Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring has Sprung in North Carolina

Spring has Sprung in North Carolina

It's a dreary, cold day today, but that's ok.  It's an outlier from the amazing weather we've been having lately.  In the winter, Charlotte is very brown and bleak.  Within a week, the whole place has turned green.  Sad sod has perked up into perky green spears, golden forsythia blooms abound, and spring bulbs like daffodils and tulips are everywhere.  The pansies and violets continue their steadfast contribution to the landscape, while plants like hostas and rhubarb begin their ascent by timidly peeking out above the moist dirt.  I love spring and I love Charlotte.

I thought we might be able to look into buying a house, but unfortunately, things happen (my favorite saying) and it's not likely this year.  What forces me to keep my rental another year gives me more opportunity to continue to develop the garden.  A few recent events have given me more hope for a productive garden this year.

Event #1
Alpaca Manure:
I've bartered a spinning demonstration for alpaca manure, and though it's rocky and filled with fire ants, this black gold is the backbone of my fertilizing program, in contrast to the mainly wood-product municipal compost of last year.  Low in nitrogen and hydrophobic, I will steer clear of it in the future.  I had overseeded my raised beds with rye and vetch, and have since cut the crop down and left it to compost with a layer of alpaca manure and leaf mulch.  Hoping that the vetch and alpaca manure will help the remedy the problems of last year.

Event #2
Straw Bales:
Dawn went to Walmart and discovered that they were getting rid of straw bales that had overwintered in the weather.  Soft, damp and slightly composted, they are a dream come true.  I took the truck and acquired 8.  Will have some straw bale gardens and potato towers,  Going to try to get some free tires for those.

Event #3
Mattress Inner spring:
When Pinterest ideas take hold, it's hard to prevent myself from obsessing over them.  Fortunately, when a free inner spring came up on Craigslist, it was right on schedule.  Pea trellis, here I come.  Along with the straw bales, I have the perfect vine set up.  This will also support the two soda bottle strawberry towers.

Event #4
Craigslist strikes again.  I knew I wanted bricks, and have been lurking on free stuff for over a year.  I finally was rewarded with a winning inquiry before the masses.  We loaded up the truck and got about 40-60 bricks, plus some concrete cylinders.  I would have liked more, but they were demoed and had chunks of mortar on them.

Event #5
This hasn't happened yet, but I will be going to get municipal mulch for $10 cubic yard to line the paths I had envisioned last year.  It's possible I could end up making stepping stones for the paths to make them last longer.  That would be awesome!

A gardeners work is never done, and there are plans for squirrel cage on the salad bed which will also support a row cover to prevent bugs from getting to the lettuce.  In addition, I'd like to attempt a rainwater collection system for the summer, since the water bill was a nightmare.  Maybe even a water feature...

Ah, spring.  I love it.


Harlem Purl said...

Hey Miukat! I just saw your comment from a while ago. Can I just say that I love the way you write! I try to channel my inner author when I write but it just doesn't come out like what I've read in my favorite books. Your writing does though!

I miss you too. Tell Dawn I said "Hi"!

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