A personal record of what's going on in my Northern Michigan zone 4 gardens. I use raised beds and grow organically. Nothing fancy--just trying to garden with nature in mind.

Friday, April 15, 2011

April 1-15 Garden Update

Temperatures have finally reached "normal" for here--upper 40's and that means SPRING!!! The only "color" around here is in this pots on my windowsill. The rest of this post is still our early spring shades of brown and gray. Sigh. The garlic has popped up in the past week --I thinned the straw covering it, but did leave a good protective layer. This is Northern Michigan , after all, and they are calling for snow showers this weekend. The cold frame I sowed April 1st. Radish, Lettuce, Spinach, Carrots, and Bunching Onions. It's grown a bit since I took this photo 2 days ago. I finished edging the west side of the fruit garden and most of the north side. Good thing we grow a lot of stones around here. That cruddy old pond I've been griping about (and ignoring!)---well -THIS IS THE YEAR! I hauled four truck loads of stones from here....some went to the fruit garden, some of the big ones will be used for the Kitchen Window bed, and the rest were piled in storage for later projects and the "new" pond. And the pond area cleaned up with all the rocks and plastic removed. Don just has to move the biggest rocks for me with his tractor bucket. The smaller "big rocks" I'll move to the Kitchen Window border when I recover from this project.
The Donkey Doo in the Fruit Garden that we brought in last fall has composted down nicely and is ready to grow some pumpkins this summer. I ran the tiller through it and gotta say-I hate using a tiller. Noisy, difficult. Glad I don't have to use it but once a year tilling "doo".

And since it's Spring, that means another Hauling Day . The neighbors' Donkeys have been extra busy this winter and we had extra. So , we made one pile that is 10'wide and 20' long that we put behind the vegetable garden. And the rest got distributed to (new)flower borders...............

I'm having to extend the new East Border before I even have it planted. I don't know what I was thinking--with the plans I had made, it's going to have to be much wider. This load of Donkey Doo is a start. I'm still proceeding with planting in the bed I had set up last fall--I just have to work around the fact that right now-it's not wide enough.

And in the Front border, I laid out a cardboard base to help smother weedy groundcover from previous owner on the west side of the front porch. I hadn't planned on getting to this bed until next year, but with extra loads of Donkey Doo this year, I figured what the heck!

Topped off with 3 loads of fresh Donkey Doo. Will top that with heavy layers of grass clippings

once the mowing season begins and let that break down until NEXT spring.


  1. I got to the bottom and what a nice surprise - I can comment! :) Did we peer pressure you into it?! The composted manure looks so good - we don't get out much, do we?! I can't wait to see what you have in mind for the border, and I never get tired of looking at your beautiful stone house, hope you have good weather this weekend.

  2. Comments! Comments! We can make comments! Happy, happy, happy! (Do ya think winter has been too long this year? Reminds me of last week when hubby and I were walking through Menard's and I may have been acting a tad on the embarrassing side. He gave me a look that said, "I can't take you anywhere!" I retorted that he had to be patient with me 'cause I don't get out much.)

    My gosh, you have been busy with a capital B! I can't stand it, Sue. You are so talented and your place is so beautiful that I feel like taking a blow torch to my feeble efforts in my yard. But don't stop posting. I just have to remember to put on my drool bib before checking out your pictures. I can't imagine anyone's yard looking so good at this drab time of year. But yours does. Sigh.

  3. Hi Erin-I think Manure is just about the most wonderful thing hubby brings home. I'd take that over froo froo (frue frue??) stuff any day...... Far more useful.

    Mama Pea-I just knew you'd enjoy the comments part. I smiled when I set it up. And PUH-LEASE-feeble efforts??? I'd give my eye teeth (what the heck IS that, anyway?) to get you and Erin here-drink a few whatevers, and get your opinions on stuff. I've got acres and acres to dig up yet, and I know you two would have some great ideas!

  4. Good luck with the garlic. Your beds look great!

  5. YAY! She brought back the comments!

    We do get awfully excited about a big load of sh***, don't we? Oh, I'm also excited to see the new, finished bed(s)!

  6. Timoti-Thanks! I'm super excited about the garlic this year-it's NEVER looked this good just coming out from winter.

    AG-See?! I really mean it when I say Don is always giving me crap-LOL!

  7. You must have a wonderful yard. I have not heard of donkey doo being used but then why not. Your new beds do look great. Have a lovely weekend.

  8. What a beautiful load of poop you have! (Only a gardener would understand that comment.) That corner bed by the house is going to be brilliant! You are far more ambitious than I! Happy spring!

  9. Oh, Sue, how do you do it all? Amazing! And you inspire us here. Right now we are trying to make our garden area puppy safe. That guy will chew on anything... He is so sweet though, it is hard to be angry with his antics. And because he is so big, it is hard to remember he is just a baby with much to learn. The morning sun just crested the buttes - time to get busy!

  10. Eileen-I read once that donkey manure kept the deer at bay--that hasn't happened here, but the flowers sure do love it!

    Daisy-Thank you so much-I have the best poop in the neighborhood!

    2Tramps-good luck with getting the garden puppy proofed. He's such a doll-and what a fine time you will all have!

  11. Hi Sue,
    I feel for you with the cold temps. It is cooler here than normal, but we are seeing some 50s and 60s. There was snow in parts of the state last week, but our flakes melted as soon as they landed.

    You have quite the project with your pond. I like your planting areas, too. I am envious of your manure. I know someone who would give us some from her horses, but my husband does not want it in his truck. I suggested putting it in some 5 gallon buckets, but he doesn't like that idea, either.

  12. Hi Sue-see?-It's a shame we didn't move to Nebraska-I'd be happy to haul manure for you. We have our "mini"truck that we use just for projects like this-it even has a dump bed on it.
    Happy Growing!

  13. Sue, you are making wonderful progress... and I can smell the soil... so good. ;) Happy Easter and may it bring you warmer days and sunshine.

  14. Diana-a very wonderful Easter wish to you!