I'm Getting Ready For Spring

Discussion in 'Fruit and Veg Gardening' started by Sjoerd, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    We here in the Kop van Noord Holland had some sunshine yesterday. If I were the sort of person to use an alarm clock, then the alarm would have been the shot of a track pistol.

    It was up and away at the break of day....oké well, maybe not quite at the crack of day then, but there was not the usual easy-going newspaper-brekkie-compi sort of begin of the day. My bride and I wanted to get a good start and not waste too much of the nice weather that we had been blessed with.

    First thing was to go and pick up some gratis council (local government) wood chips. There was a chilly eastern wind, but the air was clear and the shone warmly on the exposed skin.

    It took a while to fill the bags and plastic trugs and stuff them in the auto. Herer is our golden chariot packed to the gills with woodchips.
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    We drove over to the lottie complex and luckily there were two carts available. We wasted no time unloading the auto's contents onto them.
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    Thanks Dooley:
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    Now then, since the weather held out we thought why not re-chip the paths directly. Here is the path leading to the greenhouse.
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    We finished it off and then filled the path in the distance, beside the greenhouse as well.
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    We were on a roll, so we just finished them all before taking a well-deserved tea break. After all, it was TIME for tea. (We have well-defined tea and coffee times here).
    Here is just one of the stretches of path. It is not possible to take one overall view unless one has a helicopter or a satellite.
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    Speaking of satellites, here is a google map view of our lottie. Our gardens are outlined in red and bordered on two sides by canals. You can see there (in the left {western] half) how the paths meander across the soil.
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    Feeling renewed, we surveyed the two gardens (veg and flower), and we also saw that our little attempt at a tunnel was rotting and needed refurbishing...strengthening. It was an arch that had an extinction on it. There are two Lonicera there that scramble up and over the top.
    We knocked that task out pretty quickly.

    Next, we surveyed the veggie plots and made firm plans for the layout for the coming season...what would go where. I was pleased with the covering of the soil and knew that it would come through the winter in fine shape.
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    There in the middle of the pic one can just make-out some green. That is the remainder of the leeks and Swiss chard. Perhaps we could harvest a bit for freezing-in and supper. Yes! That was a capital idea.
    The bride lifted a few and we let them sit out and "rest" before skinning them removing the roots and green foliage.
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    Here is a trug-full of the skint beauties. I am not exaggerating when I say that I was salivating at the mahvelous smell that they gave-off.
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    There was a goodly amount even after further cleaning and chopping.
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    The bees needed to be treated for varroa mites and so that was also a job quickly done.
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    A few years ago our annual Cousins' Day event had as "the activity" working with stone. We all were able to shape something out of stone. My bride fashioned this pea pod. The "sculptures" stay outside all year long and hers has developed a moss farm. Here it is in bloom:
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    We keep our two sculptures at the edge of the patio. Mine was of a frog whose head split sort of horizontally. I guess the freezing temp gave him a splitting headache. :eek:

    Right then, it feels like spring has begun here; but I am cautious, as I realize that we can still have some very cold days and nights ahead of us. I had looked at the bag of fleece thoughtfully earlier when I was looking for some chicken wire for the arch/tunnel...and wondered if I would need it to protect the blueberries in the coming months.

    Well, I just cannot suppress my enthusiasm--I'm getting ready for spring.

    Lagniappe:

    After our day's work, we pulled the carts back up to the clubhouse and I noticed this Calendula in full bloom. I was gobsmacked!
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    I do not think I have ever seen one blooming at this time of year before.
     
    Henry Johnson, Droopy, KK Ng and 5 others like this.
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  3. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I love your lottie...it looks beautiful no matter what the season.
    Lucky you getting all those wood chips for the paths, that would have cost a fortune if you had to buy them. I can't use wood chips, termites love to nest in them and I certainly don't want those little wood eaters deciding to come into the walls of our house.
     
