Monday, April 4, 2011

The One Where the Frantic Gardening Starts

Oh boy do I feel like we're behind here. La Niña is wrecking havoc on all my best laid gardening plans. We've been inundated with rain, rain, and more rain. Oh...and cold weather too. I keep crossing my fingers hoping that we don't have a repeat of last season when my tomato plants refused to grow, it rained until June and then decided to start up again in August. Even my CSA had a tough season last summer.

It's been so wet outside that we haven't been able to get out and amend our soil in the raised beds, do much mulching, prepping, well - really to do anything. Sure. I know if we were die hard gardeners, or even true Northwesterners we wouldn't be complaining. We'd be out there come rain or shine getting things ready. But my goodness, we're from the hot, dry states of Idaho and Montana. This ridiculous amount of moisture makes me want to stay curled up on our couch nursing a mug of hot tea. It does not make me want to put on the garden shoes and sink my hands into freezing mud.

Still, summer will come eventually and there are things to be done. Like start our seeds:

They all seem to be on track. I was concerned that a few of our tomatoes wouldn't germinate since some of the packets were 3 years old, but proper storage, a heat mat and a nice garden light seem to have done the trick. And those wildflowers that The Boy planted on the first day of Spring! finally decided to pop up through the dirt in their tiny little egg shell holders.

What has me concerned is this mess of mud and mulch. Our chickens have free ranged in our backyard all winter. We're in the process of sectioning off an area of the yard within which they will have free reign, but you can see for the compacted, muddy soil that they've been digging around in my bed looking for grubs and plants all season. We have 4 cubic yards of soil coming this weekend so the chicken area has to be ready by then, come rain or shine. Those cute little beds are so lovely when they're planted and we're adding two more 4x4 foot squares once the chickens are cordoned off. But we've got to get started on it. Like yesterday.

New to our little backyard homestead is our mason bee home. Super Hubby put it up recently on our back fence. The mason bees will be in shade there, away from the hot mid day sun, protected by the neighbors overhanging tree branches. He doesn't know it yet, but I consider this my first timid step into full fledged honeybee keeping.

And of course, around here there are always the girls to take care of:

Waiting on some sunshine....
Simple Mama


  1. sometimes Im grateful we have a really late spring frost. (June 11) it means much of my gardening cant really be started for another month or so!


  2. I planted my snap peas yesterday. It was so exciting. lol I cannot wait to get everything else planted. Can't wait to see what you do with your chicken area and garden this year. :)