Organic Gardening in the Early Spring

Due to the unseasonably hot weather I have just mowed my grass for the second time this year.  Don’t think I normally mow til sometime in April.  Lovin’ it, but selfishly so due to many areas of the country have had very bad storms and tornadoes and loss of life and property.  I was in a tornado as a teen with my friends at a popular beach in the area.  Summer storm came up and an announcement was broadcasted to seek shelter due to actual tornado warning in St. Clair County.  Just a few of us were left, had to go along with my friends since I rode with someone.  The sky started to look really weird and coming towards us from the water we all noticed the large water-spout spinning madly towards the shore.  To further point out the stupidity of the young, we all ran into the station wagon while those large metal garbage cans and large branches whizzed past our heads and we were trying to protect what little brains we had with our hands.  By grace of God we were not killed or seriously injured while the tornado passed and the car rocked wildly back and forth, but never picked up.  Some of us were really scared and crying like mad, won’t mention any names.

There are basic things that to do to try to prepare for the growing season.  Try to start seedlings for some cool weather crops by the beginning or mid-March.  The last danger of frost in southern-lower Michigan is Memorial day.  After that it would be so extremely rare to have cold enough weather to kill any of the warm weather crops.  I try to get my cool weather crops planted by mid or late April

I am planning on amending my soil tomorrow so I can have the cool weather seeds planted by Friday the 13th, a very lucky number for me.  This will be the second till job on the main garden behind the garage and will add some peat and manure to enrich it.  Did not have any compost from last year because I was planning on moving and renting out my house by this summer.  I usually let some compost freeze over winter and break it up again to use later in the spring.  You need to start now to have your compost ready for later in the summer or even next year.  I still may decide to plant rye grass and more ground cover back there and make my life a whole lot easier this year by going to farmers markets instead. 

My normal routine would be to have the soil completely amended and ready for planting by mid April.  I usually plant peas, pea pods, snap peas, spinach and lettuce.  There is already lots of parsley growing in the front yard.  I also have the smallest plot of chives and oregano in a number of areas that come back each year.  I am not a gardener who plants much variety.  Only things that grow well that I like.  Not much luck with various cantaloupe plants and squash I have started first from seed among some of my other plants and shrubs, the squirrels trample and get into everything.  Most don’t make it.  Lettuce and green beans are the most successful, even with all the bunnies.  The critters eat off a lot of my squash blossoms before they can fruit.  I used to can loads of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, but again not much harvest due to all the mangy varmints.

March2012 before tilling

After first tilling

Pruning Clematis and cleaning off the deck

Deck in dire need of white washing instead of repainting

 

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