Planting Spring Vegetables, Landscaping, and Working on a Strawberry Bed

Hi Friends!

Good news — my carrots didn’t die! I went to turn the soil to sow my lettuce, spinach, kale, beets and radishes, and I almost turned the carrots under! I noticed at the last second that there were little sprouts of green all lined up in a row! I had given up on these little beauties ever coming up and was planning to re-sow them now that the weather has finally turned and brought us into spring, but now I don’t have to!

The garlic, onions and peas all survived our last little spell of freezing temps early this week too! I have sprouts of green standing tall from the cinder blocks behind the retaining wall, and the peas have popped up from the soil as well. The first signs of a lively gardening season have emerged, and my spirits have lifted with them!

I got all of my greens, beets and radishes out yesterday, 10 days behind schedule. Being forced to wait and have patience with the unruly weather just made planting that much more satisfying. I bolted from work at 4 p.m. and went straight home to change clothes and get outside. I had a whole list of things to do outside and ended up not having time to finish them, so I finished up this evening.

I’ve had a landscaping project on my to-do list since this time last year, but I did so much work on the front yard last year that I decided to put it off and just enjoy what I’d already done. So yesterday I took full advantage of the beautiful weather and got started. I set Hunter to work with the weed trimmer, cutting down the sporadic tall clumps of grass in the middle of the yard where the rain water pools. The mower still needs the oil changed, and there isn’t enough grass in need of cutting yet to justify mowing the whole yard!

While he was doing that I moved the containers of green beans and potatoes to their permanent spot, then I pulled out the roll of landscape fabric, fabric staples and scissors, and set to work on the new landscaping. I already have a Lilac Bush in the center that I set out last year, and as I worked around it I noticed little buds. It’s still pretty young so I thought it would be a year or two before I was blessed with it’s sweet-smelling blooms, but it looks like I will have that beautiful scent wafting up into my kitchen window very soon!

PS – I looked out the kitchen window this morning after I let my dog out, and she was POOING right on this landscaping fabric that hasn’t been rocked yet! Sorry Miss Ruby, but this is not your own personal bathroom!

This evening I planted the Creeping Phlox I bought last weekend on a whim. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to put it when I bought it, and I pictured it going in the landscaping in the front yard. But after laying the landscape fabric and starting to fill in the rock, I stepped back and looked at it and realized I had the perfect place for it right there in the back yard where I spend most of my time in the summer. Creeping Phlox takes such a long time to spread, but it blooms all summer and is my absolute favorite ground cover!

I had a vision in my head of strawberries in this planting bed too, but I’m not entirely sure how I want to go about it. At first I was going to just plant them straight into the ground. But after laying the landscape fabric I realized two things:

1. The landscape fabric will prevent them from shooting down new roots unless I go out and cut up the fabric and place them manually.

2. The clay-laden lawn soil isn’t conducive to growing produce.

So now I’m contemplating building a raised bed, and I have to figure this one out quickly because strawberry planting time is here! Luckily there is LOTS of lumber laying around out at the family farm, so I just need to figure out what I want (the eternal female conundrum), then borrow a saw and break out the screws, power drill, and maybe a little paint.

Really though…I had a strawberry patch at my old house in the country and I loved it! The strawberries from the grocery store can’t even begin to compare. Homegrown strawberries may be smaller, but they are so much sweeter and flavorful. Since you can’t let them produce a crop the first year because it weakens the plant, I definitely want to get them out now so I can start harvesting strawberries next spring!

There is lots going on in the next week with Logan’s 11th birthday and his party to celebrate in the works, but I will be finding time to work on my garden projects too. I’ll be sure to post an update when I’m done!

I hope you all are having a great week and enjoy this wonderful spring sunshine!

Love,
Loren

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