LAKE MACBRIDE— The apple trees are in pink, which means the blooms will soon follow. Because my trees were not properly pruned until last winter, the number of blossoms will be low. Last year was the best ever for fruit, and 2014 tree energy is likely to be devoted to forming next year’s buds. Hopefully pruning cleared enough space for sunlight to encourage the fruit that does form.
Neighbors are out mowing lawns, and I am usually the last to make the first cut. I stopped trying to get an even and lush green lawn, eschewing chemical applications ten or more years ago. I bag my Spring clippings to use as mulch in the garden. A former neighbor once told me I should leave it to mulch the grass, but why waste it?
Two years of drought have thinned the grass, leaving a patchy mess before cutting. Where deer droppings fell are mountains of green. Once I mow, it will all even out… at least enough to stay out of the neighbors’ attention.
After a shift at a farm I hope to spend a few hours in the garden fencing the recently germinated spring vegetables. There is a burn pile on top of a tree stump. If winds are calm, I’ll burn it, hopefully taking the stump with it. I bought a bag of “natural charcoal” to use as a stump remover. If the burn pile doesn’t take this stump out, charcoal will be next.
More than 1,000 seedlings are growing in our bedroom, way more than usual. I am re-thinking how to plant everything. Maybe two full plots of tomatoes if we can afford the new cages. With all the varieties, this may be the year to make the most of it. I also want to plant all the germinated bell pepper seedlings to increase yield. Peppers don’t grow uniformly and the more plants, the more chances for decently formed vegetables. The celery is developing, but at this stage looks very delicate. I’m thinking about cucumbers and squash, but I want to wait a bit before planting them until after the squash beetle eggs.
Here’s hoping for some time in the garden and yard squeezed in between paid job in this complicated schedule of a life on the prairie.