Friday, May 16, 2008

A Healthy Garden is a Happy Garden

The true state of my garden is revealing itself. On April 27th I posted about my Jack-in-the-pulpits, wondering if they were to return to me this year. Whereas last year there were only a couple, I counted at least four in my garden today! This is a wonderful sign!

Everything looks lush and healthy. I've been pruning more heavily than ever before, pulling out shrubs and moving them. My plants seem to be breathing a sigh of relief. They have room to blossom. Old dead leaves that have accumulated over the years under overgrown branches are being dug out. The previous owners of my house had landscapers. I do all my own work and have learned a lot over the past year. My new found knowledge is reflected in the garden's health.

In addition to pruning I am also adding manure to every garden. I've removed layers of mulch and plan to rely mostly on compost instead. I have begun fertilizing with a fish based fertilizer and to do so regularly. I'm weeding regularly and hoeing, with a goal of putting in at least 1/2 hour into gardening a day. So far, I think that the average has worked out to more.

Here are some snags I've run into:
1. I have piles of pulled up grass, branches and other cuttings that need a home. They are accumulating in my woods and I don't know how to get rid of them. The piles are so big I envision days of work and possible exposure to poison ivy, etc. to do the work. Any suggestions about how to get rid of this rather than just heading to the dump with it?

2. Though I have vowed to go organic and have gotten rid of all chemicals except one bottle of Roundup, I haven't found a way to get rid of poison ivy without the chemical. I haven't researched it yet either, but I'm open to suggestions from my gardening friends.

Everything else is going well. I hope to get out tomorrow to take pictures of the yard. i don't think I've ever posted pictures of my own gardens.


Brenda Hyde said...

I'd love to see pictures of your garden! It sounds wonderful.


Thanks Brenda. my garden is really a work in progress. One gardener I know has continual bloom all growing season long. This is my goal too, but I'm a long way from reaching it.

Esther Montgomery said...

I have no idea whether one can make suggestions across regions and climates - but here - in Dorset - a pile of grass and branches would be a wonderful place for slow-worms and lizards (and things) to live.

Do you have wild-life in your woods which could take advantage in a similar way?