  4. Beeker

    Beeker In Flower

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    Wow. Thank you for sharing!
    Your lottie is really amazing. It is really great that you were able to pick food out of it now!
    What temperatures do you have there now?
     
  5. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Hardy Maple Plants Contributor

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    Sjoerd--I always enjoy your stories or your day to the lottie. The paths & the soil look great.
     



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  6. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Isn't it amazing what a little sunshine can do to motivate us!! You and your bride certainly made the most of the day and managed to get sooo much done. I hope you're not too stiff in the morning after all your efforts.
     
  7. KK Ng

    KK Ng Hardy Maple

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    It's such a wonderful place. :)
     
  8. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    Looks great S. I am glad for you that you could get out there and enjoy the day. We see....snow and more snow yet. I am a little envious. But thanks for sharing it with us. It is refreshing to see a new season start.
     
  9. mart

    mart Hardy Maple

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    Your posts are like little stories with pics. Can`t wait for the next chapter.
     
  10. Jewell

    Jewell Incorrigible Gardener Plants Contributor

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    Love your post. Made me hungry seeing those prepped leeks. Don't the paths feel large and spacious this time of year? No flowers or veggies crowding the walkways feels so open compared to high summer. I too am working on remulching the paths. It feels go to get that and some early weeding accomplished. That calendula was a breath taking bright spot in the garden. None of mine survived the hard freeze we had in November, but I see seedlings popping up.
     
  11. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    I am also envious of you Sjoerd, for being able to even SEE your gardens! Nothing but white snow here and it is still falling. I like the satellite image of your allotment ... gives a better idea of the pathways. It is also a bigger plot then I first though. You have just reminded me that I still have leeks and Kale out in the garden! I wonder if it protected under all that snow?!
     
  12. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    Must have felt great to get out there and work in your lotties.... especially with some sunshine! The newly-prepped walkways adds to it's always tidy appearance. Looking good over there.
    I'm trying not to get too ahead of myself, but now I have the urge to get a couple of truck-loads of mulch.
    :stew2:
     
  13. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Thanks TONI-- Wow, sorry to hear about the termites there. Yeah, you could better stay away from the chippie-paths then. Termites--what an annoying, albeit insect. Have you ever seen the various termite hills in Oz? They are pretty amazing...but like you said, you wouldn't want them in your house.

    BEEKER-- Thanks for reading the thread. The temp here today is 7°C. It has been lightly freezing during night. This winter has been an unusually warm. I am hoping that the bees will not be ill affected.

    Thanks so much, CAYUGA--I am absolutely delighted that you liked the posting this time.

    Thanks EILEEN-- Well, I was good 'n stiff the next morning. hahaha. It goes this way every year the first time I do serious work in the lottie. Too right that it takes only a little bit of sunshine to get my motor running.

    Thank you KK.

    Thanks CAROLYN--I am quite sorry to hear that you have so much snow at the moment. I know that you are probably more than ready to begin the season.

    MART--What a sweet thing to say. Thank you.

    I am pleased that you liked this posting, JEWELL--Yes, the paths do indeed seem so broad and open at this time of year. It makes visual planning a bit easier as well. That Calendula was truly a bright spot to see. It was noty in my garden though, iot was along the sidewalk back to the clubhouse. I have some blooming in the flower garden but they do not look as good as the one in my foto. Good luck with your path mulching.

    Oh NETTY-- What a shame that you too have so much snow that you can't see the ground. Such a shame, but do you think that it will all be melted by the end of next month? I'll bet that your kale and leeks are well protected under the blanket of snow--it's an insulator, crazy as it sounds.
    The plot is 265m². It is large enough to split into two halves--veg and flowers. I really couldn't enjoy gardening without the split.

    Thanks for your comments, CHERYL--You can get the mulch now and let it sit until you are ready to spread it. That way, you will have the feeling that you have begun doing something. ;) heh heh heh.
    Glad that you liked the looks of the paths.
     

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