More about spring

Yep, there’s a lot of gardening stuff here. So, if you’re not interested in that kind of thing, then just take a pass on this entry.

Once again, we had a fantastic weekend here in Chicago. Lots of sun, and fairly warm temps, too. As I was getting ready for bed last night I realized I had gotten quite a bit of sun, in fact. My incredibly fair skin was a tad red from spending so many hours outside in the sun.

I went running with my sister yesterday at one of our wonderful city parks. We ran for about 17 minutes at my slow pace, then she continued on around the park at her normal pace. I’m just starting to run for exercise, and I’m following the “run for time” instead of the “run for distance” approach.

Yesterday’s run went so much more smoothly than my run on Thursday. I went out after work with one of dogs (Hannah) as my companion. We were jogging along qutite nicely unitl we spotted the rabbits; they were just sitting there on the sidewalk, relaxing in the dusk. I decided to give Hannah her head and kick my pace up a notch. I mean, what was the harm in chasing a couple rabbits, right? Well, I apparently gave Hannah a little more slack than I though and she ended up slamming me into a tree as she dodged around it. Although I ended up on the ground, I never lost hold of the leash, and had only a scraped up hand to show for it.

…Off the needles…

I finished up my little scarf, then blocked it and wore it to work last week. It turned out very nicely in the blocking.
After wearing it all day, I realize that I probably should have made it a bit wider. But, I still like it.

…In the garden…

Spring clean up is still underway. I started out the morning on Sunday with a foray into the front yard to work on clean up. There are two main approaches to gardening: those who clean up in the late fall, and those who clean up in the spring. I believe in cleaning up in the spring. I think leaving all that frost-blasted, dead foliage in place over the winter has benefits: it insulates the crown of hardy perennials, allowing them to weather the cold better, and; it helps the gardener rememer where things are planted! So, in the spring I clean up all the old foliage and pull back the mulch from the crowns so the soil can warm up faster and nuture the plant out of dormancy.

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Springing ahead

It was a wonderful weekend for gardening. Too bad I couldn’t get my ass in gear yesterday; I could have accomplished a lot more, and there is a lot of spring clean up to do.

At this time of year, my hobbies are conflicting with each other. Should I knit or should I garden? It’s hard to decide sometimes. This weekend, I made time for a little of both.

Yesterday I spent a good amount of time knitting away on my little silk scarf. I’m really trying to finish it up this weekend. However, I also found time to run out to the bookstore and pick up the new Yarn Harlot book, Knitting Rules, and Mason-Dixon Knitting. Today I ran out to Loopy Yarns to pick up…a surprise. I’ll have to hold off commenting on exactly what was purchased at Loopy for a few days.

I found time to pick up groceries, too, then made back in time to do some spring clean up in the garden. Now you see it…

Winter rye cover crop

Now you don’t…

Veggie garden areaThe cover crop of winter rye has been completely worked in. I really love winter rye as a green manure. It’s hardy and keeps the soil nice and friable. I’m a bit late in turning it over, though. Winter rye is alleopathic and it’s recommended to wait at least 2 weeks before sowing seed in a bed where it has been grown. Since I had planned to plant my peas and beets here, I really should have turned this area over a few weeks ago. Today would have been a perfect day to plant peas and beets. Well, I can only blame myself for the late start.

BTW, that last photo shows my entire veggie garden area. I have lots of other perennial beds with herbs mixed in but this is the extent of my veggie gardening area for now. I’m hoping that next year I’ll be able to put in raised beds in the “east lot,” but this year I need to continue monitoring that area for the evil bindweed; It’s no use putting a lot of effort into gardening in that area until the bindweed has been made to behave.

Bear with me for one last garden shot, OK? My garlic is growing so nicely this year now that I’ve fenced it in so the dogs can’t walk all over it.

Garlic Garlic is such an easy thing to grow. We use so much of it that I’d really like to devote a whole bed to garlic. *sigh* I just can’t wait until that east lot is ready. I’ve got such big plans: blueberries, asparagus, and now an entire bed of garlic. Yum!