At last, spring is here!
I've been itching to till my garden, but in order to do so, I have to rake off the poisonous leaves and add the compost and organic soil to build up the garden. In order to till, the soil has to be dry enough that it won't compact when we till, but it seems that after every nice day or two, we have a significant rain.
So yesterday I decided it was time to set up the compost bin I bought on clearance at Lowe's for a ridiculous $62. Yes, I know, I could have just heaped the compost, but my goodness, this bin is black (and thus will absorb heat to help cook the compost), has slots that allow air to flow through, has another level I can add to it, and even has a hinged lid! Pretty exciting, let me tell you! It does everything but dance! After setting up the bin, which was pretty simple, I threw in shredded paper, cardboard, dead non-poisonous leaves, food scraps we've been saving, coffee grounds I begged from Panera, and some tiny twigs. I watered it all down to get it moving in the right direction.
Today was the second nice day in a row, and a quick look at my Amish Snap Peas, which were spindly and droopy, told me they needed some serious planting. So I picked a nice sunny spot in the yard (not in the garden), raked off the few black walnut leaves that covered the ground, and used The Claw (my favorite garden tool, purchased several years ago) to loosen up the ground. I then added some organic soil. I'm not certain they look much better tied to the tongue depressors swiped from a friendly doctor's office. I think I will have to find taller stakes.
My biggest worry is that we may have some hungry neighborhood rabbits who fancy feasting on my tender pea shoots. So I fenced the peas in with four $1 gates garnered from The Dollar Tree. Before you ask, yes, I do realize that rabbits can hop and conceivably could overleap the fence and eat the pea plants despite my efforts. But I'm not sure how else to keep them out, and I'm hoping the fence will deter them. I thought about getting a pellet gun and eating the rabbits I pop, but I'm not all that fond of the idea of dismantling and cleaning a rabbit for cooking.
Beans will be following the peas very soon. I planted a couple of varieties of green beans and several varieties of soup beans on April 9, and a few days ago, they were just pushing through the dirt. On Saturday, I walked out to the porch and--Bam!--they were a few inches high! Last night I raised my grow lamp up one notch, and it looks like I'll have to either raise it another notch or swap the tray for the tomato tray, where the seedlings are still small.
There is something very exciting about growing plants. Let's hope I can keep them alive...and uneaten!