme and oregano.

Across the front, my Knock Out Roses are trying to wake up. I trimmed them early this year, added two new yellow rose bushes two weeks ago and yesterday planted 36 South African Ice Plants from Roberta’s along the borders. The little plants are barely visible in the picture. They are succulents that spread out into a full ground cover with large flowers. Supposedly…this is our first time trying them. We’ll see.

BTW – that is a huge ant hill in the back of the picture. I came across 4 of them this week – all about half a foot tall and full of fire ants.  If my husband doesn’t clear them out, they can grow till they are as tall as the house as I refuse to mess around with them. (Lesson learned from several fire ant encounters last year.)

The vegetable bed still needs a bit more clearing and prep and honestly, aside from a few varieties of tomatoes and peppers, I’m not sure what I want to tackle this year.  I’m open to suggestions.

Are you gardening this year?  If so, what’s in your plan?

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