Sunday, February 19, 2012

Garden Prep - Cleanup

There are less than 30 days before my first planting of the square foot garden plot.  It is time to clean up the garden and flower beds in preparation for spring growing.

I started by turning over the shredded leaves that sit atop my 4' x 4' square foot garden plot.  I also added some coffee grinds and egg shells. [see 2:27 time stamp of video below]  Both will add nutrients to the composting leaves.  Some of the leaves were soggy from recent rains, others were bone dry.  Mixing the pile serves two purposes.
  1. Aerate - the leaves become compacted over the winter from their own weight, snow and rain, turning them over, mixing, the pile brings oxygen to the bacteria that break down the leaves
  2. Homogenize - mixing brings bacteria into contact with more food sources, water and oxygen
I would really like to get the compost pile to a high temperature so the leaves will be compost before I turn them into the garden plot.  

I then move on to clean out dead plant stalks, weeds, dried tree leaves and other debris from the beds and from the patio.  In that process I noticed some new life already sprouting green leaves.  Leaves pushing up from my perennials like asters, lilies, hyacinths, Mascari.  My common sage, oregano are also sending out new leaves as was the Swiss Chard I seeded last spring.  My climbing rose has new green leaves as do my Butterfly bush (Buddleia) and Burning Bush (Euonymous alatus).  I also noticed a few dandelions in the lawn.  

While working I heard and saw a robin on a tree branch high above my head.  These are all signs that Spring is not so far away.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

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