Our cold Midwest spring is offering mid-50-degree days. I braved the chill on April Fools’ Day to go outside and begin picking up sticks and mulching the garden beds. But first, I gave the Gator a bath. A layer of fine dust covered my little garden vehicle, the consequences of wintering in the garage. Knowing I have this handy tool makes hard work in the garden so much easier.
The pine, fir, rose hip branches and holly that filled my planters on the front porch and barn entrance were taken out and used as mulch behind the peony bushes. These bushes are about a foot from the back fence. A heavy layer of mulch keeps weeds in check. Instead of buying a lot of wood chips, I use what I have to save money in the garden. Mulch keeps my weeding at a bare minimum.
Our one remaining River Birch in the front yard is a messy tree but I love using the reddish branches in arrangements and to make birch twig wreaths. Now is an ideal time to cut tender branches as they are filled with interesting flower buds that add a lot of character to the wreaths. In spring, however, the ground is littered with dry broken branches. Instead of burning them, I break them up in smaller pieces and use them as mulch in the container bed. They will eventually break down and add to the richness of the soil while keeping down weeds. That’s the kind of repurposing I love–handy and free.
For the next two days, chilly spring rain is in the forecast. The blush of green in the grass will quickly turn into an emerald carpet almost overnight. The dormant garden beds in the background are ready to be turned and amended with compost for spring planting. AND SO IT BEGINS…