For a gardener, it's all about what can be done during the dead of winter. All the leaves have fallen from the trees here at the Crossroads and it's winter in the garden.
As soon as they fell, I got them up and spread them in the garden. They make an excellent mulch and help to revitalize the soil. I've come to appreciate the value of organic material like the leaves . They are full of trace minerals that the trees draw up from deep in the soil. They serve as great food for earthworms and beneficial microbes. The leaves are also good for holding moisture in our sandy loam soil. In just a few weeks, I'll break out my tiller and mix these leaves into the soil. After all, it's about preparing for spring planting that will be here before we know it. For us here in the South, a few things like potatoes, onions, and spring peas can be planted in February.
In December, I pulled up the remaining plants from our fall garden. In February I will mix in more garden soil and compost in these raised beds. Jane and I are already planning what vegetables to plant and where to plant them. In the dead of winter, we spend a lot of cold, wet days in the bookstore perusing gardening books and magazines . Every time we do this, we pick up new ideas and fresh tips. After all, a garden is an ongoing learning process. What worked last year, and what didn't work well last year??? It's a new challenge each season.
On these gloomy, cold days it's nice to remember what things looked like last spring
and the mild, warm weather.
And here's what it looks like in the dead of winter.
I've been adding organic materials to our compost bin for months.
I think of it like cooking a big pot of fertilizer. Pretty soon I'll put on my boots and be right in the middle of this lovely pile. Yeah, you've got to get down and dirty to be a real gardener!
It's the dead of winter in the garden here at the Crossroads, but we all know that everything will be green and blooming before we know it. Ain't the cycle of nature a wonderful thing?