It's the season of very big hope in our parts. For me, this means I'm out in the garden, every single day, examining, watering, cheering on every new sets of leaves growing and each seedling just beginning to sprout.
It's the season before (gardening) obstacles become very apparent. Before infestations, before the excrutiating heat, before we forget to water as often as we should.
It's always at this time every year that I have big hopes and dreams for my garden. In my imagination, I see baskets of produce and greenery and lushness. Bees and blossoms. Fruit bearing down and over. Abundance. Freshness. Early morning dew. Preserving sessions in the kitchen. I swear, one day I will achieve -- all of it.
But let's face it, that dream will take some refinement in the gardening department on my part. It's a good thing I am learning more and more each year where my errors lie.
Here's what I've got going for me:
I think we've been doing a good job of keeping our soil good and strong. I apply mycorrhiza while planting. I water with a molasses mixture. I top dress with pine needles. I fertilize with rabbit manure, this product, and fish emulsion.
There. Take that Texas drought.
The big setback around here is lack of water. I've tried soaker hoses and hand watering. Soaker hoses burst at random areas and end up wasting more than they should. Hand watering just doesn't provide a consistent and deep soaking. Consequently, we are now seriously planning to install a real drip irrigation system. It seems as if it's the only sustainable solution to the lack of rain. Yes, of course, I wonder if it's not more enviro-friendly to not garden, than to burden our water supplies for the sake of my hobby (and mental sanity). But choosing to not garden is depressing. I'm not ready to give up just yet.
On a lighter note:
My herbs from last year are gorgeous. It's hard to believe I planted them as tiny four inch plants. The lavender and oregano are bushes now! One of my lavender plants is beginning to blossom. This is all very exciting to me!
Along our front yard fence is a long line of beans that are growing. What fun. They are sprouting and getting taller every day! Next fall, after we harvest the beans, I'll replace them with climbing rose bushes along the columns of the fence line.
My irises should be blooming any day now. They are so close. Maybe right in time for Easter. Update: They. are. blooming. Oh, thank you dear irises!
I even had a tiny bit of success with daffodils this year which typically do not thrive here. I'm hopeful to get a few more blooms next year as they settle into their home.
Sunflowers and zinnias are well on their way. Garlic and onions are beginning to show signs of browness in their leaves.
I've got more beans to plant as well as cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, and potatoes. I'm not planting zuccini this year as they take up so much garden space and always fall prey to the nasty squash vine borer right as they are ready to produce. Too tragic.