Sunday, May 15, 2016

Garden chores: vegetable bed preparation

It appears Mother Nature continues to want to toy with us. It's been a little cooler than normal for the last week or so, but still quite pleasant. Until yesterday, that is, when it started to feel like winter was back upon us!

Next weekend is the long Victoria Day weekend in Canada and is the unofficial first long weekend of the summer season. It is traditionally the weekend where those of us with gardens plant them with seeds and young plants either purchased or started indoors. It's one of the single busiest weekends for garden centres here in Southern Ontario.

In preparation, I needed to get the remainder of the vegetable bed ready for planting, so I got busy digging.  Over the course of the day, however, a chilly breeze rose up and developed into a cold wind. A front was moving in bringing cold rainy weather with it.

While I was digging, I noticed rogue raspberry canes and daylilies were once again growing under my neighbour's fence and getting quite large. I have other plans for this area, so I decided to dig them up before they got any bigger and pot them up to donate to the upcoming annual sale of the garden club my friend Colin belongs to.

The newly dug bed measures 7 feet wide, which is perfect to split into two 3-foot beds. I had dug the first 3-foot bed a couple of weeks ago and planted it with peas which are now just starting to sprout. Together, these three beds form the footprint for three raised beds that I am planning on constructing this fall ready for next year.

So, all I needed to do was place a spare deck board between the 3-foot and 4-foot mark to divide the newly dug area into two 3-foot beds. Once I had sown a few more peas for succession planting, I was done! Cold and tired, I retreated into the house, took a nice hot shower and settled in for the evening.

The weather forecast was calling for near-freezing temperatures overnight last night and another chilly day today, so I took no chances and brought all the seedlings inside. As the forecast turned out to be correct and it is not exactly a beautiful spring day out there today, I'm glad I did! The long-range forecast is calling for warmer temperatures by mid-week and a warm, sunny Victoria Day weekend.  I sure hope so!

My day's labours done, I couldn't help but take this shot of the garden to show that, despite the cooler weather lately, the difference in growth over the course of a week is amazing at this time of year. It never ceases to captivate me!

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