Wet fieldsThe current swamp/site of future pond.
As brutal as parts of this winter were, it's hard to believe it's actually April already! Winter shook us like a dog with a rat, then rather suddenly lost interest and went away....

Now the sun is shining, trees are budding, and sap is rising - and I am chomping at the bit to be out in the garden!  Only, I can't, because the "garden" is basically a swamp....

Hot with excitement to get out the tiller, build beds in our newly roped-off garden space, and plant asparagus, fruit trees, veggies, and more, our lofty ambitions were dashed last week when we checked the forecast and realized rain was predicted nearly every day for the  next 10 days.  :-(

We tried to placate ourselves yesterday by cutting down a partially dead tree in front of the house, cutting it up, and hauling it back to the field to add to the burn pile, but it was cold comfort as we drove the truck through the pasture gently, trying not to sink into the muck, and watching as water instantly filled the ruts behind us.

Nope - no tilling this week (month???).  Even our plans for fruit trees are on hold, as they would simply drown in the swampy ground, and the future site of the asparagus bed is a puddle right now.

So for me, my garden dreams are off to a sad start this year - our first garden season on the new homestead -  already falling behind in just about everything....
Starting seeds indoorsStarting seeds for the summer garden.
At least I have my newly-filled seed trays to comfort me, although the seedlings aren't popping up just yet. 

I spent an evening in the garage/garden shed this week, listening to the pelting rain, and planting 5 varieties of peppers, 4 varieties of tomatoes, eggplant, celery, and Thai basil. My wonderful husband is rigging up a grow light to hang over the old aquarium we dragged into the living room to house our little baby plants for a few weeks.

I check them multiple times every day, waiting with bated breath for the first tiny green leaves!

The other bright spot is our little hay bale garden experiment. Although last fall when I laid out the 20 bales of hay donated to us as payment by a neighbor for haying our back field, I wasn't imagining the entire field would be pretty much underwater in 6 months, this turned out to be an unexpected benefit of the hay bale gardening concept. While the ground itself is swampy muck beneath the grass, the hay bales are nice and well drained (at least on the surface), as well as surprisingly decomposed!

Hay bale gardenAt least the hay bales are dry enough to plant.
I planted potatoes in a couple of bales last week, and peas today. I have no idea how well they are going to do, but the inside of the bales feels moist and slightly warm, and earthworms were literally leaping out of the sides as I planted, which is always a good sign!

So we shall see, and if things go well, maybe we'll try to continue the hay bale method in years to come, so that I can at least get SOME things planted while waiting for the spring rains to subside.

Meanwhile, we watch for seedlings, listen to the frogs singing in the marsh that we plan to eventually turn into a real pond, admire our spring flower bulbs popping up out front, and contemplate methods for encouraging drainage. Any ideas on how to drain the excess water off of 5 acres of flat-as-a-pancake farmland would be very welcome!  :-)

Happy Spring!

P.S. Be sure to stay tuned next week - I'm working on a really cool FREE resource just for all of you spring gardeners! Even better, subscribe to our weekly updates (in the box to the right) so you don't miss it!



04/20/2015 2:14pm

That is great to have a garden) I really like it)

05/13/2015 5:56pm

Great. Watching for seedlings, listening to the frogs singing in the marsh that you plan to eventually turn into a real pond must have been a great experience.

05/14/2015 3:43am

Collecting seeds for summer garden is always refreshing and this year I have collected a stock full of seeds and I look forward to planting.


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