Spring Cleaning In The Garden – Making Progress

I was a bad gardener.  Last fall when I should have pulled up all my dead plants and cleaned up the debris in the garden I didn’t.  I got so busy with homeschooling and getting back into blogging that it just got away from me.  On Sunday afternoon it got into the mid 60s which was somewhat of a heatwave and I decided spring cleaning in the garden was much more fun because it’s warm and sunny instead of cold, damp and windy.  Well, it was windy Sunday, too, but it was a pleasant warm wind especially when the sun was out.

Spring in the garden - before cleaning

It was seriously time for spring cleaning in the garden.  The state of my garden was shameful.  Dead plants, torn up weed preventing cloth, and just stuff everywhere.  It was such a change from the lush green that was still very vibrant in late October.  I tried, I really did try, to get as much pulled up as possible before it got too cold. There were a few tomato plants that hadn’t died back yet and a parsley plant that was still producing.  Frankly, I totally forgot to trim my oregano, such a shame, but I do still have oregano from that plant from the previous years’ harvests.  We spent about 2 hours outside, pulling up old plants, new weeds and tilling up the soil.  For my taste it was very, very dry.  This time of year the soil should be at least a little bit wet, but the garden was almost like dust it was so dry.  Not a good sign.

This is what it looked like when we were done.  Not exactly pretty, but much better than before.  Just picture it with tall, lush, green, fruit laden plants.  C’mon use your imagination (that’s the only thing keeping me from crying right now).  But seriously, now I can amend the soil and even sow some cool season crops.

Spring in the garden - after cleaning

Monday it was a bit rainy so we didn’t do much outside until later in the evening.  Yesterday though we spent a couple hours outside.  It was in the lower 80s and very windy. First we flew a kite then we got some bags of compost out of the garage and put them in the wheelbarrow.  Hubby got them for me late in the fall and dumped them in the garage.  They stayed there all winter and got dried out and seized up.  The girls and I had some fun breaking up the clumps with out hands as we mixed it with some peat moss.  You should have seen them all covered in dirt and very happy that they HAD to take a bath :).

My least favorite part of this endeavor was picking the nails out of the compost heap.  Last fall hubby convinced me that it would be OK to put the ashes from the fire pit in the compost heap.  When I started digging out the compost that had sit over the winter I kept finding nails – lots of nails.  The girls couldn’t help me with that.  God forbid they impale their little hands with a nail or I miss one that ends up in the garden.  I need to get a magnet to help sift them all out of the mess.  This year I want to make a compost sifter so that I can get the larger bits out and back into the heap and also any undesirable pieces – like nails- out of there too.

What have you done in your garden this year?  

Have you been out in the garden yet?  If not, what’s holding you back?

Are you planning on putting in a new one?

If gardening isn’t your thing, what is your favorite Springtime activity?

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