Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Let's ROCK!

Here in the mountains, it feels like spring, with the ski areas closing, the snow rapidly melting, boats occasionally appearing on the lake, trees and shrubs starting to leaf out.  The ume (flowering plums) are in bloom and the sakura (flowering cherries) and apples are just starting.
Everybody wants to garden!
But it's still below freezing at night, and we can't plant our annual flowers or vegetables until all danger of freezing nights is past.  Since the area is known for it's Mothers' Day (2nd Sunday in May) storms, mid-May is considered actual planting time, for little plants started indoors from seeds, in a greenhouse or in one's house.  We have a short growing season, so we have to take advantage of it.
That doesn't mean I can't start preparing my raised beds.
They're made of discarded and, now, recycled dock floats.  When one starts a raised bed, it's necessary to provide for drainage.  These have holes in them, but it's also a good idea to provide a base of small rocks for additional drainage.  This is what I did today.

Over the next couple of days, I'll go get the soil and addenda (like manure), put them in the beds, mix them all up, and let the garden think about things until it's time to plant.  Then, I'll put in the little plants, which I am buying this year, make watering arrangements with a timer-driven top-down portable sprinkler, run some chicken wire for climbers to climb and to keep out little critters, and sit back to watch the fun!  The nice thing about a garden is you only have to plant the things you like -- heirloom varieties, varieties that taste better but don't ship well, and all organic, of course.  Future YUM.

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