Monday, April 4, 2016
Spring continues to be rainy and brisk in Galicia. There is the occasional sunny day, which I used to cut some grass for eventual mulch, but mostly it´s cloudy with rainbursts every 30 minutes or so, or raining all bloody day and night.
Still plugging holes in the hedge. I need to collect all the trimmings from the surround and burn them, but since they´re continually rained on, it´s hard to schedule. I´ve applied online for 3 burn permits and not used a single one so far.
Bulbs coming up. For some reason a set of tulips leaped ahead of everything else and bloomed alongside the garlic. They´re next to the wall, which may have created a micro climate. I appreciate the blooms, now that the hyacinths are finished.
I tried turning over some of the new veg plot, but there´s standing water at the low end, so I abandoned the effort for the time being. Used the traditional lasagna method layering cardboard, grass cuttings, compost, manure, etc to kill the pasture weeds and grass. That actually worked pretty well, but there´s still a layer of matted weed roots which I´m not sure whether to compost, discard or turn over. I believe they´re mostly nettles, of which there are many in other spots on the property, with the occasional wild blackberry. And of course the rocks 3 or 4 inches down. On the positive side, there are earthworms! Lots and lots and some are huge. When I dug out the first plot last year I didn´t find any.
There´s another section where I´m trying silage plastic to kill the pasture weeds. I need to move it over to start on the next section, but I´m afraid that with sun and rain, it will all just re-sprout unless I can cultivate, weed and plant. A dilemma, since although it´s the highest elevation on or property, it´s got standing water a couple of inches deep. Some trenching is in order so the water can escape down the slope to the pasture on the other side of the barn, hopefully to be absorbed there. I´d like to take advantage of the tractor ruts that are already there from the clearing years ago. We´ll see.
So until the weather gives me a dry spell, I´ll be on the lookout for seed potatoes and onion starts and seed starting substrate for tomatoes and beans. In the meantime, the flowers are enjoying the damp. I planted several mixed batches of crocus, but have only seen the yellow ones. The roses are all leafing out. The azaleas are flowering ahead of schedule and the camelia keeps putting out blooms.