I'm In The Garden

What a gorgeous day it has been.  The weather is beautiful, the grass is starting to get green, the flowers are beginning to bloom and the birds are singing.  Those are all signs of spring.  It also means that I am in the garden every chance that I get.  There is so much to get done before the Texas Summer sets in with it's blistery heat (sigh).  Oh how I wish that heat wouldn't come this year.  It would be such a dreamy year if it was cooler and there was more rain (sigh).
Anyway, I have so much to do that I have hired some help this year.  I just couldn't face taking out the dead hedges and trees and plants along with all the weeds that have taken my garden over.  I decided that I needed help.  My helper has been wonderful too.  He has painted my house, removed the hedges and weeds and I am so very thankful.  That leaves me time to work on my garden beds, fertilizing everything, cleaning the pond, and the mowing on the back forty (not really 40 acres, it just feels like it when I am mowing sometimes).
I am changing things up in my flower beds this year.  I have tried so many things to keep that Bermuda grass out of my flower beds (I even resorted to chemicals...horror).  It just laughed at me (sigh).  I have decided to go back to the method that I know works much better.  I will clean those flower beds then I will spread corn gluten over them to help prevent the weed seeds from growing.  I will toss a bit of soap from the grocery store over all the beds(that kind of laundry soap that comes in a plastic bag) This will help kill some of the bad bugs in my garden and it will help my ground absorb water much better. Next I will wait for the rain (because we are not allowed to water right now because of water rationing). While the ground is still damp I will spread several layers of newspaper over every inch of my flower beds (allowing my good plants to poke through of course.) Next will come a layer of dried molasses and a bit of blood meal and bone meal (this helps the microbes get going).  Next will come a layer of about 3 inches of cedar mulch.
I have done this method before and it did wonders for my flower beds.  The grass gave up, the weeds pretty much stayed away (except a few stragglers) and the soil became such wonderful brown dirt to garden in.  It was so much easier to keep.
I like my garden to have a bit of a cottage garden feel to it and that requires a few free seeding annuals in your beds to pop up in surprising places.  To get them started I just place a bit of potting soil in a few places through out my beds and add the seeds (they like to have some soil to sprout in). Any new perennials I want to add will just require that I poke a small hole in all of this and plant.  Hopefully my beds will cooperate and stay beautiful for me.  Any weeds that come up will be easier to pull out and the beds will stay more evenly moist because of the mulch.
With all of this said, I guess you understand how very much work I have to do before it gets hot.  This doesn't even include all the other hardscape projects I plan on this year (I figure it is a good year to get that done since I won't plant much until the drought is over.) Thankfully I have my trusty and strong helper to give me a hand.  Until it gets really hot (I'm not much of a foul weather gardener), I'm in the garden.
Until Next Time
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