Yesterday was the first day that really felt like spring. There have been several warm-ish days recently, but most of them were really gloomy and overcast, or even raining. Yesterday, there was sun, and it was lovely. We all spent the afternoon puttering outside, in our shirtsleeves, finally!
Spring is the dingiest time here on the acreage, though. Between the mud on the kids and the mud on the dogs, the house is never clean. Melting snow reveals all sorts of garbage that has somehow collected over the winter, as well as all the fallen and broken branches taken down by wind and snow. Things need picking up and organizing.
I dug out my pruning shears and cut back several shrubs, while the kids picked up garbage, and Trevor (Hubby) cleaned up old leaves that had collected in the strawberry beds and strung fence around the grapes to keep the dogs from digging them up. Cherry the mastiff passed away last spring, and we got another rescue mastiff about a month later; Brutus is a great pet, but it turns out he likes to dig, especially around the foundation of the house, which is a bit of a pain, and we need to figure out ways to discourage that.
On the bright side, my chives are up already! In the south bed, they are up several inches, and very green; in the east bed, they are shorter and yellow-er, but they are up there, too. We got these plants from my Mom, when she was dividing her own clumps; all three of them have thrived, which is great, because there’s something special about fresh chives in your scrambled eggs, and with the increased daylight, the hens will be kicking it into high gear soon, and we’ll be eating egg everything shortly.
It’s kind of exciting to be thinking about planting things again. I spent my evening planting my seed starts – we’ll plant them out in the garden in the last week of May and first week of June. I am trying something new this year – I desperately want to grow melons, but in zone 2, it has proven difficult (impossible, so far). I know some people here are growing cantaloupes in high tunnels, but I haven’t had any luck with any melon so far. Part of the issue is the short season, and melons don’t appreciate transplanting; it is not generally recommended to start the seeds at all, and especially not more than a couple of weeks before planting out. However, I don’t think that gives them enough hot days to set and ripen fruit. This year, I’ve planted half a dozen melons in 2 liter (2 quart) pots, in the hopes that they won’t get root bound in the 6-8 weeks before our last frost date. We’ll see if it works or not!
Meanwhile, we’ve got tons more pruning to do.