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FIELD NOTES, Vol. 2

FIELD NOTES, Vol. 2

A Look into Gardening this Spring

By Laura Giles

Spring greetings to you from Cornman Farms! Signs of the new season are everywhere! Buds are swelling on the trees, daffodils and hyacinths are just making their first appearances, the robins are back, and  bright greenery and a fresh perspective surround us here at the Farm.

I spent this past weekend working hard in my garden at home and it was such a thrill to be back out there. So much was left undone last fall because of two family weddings last year, and it was clear that I had my work cut out for me. Luckily, I had spent some time this past winter and sharpened some of the crucial garden tools so they were ready for action! Besides the work of cleaning and clearing the garden, I have also been spending mental energies on the plan for this year. This year will be one of maintaining and caring for the existing plants in my garden, I’m focusing on separating some of the perennials we have and sprucing up the garden beds. This will be a sort of “regrouping season” where I pull together some of the plants that are doing well and take stock of which plants are causing extra work and time. This is a good exercise for all gardeners and their gardens every once in a few years. To take stock of what is working and what isn’t.

I’m also planning on doing more with annuals. This winter, I came across the book “Cultivating Chaos” by Christian Kress. Not unlike a particular area here at the Farm, I have a rather large area in our backyard that adds much time to our mowing every week. I am considering adopting a more “naturalistic” approach to this area and am excited by this new way of gardening. This book has given me great ideas on how to incorporate this style of gardening into an urban area while still having defined borders and structure.

Here at the Farm, we are gearing up for a new season as well. There are some changes coming to our garden this season and we are excited to share that with you in an upcoming volume of Field Notes.

I encourage you to take a fresh look at your garden area and consider in this fresh season of spring how you might make a few changes to save work this summer. Are there plants that just struggle every year or require too much time and effort to keep well? Maybe you can donate those to friends with more time on their hands! Or maybe they should be moved to areas that would provide a better environment for them to grow (more sun/less sun/more water?) Consider using ground covers or going radical and turning some of your yard into a meadow!

Here are some links to help get your gardening juices flowing. Get outside and enjoy the open air, sunshine, and fresh spring breezes!

Spring Cleaning in the Garden
Low Maintenance Groundcovers
Preparing the Soil for Planting