Monday, March 31, 2008

This is Spring?

Wayne and I planted our floating garden last week. It's an Easter tradition. Early spring planting results in baby lettuce by June. It also gives us time for one summer replanting for fall veggies.

We started by augmenting our soil. In Chippewa Bay we found beds of mulch leaves washed up on shore. We gathered four large tubs full along with several buckets of sand. We also got some steer manure and commercial plant food to add to the mix.

I made some changes this year. I usually plant potatoes in one garden float bed. This year I only planted potatoes in my hillside garden. It has increased in size, so now it can hold quite a few potatoes. Besides, it is the only thing I can grow that the critters will leave alone.

I found an excellent old pamphlet called Companion Planting and Intensive Cultivation by Nancy Lee Maffia (Rodale Press, 1989). It includes plant allies for mutual support and pest control, and enemies that shouldn't be planted together. It also covers plant space needs, succession planting and crop rotation. I learned to separate my onions and asparagus. Hopefully they will both do better. With an extra bed at my disposal, I planted more lettuce and spinach. I also tried beets for the first time. I love pickled beets in salads.

My herbs and strawberries made it through the winter. I cleaned out the old leaves and put sand under the berry plants. This acts like a mulch and helps keep the berries from rotting on soggy soil. A few plants were killed by grubs in the roots so I filled in the bare spots with volunteer plants. Immediately after planting was done we covered the beds with bird netting to prevent Junco Wars from happening again.

A few days after planting we had snow showers, but it didn't last long. The snow melted and sunshine re-warmed the soil. Some days it's hard to believe spring is really here.

Have you done your spring planting yet? How's it going for you? -- Margy


  1. Betty3:03 PM

    I hope your garden does well.
    It was 28 degrees here this morning so I think what little planting we do will have to wait a while. I sounds like you are having a good time in your float cabin.

  2. Now if that was Celsius that would be a pretty nice day, but I guess not. I think our weather is pretty similar. Watching the TV it seems we just get it a day earlier in most cases. We love it at the cabin, but spring is especially nice. Hints of warmth are very welcome. Did Aunt Dot get back home? Sure is a small world. - Margy