Friday was a gorgeous day fit for gardening and cupcakes - so that's what we did. I dusted off my tools from the shed, ran my fingers through some good dirt, and enjoyed a dozen cupcakes with my friends. Warm days in winter always have this effect on me. I am thrilled to shave my legs and wear shorts, I want to plant things, and I want to be outside all day from the moment the sun comes up - it's suddenly so easy to forget the frigid days of winter that will probably return any day.
I have high hopes for a fertile spring garden this year, so I'm getting a jump on things. I've begun first with my herb garden including Mint, Spearmint, Chamomile, English Thyme, Cilantro, and Rosemary. Oh and little catnip for Charlemagne.
Now that I think about it, this post is less about anticipation for spring and more about my inability to get things planted in a timely fashion...which brings me to the daffodil bulbs I purchased in the fall. For Georgia's planting zone, these ought to have been planted from October to December. I planted a row of 7 just in case, along with an Aloe plant. Don't you love the color of Aloe plants? It's such a fresh light mint. But beware, these plants have many sharp and unfriendly edges. Now that I think about it, they look almost extraterrestrial.
Finally, it's important to keep the momentum of your garden going all year long by maintaining a compost bin and thinking about establishing a cover crop to facilitate Nitrogen fixation in the soil after a season of production. I put together a very simple compost box out of 4 pallets attached with nails and wire. By turning the mix every couple weeks and keeping it slightly moist, the decomposition rate ought to be about 3-6 months.
Out in the garden bed, I've removed all the remaining crops and planted Crimson Clover as a cover crop. Tiny plants are beginning to germinate that will grow for about 4 weeks. These should then be dug out and turned under before they go to seed. If allowed to decompose for another 4 weeks, the Nitrogen fixated during their growth will be reincorporated back into the soil.