Sunday, March 31, 2019

'Tis Time!

Even though I've still got at least a month and a half before I can think of setting anything out in the garden (and even then under a cold frame), there are many outside tasks that can be done.  A jump-start, you could say, on our short season when it's possible to work outside without the threat of incurring frost bite.

Although Papa Pea did a bit of clearing on our loop trail up behind us during the winter months, there's still much that needs to be cut down to ground level, widening of the trail in spots and maybe even some mowing with our heavy-duty Gravely garden tractor.  The mowing will have to wait until all the snow is completely gone and the ground has a chance to give up the mud in favor of solid ground.

Oy, the multitudinous fallen branches in the yard areas that need to be gathered and hauled away.  I'll do this while my tall husband spends time pruning the apple trees which, of course, will create lots of debris to be hauled also.

As soon as we have a few more dry, warmish days, some of the garden beds will be ready to be tilled.  Papa Pea spread compost on all of them last fall, but there were a few that I didn't get it tilled in.  (Bad, Mama Pea, bad.)  Cold frames can be put on the couple beds I'll want to plant early salad greens in.  The sooner I get the cold frames on, the sooner the soil will warm up.  The fact that these cold frames are still solidly frozen in their storage spot will slow that process a bit.

We've got lots of trees to remove from the east and south sides of our fenced-in garden area.  These trees have grown so tall they now shade parts of our growing area.  I hate to see the trees go, but seeing as how we live in a heavily forested area, sacrificing those that keep us from growing the food we want must be done. 

As soon as the frost is out of the ground, the electric fencing around the poultry yard can go back up.

Last but not at all least, our wood working area in the back is now dried up enough and free of snow (mostly) that we can start working up wood for the next heating season.

If we get all this done in the month of April (that's the plan), it will be an actual miracle we will be on a fantastic roll for the season.  AND for the recreational time off we've vowed to take in the coming months! 

Yep, 'tis time.  Now let's get at it.


wisps of words said...

Mmmmmm, I notice that the whole post, is about all the necessary work, to be done, in April.

Last sentence mentions day trips.


Dare I say...? Typical, typical, typical.

Dare I sound, a bit unbelieving, that the fun trips, will happen?


-sigh- -sigh- -sigh-


Rain said...

There is always so much work to be done to sustain the lifestyle we want!!! But it's so worth it don't you think? :) I'd like to see photos of when you get your cold frames put up and what you plant...the progress of that! With temperatures too I too demanding??? As you know I tried cold frames two winters ago and they failed miserably...maybe I could try (next spring) to grow some lettuces earlier on in the spring when we still have's an idea. I really miss our home grown lettuce!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Spring is definitely a busy time, when it's dry enough to get out and do it. We have many branches to pick up, and cones to rake up. You've got me thinking with this post as you mentioned cold frames. Husband made me some frames with chicken wire on them to keep out rabbits, etc. Now I'm thinking it would be easy to put some plastic or row cover fabric over the tops to create some cold frames for spring planting. Hmmmmm. -Jenn

Mama Pea said...

wisps of words - But I have you to keep nagging us (somebody's gotta do it) to live up to our vow to get in some recreation days in April, too. Right? Keep helping us to remember to make time for that. Okay? ;o}

Rain - I will do so . . . but the snow flurries (nothing serious) on this gray, damp, chilly day aren't very encouraging!

Jenn - Yes, you could easily put plastic over the chicken wire and have a suitable cold frame for early spring planting. Go for it!

Cockeyed Jo said...

We started a couple of weeks ago. As far as branches down, we set them aside towards kindling for next winter. The larger of these, will find other uses as plant or fence supports during the coming season. The really big branches are used in the hugelkultur beds or set aside in chunks for the summer fire pits and the smoker. Cockeyed Jo

Mama Pea said...

Cockeyed Jo - Good use of your blow-down branches. One year we put them through the chipper and I used them as mulch in the blueberry patch. Biggest mistake I've made in a long time. Maybe they weren't shredded fine enough though. Another year I saved them for kindling as you do. Between our two wood stoves in the house and the one in my husband's workshop, we go through a lot of kindling especially in the spring and fall when we don't keep the fires going 24/7. I found the broken up branches didn't stack neatly enough (close enough together, they took up too much space) compared to the hand split cedar we normally use.

Good for you for going the way of the hugelkultur beds! I know it works and have seen places where they are using that method.

Leigh said...

Good goals! I have some April goals too, but they'll have to wait to be blogged about. I don't know about you, but I rarely seem to meet all mine. :(

Katie C. said...

Another benefit of the chilly weather is no bugs ... yet! We have a HUGE amount of clean up to do too. We kind of let the community garden plot go last fall after the oak tree fell on it. Last night, we drove by on the way home. What a huge mess! We will have to completely replace the fencing and we need more tomato cages. Looks like we will be making a trip to the dump’s metal recycling center soon.

On a positive note, I have tons of daffodils blooming courtesy of the house’s previous owner. I shared a bunch with my neighbors.

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - Oh! You find you can't do everything either? Good to know. ;o}

Katie C. - What a shame the oak tree fell on your gardening plot! It's impossible to get metal fencing/tomato cages back into shape once they've suffered that. I once had a "friend" offer me some "nice, 4' high metal fencing" I could use in my garden. When I went to pick it up it looked like it had been run over by a tractor. Grumpf.

Sweet daffodils . . . how lovely. A sure sign of spring!

Lynne said...

Two very busy, busy beavers. Seems that time of year. It's still chilly around here, but than it's like overnight its summer time. It comes in too fast with only a few days of spring time. I guess we're never happy. Don't work to hard! Do take those recreation days. life is too darn short. xo

Mama Pea said...

Lynne - And have you noticed the days seem to be getting shorter, too? Going by much faster? We have mud and melting snow, bumpy roads and chilly weather. Saw snowflakes once over the weekend but no accumulation, thankfully. We're ready for some warmer weather . . . still down below freezing at night. Guess that's good for the maple sap gathering. Lots of people around here do that and we hear it's already been a great season.