Time to make an entry to Ye Olde Garden Journal. It’s been an interesting week. Last weekend had beautiful spring weather, so I tentatively went out in the field over the weekend. You know, just walked around, inspecting things. The vernal aroma was just what I needed. There is just something about the soil warming and the smell of the grasses. Not the bliss of the summer garden, but peace- inducing. Like things will be right with the world.
Then on to Monday, when the weather was still warm and clear…with the impending predictions of snow, I went out to the apple trees with my newly purchased Japanese folding saw. That is always my weapon of choice in pruning…along with loppers. I tackled two trees. Took out some large branches in the first and both were cleared of extraneous bottom branches, suckers and water shoots. Took out most of the crossing branches. The new saw helped. I was able to get farther along than I expected. Worked until dark.
Oh yes, that was after digging holes for the new trees. I was a busy little beaver. Yes, I was. I had helpers on the digging, though. Two of my teenagers were extremely good natured about helping me dig those holes and clear some sod from the fence corners. If I figure out the cause of the good nature…I will pass it on. Or write a book, but it was just serendipity as far as I know.
The holes had to be fairly extensive since the county put in really poor replacement soil there. [REMINDER: make workers save your topsoil on your property for you- you will be very glad]. It isn’t really soil…. it is clay subsoil from who knows where packed in with whatever rubbish they could get away with… old drain tiles, rocks, old boards… Sorry, didn’t mean to rant.
Anyway, the holes are dug for three out of four. Although now that I am thinking about it, I may move two of the trees elsewhere and put shrubs into two of the holes ( can’t waste good digging). Just because I am not sure I want trees so close together. I am weird about that. It won’t make a difference in my lifetime, but when planting trees I try to think for posterity. I am still considering where the trees should go.
Partially, because I got a good deal on desirable trees. I wasn’t planning on redbuds, I was planning on Prairiefire Crabapple. I researched that variety. I still plan on buying it which is why I am playing with moving the trees around on the little planning board in my head. And I decided it may be best to move the larger trees back further on the property to save them from the predations of my county officials.
You can do that when it is in the planning stage. I don’t like to move trees after they have been planted. Laziness, I am sure. I make a big deal about planting trees, usually. I dig as big a hole as my time and energy can handle, put in some compost from the compost pile…hauled in the wheelbarrow from half and acre away, then add in peat moss to the soil, mud in, tamp, water well with the hose dragged over half the yard from the house ( and then dragged back), and then come back after a week or so to mulch. If I do things my favored way, you can see why I don’t relish repeating the process.
They say you don’t have to amend the soil for trees and that it isn’t especially good, but I have tried both methods and I think trees are better established with a bit of extras at the outset. And, wheel barrow by wheel barrow, I will be trying to add good soil from farther back in my property to the trees planted in the unpromising clay. I have good clay loam here. Very nice gray profile soils, and a Crosby type. Prairie soils.
Then it snowed.
Not that I was unhappy about that. I like snow when I don’t have to go out in it much, and it was a lovely deep-billowed snow. The kind that looks like spun angel hair puffs on everything. It piled on to about four to five inches, and in spite of melting temperatures, we still have covering on the ground today. And I was stiff from all the work the previous day; so I was enjoying the March snowfall.
The birds are foraging in the melted spots here and there , and on Tuesday when the snow was deepest, they visited the pyracantha at my window in a steady traffic all day. I love birds. But I have to say I am tolerant of the mess they make on my car and lawn furniture. I ignore the car as much as possible and I spray the furniture off regularly. My teenagers are embarrassed about the car… but they could do something about that 😉
So, obviously, I did not plant sweet peas on St. Patricks Day. I am just not that dedicated to dig through snow to plant… I don’t know that that is a good idea anyway. Don’t tell me if it is, OK?