This is nothing compared to the 50,000 C-19 deaths, but it’s an activity obviously keeping a lot of us busy.
Starting a garden this year has taken on a few new twists. The first nice spring day many people flock to the big box garden store to purchase plants, seeds, and other gardening needs. This year the stock of plants was depleted the first day and has not re-bounded yet. Seeds are not available, even planting aids such as seed starting bins, heaters, and tree supports are delayed by two weeks.
The delay is understandable, here in zone 9 the growing season seems to be endless, I picked the last Tomatoes right before Christmas. The last Beet was picked yesterday and I still have pumpkins. Planting mid-may shouldn’t be a problem, it will result with Cucumbers, Zucchini and Squash ready for harvest starting July 1st, approximately. Luckily a few vegetables have been planted, 12 Tomatoes of four varieties, four Jalapeno’s (I need 5 more) and Potatoes.
Seeds will be delivered between April 30th and May 15th, I ordered them online the last week of March. A lot of people have bought the seeds, plants and tools to start a garden this year; I suspect a lot of sod busting is going on.
On a final note; This was the year my raised bed garden was planned to be re-done. I was set to remove the 9 boxes, pull out the Rose Bushes (will the roots grow is I plant them?), order a bunch of fill dirt to fill the ditch and yard up to grade. The base material on our Island is Peat, which means it is constantly sinking, as an example the sill of the house next to the foundation is six inches above the base.
I was unable to get the fill dirt, unable to remove the boxes, unable to pull the Roses nothing was able to be accomplished. Switching to the next plan I decided to figure some way to proceed. The guy that now has Big Mikes empty lot (his brother inherited it) is clearing the lot to build a new house, then sell it I suspect. It had a lot of Swamp Willows and Black Walnut trees on it with the fallen wood sent through a chipper. I asked the Tree Trimmers to dump a load of chips in my garden, instead of dirt I decided to use the ground up wood.
Wood chips are a good growing medium, when the plants and seeds are embedded in a mixture of compost and worm castings. The boxes were all down by on foot, all of them were filled with the chips. Digging a hole where the seeds or plants are to be planted it is filled with a mixture of compost/manure then covered with the wood chips. Wood absorbs water like a sponge retaining it well holds the moisture in the plant locations. Wood is the same as compost with the exception it has not rotted into soil yet. That will take place during the summer, by this time next year it will be compost.
I will redo the garden plot this fall between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Gardening is a lot like Sports; if things don’t work out now there is always next season.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance