The snowshoe hares can't wait until we put in a garden...
My parents have never had to worry about rabbits in their garden—their fence, 6 feet of chicken wire, starts more than a foot off the ground in order to be tall enough to discourage moose from jumping it! We've had snowshoes all over the place, though, so our garden plans are going to have to take them into account.
No 70-degree days this week, but we've had some very respectable upper 50s and low 60s with frequent rain showers. There are still a handful of small patches of snow and ice in shaded spots, but the ground is certainly clear enough (and the trees green enough) that we can all agree that it is spring. All of the perennials in my east-facing flower bed were pulled out last weekend, which was kind of sad: they were pretty! But they really did need to go, because their bulbs were attracting too much attention from the local vole population, and I do not want them to have incentive to be tunneling around right up next to the house. Plus, we need the space for edibles.
The other day Little Bear learned why I've been so insistent that they stay out of the clay mud: he went down to play in the softest, stickiest corner of the yard, and wound up having to have me "rescue" him because he sank in well past his ankles. His boots stayed there half-buried until Matt came home and the mud had hardened a little, because I was not about to risk the mud myself with Otter in the front pack! Now I'm keeping half an eye on that corner of the yard every time the kids are out playing, because I remember the lure of sticky mud... We had the same boot-stealing mud at the house I grew up in, and when I was about LB's age, I remember trying to see how stuck I could get my boots but still be able to get out without help. Is unreasonable to hope that the same "game" doesn't occur to LB?
I need your thoughts on weeds, specifically on getting rid of a large number of them spread over an area large enough that pulling them by hand isn't a practical solution. I've always been opposed to using chemical weed-killer because it's not great for people or the environment, and especially since our water comes from a well and we're putting in a garden—I don't want those chemicals getting into our food and water supply! Matt's allergic to the dandelions all over our yard, though, and the flower bed we're preparing to fill with herbs and vegetables is edged with several layers of stacked paving stones, with "volunteer" columbine and irises growing out of all their cracks and crevices. Any ideas for me?
I did suggest getting a goat, only half in jest, but that suggestion was definitely turned down :-) The snowshoe hares have seemed interested in our bumper crop of dandelions, though.
Because I am overambitious, I'm working on a map for planting our big bed up against the house before we have a bunch of people over on Monday. Perhaps I'll talk myself out of trying, because I already have objectively too much to do between now and then, but I would really like to have it looking nice—and to have the plants started, since our growing season is so short! Intense, thanks to the 24-hour sun, but short. So far, my plans for the bed include napa cabbage, basil, cilantro, garlic chives, calendula, and marigolds. We'll see what else winds up in there!
Are you gardening this year? What do you grow?