Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Cleanup and Garden Preparation

Warm and sunny days are always welcomed after a long Maine winter, however the recent stretch of warm 70˚F temperatures in March is just not normal. In fact, last year around this time we were snow blowing almost 2 feet of snow from the garden paths and shoveling off the raised beds. The temperature was in the 40s that day. This crazy warm weather is expected to continue the rest of the week.

Not surprisingly, the snow pictured earlier in the month melted quickly over the weekend. The soil in the raised Square Foot Garden (SFG) beds drained and dried out quicker than the in-ground gardens and was ready to be worked. The minor garden renovation for 2012 has begun. 

The first step was moving the two middle 4x4 SFG beds to their new location. Then compost was added to all the SFG beds, worked in, and the beds leveled off.



The next step to the renovation is to dig up the grassy paths between the remaining SFGs to use as an in-ground gardening space. So from left to right will be a 4x4 SFG, a 9-foot in-ground garden bed, then another 4x4 SFG. 



As the snow melted, the fallen leaves from last fall were revealed reminding us that an early snowstorm and a family member's illness kept us from our normal cleanup and leaf gathering. The garden too suffered from neglect at the end of last year. Tomato cages used to protect fall broccoli along with various pots, gardening gloves were left where they stood soon to be covered with snow. Even mounds of soil were not smoothed out after digging potatoes.

There is a lot to do and the weather is prompting me to hurry, hurry, hurry.

Happy Spring!

11 comments:

  1. I began by making small in ground gardens between the raised beds, then things just evolved and now I'm out of control ;-) I'm having the opposite weather problem, it's been cold and windy, and now it's cold and rainy.

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    1. LOL! Let's see where I am in a few years from now. Can you believe it was too hot to work outside today.

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  2. Isn't the warm weather both great and kind of scary. I'm a little worried about the insect population. What has survived the winter that usually won't. My insects are about a month ahead of last year. I've see cabbage butterflies already. And I've very worried about the temps this summer. If the weather keeps up at 10-15 degrees above normal I'm in deep trouble. I don't handle heat well. At least I've planned for lots of melons and sweet potatoes.

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    1. Yes, I too worry about the additional insects that survived the winter because it was so mild. Not to mention more time for them to reproduce this sunnier. We already found ticks crawling around on our dog. They are out about a month early this year.

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  3. Your area in the 70's and our in CA just getting into the 60's. We will see some rain in the next few days which is great for us. I would have to say we are having a "real" spring this year. Most years we go from winter right into summer. Happy Gardening!

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    1. Liisa, the past couple of days have been in the 80s here in Maine. I think we skipped spring. Definitely crazy weather across the country.

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  4. We are in an inverse weather pattern from you - cool and wet the result of another La Nina winter (second in a row for us) but the good news is that the La Nina is weakening and we are supposed to return to a "normal" state (whatever that really is anymore!) by around May.

    Your reworked beds are going to be great. The extra growing room will amaze you.

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    1. Laura, we are supposed to go back to more "normal" temperatures next week. I hope so, I have home spring transplants that need to be hardened off but it is too hot for them.

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  5. It looks like you're taking advantage of the great weather. Every added square foot helps, even if its like Granny's "out of control square footage"!

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    1. Hey, watch who you're talking about! :-)

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  6. It's been too hot to work outside the past few days. Glad today is cooler. can't wait to see the amount of produce that comes out of Granny's new expanded garden:)

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