Monday, April 8, 2013

Mulch and Rhubarb

I finally got this flower bed finished, weeded, fertilized and mulched, it took a few sessions, there is something about the leaning, bending and twisting required for mulching that really sends my back into a tizzy lately.  I can only do it for an hour or so and then I have to stop.  Makes this spring garden cleaning a slow proposition, but so rewarding. I love the way the beds look with all the fresh new plants popping up, set off by the darkness of the leaf mulch, and I know this will at least slow down the weed growth and hold in some moisture between rains, add some nutrients and humus to the soil.  If you have read this blog you probably know my motto "there is never enough mulch".

Yesterday we got the boats out and headed to the lake for our first paddle in ages, way too many months have passed and we hadn't had the pleasure, like so many things, once you finally get around to doing them you think "that was easy, that was worth it, why don't we do this more often?" at least that's what I think, all the time really!  Why do we make taking pleasure in life so hard sometimes?  All I know is, there will never be an end to the chores and requirements, what my mother referred to as the "daily imperatives", but life is short and so is the spring time so I'm making a vow to enjoy life more and let the chores wait.

That said, we came home and did chores! David fixed broken tools and built a new trellis for one of the honeysuckle vines, we both pulled weeds and I planted rhubarb.

I ordered these rhubarb crowns from Johnny's in Maine, where I get most of my seeds.  They claim to be hardy to zone 8, we'll see about that.  Rhubarb is known to prefer cooler climates but I decided to give it a shot.  They looked pretty gnarly but you can see they started to sprout immediately.  I dug some nice holes, added lots of compost and some acid loving plant fertilizer and put them in, watered and mulched them and now we wait and see if they survive the summer.  It seems they are much like asparagus in that they are perennials that need a couple of years to establish their root base before you can really harvest.  Each year they should grow more and keep spreading.  Sure would be swell to have fresh rhubarb to make pies and jams with.

Speaking of asparagus, we are watching daily and expect with temps pushing 80 this week they may finally appear.  I'm ready.

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