In like a lion; out like a lamb.
That’s how March was in our region of British Columbia, Canada. Sunny shirt-sleeve days swapped out with bitter, windy, snowy days, but the warmer weather won more days than not.
In March, I raked our huge lawn and cut/dug dry weeds, mostly burdock, from last year. Being home on the farm this year should net me enough time to keep up with jobs like that better! We’ve also hauled (most of) a huge golden willow into the middle of an empty field where we can burn it later in the year. This tree used to lean over our shop and garden and was getting dangerous, so it had to go.
But most of my excitement in working outside is getting the garden going early. Jim built me two large garden beds, each 4′ wide and 12′ long, a year ago out of 2x12s. They cover less than 1/10 of our total garden space, but they will play/are playing an important role all the same. We expect to add 2 or 3 more beds, hopefully this year.
Even after 35 years of gardening in this same spot and having uncountable tons of old hay and rotted manure worked into it, the soil is still predominantly clay. This means if we get the equipment on it too early in the year, it compacts and hardens, becoming difficult to do anything at all with. Yet the garden is too large to dig by hand, so we’ve always had to wait until sometime in May to get the tractor and rotovator in. This meant we rarely got early crops, such as peas, radishes, and lettuce in as early as the weather allowed.
These two beds represent a defined area we can hand-dig for early crops. They are filled with about half garden dirt and half rotted manure. We also dug in a few buckets of sand to help loosen the soil further. They’re full of earthworms, a sign of a healthy organic soil.
Near the second raised bed is the patch we’d planted with carrots last year. Yes, I harvested carrots last fall, but apparently I didn’t do that great a job! We dug up another 20-30 carrots the other day, still crisp and sweet. Yum!
I’ve transplanted last year’s garlic plants, now several inches tall, into one of the garden beds where I can take better care of them. In the next week or so we’ll be planting the peas, lettuce, radishes, and kale into the remaining bed areas.
Raspberries need pruning. The rhubarb is 6″ tall. The flower and herb beds need a good weeding (and evaluation). Baby chicks are on order, while last year’s hens enjoy running free on the farm–thankfully laying most of their eggs in the chicken coop. Last fall’s semi-feral kittens hang around the front door like a bunch of teenagers who’ve grown up on welfare, waiting for a handout while mice multiply. Maybe it’s time to cut them off the dry cat food?
Oh, it’s a glorious spring! The siren song of outdoors is strong these days, working in the yard, hanging laundry on the line, going for walks down our country road, while the littlest granddaughter hangs around in her “play yard” nearby. It’s a joy having her and her parents on the farm. We also had a couple of brief visits from her two cousins during March. Good Friday Brunch was enjoyed by all!
What was March like in your part of the world? What outdoor tasks did you take care of? What are you looking forward to completing in April?
Holly Michael says
After a snowy March, I’m ready to do some gardening too. Thanks for the pictures and post. I’m so excited that it’s getting warmer!
Valerie Comer says
Me, too! Last year at this time our snow was just melting. April and May were still cold and wet. And June, come to think of it… Loving being outside!