Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Snow is melted, spring is coming!

I finally got out on the balcony today! It looked so weird without a 7' tall snow drift. I did have to kick off one little patch of slush/ice, but otherwise everything melted in the last few days.

I'm really anxious to get things moving this spring — much more so than last year. Maybe it's because we had such a harsh, snowy winter. I don't remember any winter being that bad for at least 10-15 years. And unlike so many other Marches, this one gently eased out of winter. It even rained the other day. Not snow. Not sleet. Rain! I hope it keeps it up.

So today I finished some of the clean-up I didn't get to last fall — trimming the dead leaves off the strawberries and a few annuals, dumped out the melt water from a clogged pot and unclogged it, swept away dirt and dead leaves, and tilled the soil in the pots. Mostly everything is thawed, though the very middle of the biggest container, about halfway down, is still frozen solid.

The compost bin sort of did it's job. The stuff on the bottom rotted in the melted snow that got in the container. The stuff in the middle grew some mold. And the stuff on top didn't break down hardly at all. So I pulled most of it out and buried it in a couple containers. It'll break down there. Then I drained it really well, dug around to aerate it, and left it open so some of the moisture will evaporate.

I sowed lettuce and mesclun in 6 of the hanging containers. By the time they're done, it ought to be time to plant the summer vegetables. I also planted peas. And put up stakes for them, I'm not bothering with string this year.

I feel like I'm much more on top of things this year. This week last year I was still finding pots and it was a whole month more before I planted anything. But now I know better — I can't wait till April to plant lettuce and peas if I don't want the lettuce bolting and the peas frying in June.

When it gets a bit warmer I'll start hardening-off the herbs I overwintered. Maybe next week!


  1. Hi Erin
    Happy Spring. Glad to see things are thawing out for you. It's always nice to get the wintered-over plants out - mine are still weeks away but the alpines are waking up. Looking forward to watching your adventures in veg gardening this year.

  2. Good to see that work has begun on your balcony! You're ahead of me at this point, but, you've encouraged me to go out and sort things this weekend. Kudos on managing to work in composting in a small space!

  3. Thanks guys. I hope spring comes to you soon. They're forecasting snow here tomorrow, but then it's supposed to warm right back up. Wish March would make up his mind about which way he's going!