Not Weed

This time last year, I would have regarded this fluffy clump as a sign that summer was officially here. This year, I'm thanking it for the hard work it's done helping our bee population. I think we have the dandelions to thank for it. We've had apple trees since we moved here. Our plum and pear trees are old enough to flower each year, and the flowering bushes are not new. What is new this year...

Garden Journal – Straw Bale Update

When we moved to Vermont, our ZIP Code sat in a solid zone four. Now it is comfortably into zone five, and we set out seedlings a week earlier on Memorial Day weekend. Our day and nighttime temps can still be a bit bipolar, so when it looks like the nighttime lows will be below 40, I cover the tender annuals. Yesterday morning, however, I learned that, with straw bale gardening, less protection...

Poem: Murder Most Foul

I'm thinning basil seedlings.Eggplant, you’re next.I've killed dozens of pepper shoots,mourning the products ofseeds that worked so hard,tossing them out the door.Only the very best survive.The cat runs by with a chipmunk who may escape her maulbut will more likely end up in the middle of the yard,his entrails split over the new-cut grass while she,without a trace of blood on her mouthor guilt...

Score One for Straw Bale

One of the quirks of Strawbale gardening is that, even though you don’t have to contend with perennial weeds that are real PIA to pull, conditioning bales of straw (made from cut grass) will generate weeds in your planting medium. You can smother it before it starts, but you will have to do some pulling as I did yesterday. I’m trying to mulch as I pull so that it’s a one time deal, but...