There comes a point when you can no longer ignore the baby bird chirps, the blossoming trees, the fragrance of lilac bushes and the bulbs bursting into flowers in your planter boxes. Yes, spring is here. And while that’s definitely awesome (I love getting out and enjoying the beautiful weather) it also means: it’s time to get back to work in the yard.
To be honest, I’ve been a bit slow to get going this year and you might have noticed, this is the first gardening post I’ve published (usually I’m chomping at the bit come January or February). I thought I better give an update on the current state of things, as well as my plans.
So probably the biggest update since I’ve last shared a garden post is this beautiful shed my husband built. You might have recalled, a few years ago, I had a small portable greenhouse in this space. Well, a couple things – just to keep it real. First, I’ve decided I’m a much better gardener of stuff that’s outside. I had a really hard time tending lots of greenhouse plants! And second, after a couple winters, the material just completely broke down. (If you decide to go with a greenhouse like that, my recommendation – take it down at the end of the season, or just plan on purchasing a new one every year or so.)
In the end, this shed has made for a perfect place to store garden supplies and lawn tools. Adding it did mean we had to remove two of my raised beds (we gave them to a neighbor, so I’m happy to share the gardening love!). However, we are hoping to completely change up the way the garden looks in the next couple years. It likely won’t happen this year, and honestly, that’s quite alright with me. In the meantime, we’re going to keep things simple and pared down. I’m thinking a lot of greens and herbs are in our future (also makes sense given how shady my garden is!).
One of the beds we ended up removing contained my raspberry plants. Before removing it, I took some roots and placed them in another planter. I was so relieved to see several healthy new vines sprouting up!
I also found some mint in a pile of leftover garden dirt and moved that into the raspberry box. (Yes, I love growing my mint and raspberries together!) I don’t know why I was worried about my mint surviving the garden upheaval.
I noticed that my strawberries started popping up again! They are growing in my Big Bag Junior (Amazon link). These bags are SO simple – just pop ’em out, fill ’em with dirt and plant. No construction needed, and a great option if you are renting or just want something temporary to grow in. You can buy them for about $20 on Amazon. The other thing I noticed, and I’m not sure if this is a fluke or not – but I don’t seem to have any issue with slugs on my berries in this grow bag. I wonder if that has to do with the type of material it’s made out of?
I purchased this beautiful huckleberry plant last year at Fred Meyer (read about it at this Container Gardening post!). I didn’t do anything special for it over the winter, and BAM – it’s taking off again! These put out such fragrant flowers and I noticed the hummingbirds were crazy about it last summer. PP
My daughter was hard at work cutting some flowers to decorate the house with!
I love this shot of my daughter cutting flowers in the sunshine! I also adore that bleeding heart behind her – it’s my absolute favorite plant to watch pop up in the spring. It’s a good one to consider planting in a shadier spot, and it’s a perennial, so you’ll enjoy it year after year. I noticed they were selling them for about $10 right now at Costco. You should be able to find them at most nurseries too (just call ahead!).
So, what are my plans for gardening this spring and beyond?
- Clean up! While I’ve cleaned up the garden beds pretty well, some of the surrounding spots could use some TLC. The back yard is a hot mess too and the lawn mower needs fixing (husband is currently working on that!).
- Plan and plant. Next week my kids are on spring break, so I’m hoping to include them in planning the garden. Some things can definitely be planted at this time, such as greens and herbs.
- Keep it simple. This is going to be another year of keeping things simple and frugal. I am still setting money aside for a larger garden overhaul in the next year or so, so there’s no need to spend lots of money this year. Also, I will be running the Portland Marathon in October which means I’ll be in the middle of marathon training during the summer months. This will no doubt take some time and energy and I’ll rather be spending time chilling in the yard than hours and hours of gardening.
I’ll make sure to update you once we’ve got our 2016 garden all planned out and planted! In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. What are your plans or goals for your garden (or homestead!) this year? Anything new you’re trying, or are you scaling back? What kinds of vegetables and fruits do you enjoy growing the most?
Want more gardening posts? I’ve got TONS! Check out my gardening page for all of them. You might also check out: