Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Gardening Season Underway

Gardening season is well under way here in southeastern New Hampshire. The ground is dry, too dry for early April. Red flag warnings from NOAA continue due to dry air and high winds. I planted sugar snap peas today, although I could have planted them two weeks ago given the warm soil and lack of snow cover. As the perennials emerge or sprout new shoots I notice that many took a beating this winter. The thyme and lavender died back and other perennials did not fare well. The lack of snow cover was a problem.

Over at New Roots Farm this week I transplanted plugs of lavender, marjoram, and chocolate mint into bigger cells. My hands smelled lovely after handling the aromatic seedlings all morning. Farmer Renee's kale and swiss chard seedlings are nearly ready to be planted outdoors. She expects the first tomato from her grafted plants to be ripe in early June.

A walk in the woods in recent days offered a glimpse of a few spring ephemerals. Trailing arbutus is in full bloom and full fragrance. You have to kneel down to smell the dainty white flowers amidst the creeping mat of oval, leathery green leaves. It is worth the effort.
New leaves of the Canada mayflower are unfurling on the forest floor.
Birds trickled in this past week including a few great blue herons that returned to local marshes. The phoebes went suddenly quiet with the return of cooler temperatures. Chipping sparrows arrived back at their usual spot along our road. A friend saw an osprey, but I am still looking for my first sighting of the year.

The expansion of the vegetable garden is advancing slowly. I am digging the lawn up with just a shovel. Each dug spadeful requires a shake of the sod to loosen soil, squishing of grubs that fall out,  and a gentle returning of any worms to the garden. Less lawn and more vegetables is worth the effort.  

2 comments:

  1. I'm in complete agreement with your concluding sentence, i.e., "Less lawn and more vegetables is worth the effort." My sincere intent is NOT to offend anyone, but houses with huge lawns tend to depress me, rather than impress me!

    John

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  2. Hi John. Yes, sadly most people have lots of lawn and no garden and therefore few insects and birds and such. Their loss. Ellen

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