My Adk Gardens

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Plasticized the Veggie Garden

While much of the country has been having severe weather this past week, in this area we've been having unseasonably mild weather.

Usually at this time of year, our yard is either buried under snow, or at the very least, everything is brown and frozen. Not this year! It's November 30th but, it was in the high 60's today, the lawn is still green and I spent most of the day working outside.

My vegetable garden used to be part of our woodland. All I ever did to prepare the area to become a garden was have the trees cut down and removed, weedwhack the remaining brush down to ground level, and form planting beds by covering 7x4 foot areas with newspaper and compost.

Now, several years later, there are still some good sized stumps in the vegetable garden. A lot of the roots and smaller stumps have rotted though, so I think in the spring I'll try rototilling the garden. Meanwhile however, I'm trying to get a head start by letting the voles do some winter rototilling for me! I've covered the garden with black plastic, which will provide a cozy winter home for the voles. Hopefully, they'll "rototill" the area for me this winter as they burrow under the plastic, looking for food. If I can't get rid of the critters, I may as well try putting them to work for me!

Late this afternoon we had some rain, but the really wild weather isn't due to arrive until tomorrow. We're supposed to have rain, sleet, snow and high winds. If the weathermen are right, the voles should appreciate that I got their new winter home ready for them just in the nick of time.

Check back in the spring, to see if my "vole rototillers" worked!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Leaf Envy

When we go into the city, I can't help but notice the huge piles of leaves along the sides of the streets. Everyone has been busy raking their leaves to the side of the street, because the city will come along and pick them up to dispose of them.

"If only we still had a truck!", I say out loud when I see the piles. My husband raises an eyebrow and gives me a look that says, he's glad we don't still have a truck.

Years ago, we used to spend every fall evening picking up other people's leaves. My husband never quite understood my glee when we came home with more "fall gold", but he obligingly accompanied me on the leaf gathering trips. When we'd see a perfect leaf pile (perfect piles are 99% leaves, with no-to-few sticks and/or debris mixed in), my husband would stop the truck and I'd go to the door of the homeowner, to ask permission to take their leaf pile. I used to get some strange looks, but no one ever denied me!

After the bed of our pickup truck was full, we'd come home and start shredding the leaves in our leaf shredder. Once shredded, the leaves would be stored in a huge chicken wire cage for the winter. Then, in the spring, they'd be used on my gardens as mulch. I've tried many different types of organic mulch on my gardens, but shredded leaves are still my all-time favorite.

As we drive through the city in our small car at this time of year, and I see the unappreciated piles of leaves about to be discarded, I can't help myself...I develop leaf envy.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Seed Catalogs Have Been Arriving

Some 2007 seed catalogs started arriving close to a month ago. I used to always wonder who would look at seed catalogs for the following year, before it was even Halloween. I normally would stack any gardening catalogs I wanted to keep in an out-of-the way spot, and not even glance through them until after Christmas. This year is different though!

I have a Thompson & Morgan 2007 seed catalog that has been sitting on an end table in my living room for the past couple of weeks and I can't bring myself to put it away. Perhaps it's because foxgloves are one of my favorite flowers, but I've been totally sucked in by the cover of the Thompson & Morgan catalog this year. They boast that their cover flower, Digitalis purpurea 'Candy Mountain', is the first upward facing foxglove from seed. I don't know if that statement is true or not, but I do know that I want to grow this flower.

Not only is the Thompson & Morgan 2007 seed catalog going to stay in my living room for awhile longer, but I might even order from it before Christmas!

Although last week-end we had the horrible weather that the weathermen had promised, yesterday was a gorgeous day here and today is almost as nice. I'm still cutting back the dead foliage from perennials, and this afternoon I also started clearing an area to plant some Foxglove 'Candy Mountain' in the spring.