Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Last of my Fall Garden 2009

It finally warmed up enough yesterday where I could get out to the garden and do some cleaning up.  What a sad sight it was.  The beets were frozen to a crisp.  They looked awful.

But upon closer inspection I saw that there were still baby beets underneath the soil and they looked pretty good actually.  So I pulled them all and discovered that although they were small, they were perfectly fine.  The tops were mush though, so I threw them in my compost barrel and salvaged the fruit.  Looks like roasted baby beets for dinner!

Having pulled the remaining beets, it was time to clean up that bed and get it ready for the next planting. 

During my last garden maintenance project, I pretty much wiped out my cedar bark mulch piles.  I have more mulch piles on the property that I need brought up to the garden area...but that's for another time.

What is left of the existing mulch piles is this fabulous composted cedar bark that is rich, dark and full of organic matter.  It's been on the bottom of this compost pile for about two years and it is wonderful!  Look at this.  If you love dirt like I do, it doesn't get any better than this :)

Anyway, I filled a wheelbarrel full of this mulch and trucked it over to the garden to incorporate it into this bed.  But first I capped off the water supply and removed the soaker hose.

I didn't use my rototiller to turn the soil.  Instead, I simply added the mulch on top of the dirt and turned it with my pitchfork.  As I did this, I made another wonderful discovery...the soil was *full* (and I mean full) of earthworms.  Every handful of soil I picked up had at least three or four worms in it.  Of course they were semi-dormant and not moving around much, but they were there...alive and well!  (It doesn't take much to make me happy...good dirt and earthworms!)

It didn't take a lot to incorporate the new organic matter into the soil.  The dirt was pretty soft and moist and it turned rather easily.  Some of the soil around the edges of the bed was still frozen from our last cold snap! 

I have a couple of bales of alfalfa hay leftover from my fall/winter decorating of the front entry gate.  So I had my husband haul them to the garden and I will use them for additional mulch during the winter and also to add to the soil for organic matter as I get the beds ready for spring planting.  Great stuff.

I also added a little hay to the last remaining vegetables in the carrots and spinach.  They came through the last frigid cold spell unscathed and for that, I'm very greatful.

As you can see, I had a wonderfully productive day in the garden yesterday.  I just loved it.  It was warm, a bit overcast and it felt great to be outside, digging in the dirt and listening to the birds.  And as always, my faithful old boy Tyson was close by.  Isn't he beautiful? :)

No comments:

Post a Comment