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Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Warm Saturday In March Means A Chance To Work In The Garden

***warning:  if you don't like bug guts, you may want to skip the last photo in this post.***

A warm Saturday afternoon gave me the chance to do a little garden clean up.  I raked back the straw left on the raised vegetable beds and smoothed out the lumps a bit.  I'm trying to not disturb the soil too much, but the straw I had dug into the beds last fall didn't break down a lot because we didn't get much moisture during the first part of winter.

When I raked back the straw behind this cold frame, I saw the garlic sprouts.  I planted the garlic last fall.  It is looking good.  I carefully recovered the sprouts after I took the photos.




Here are the two beds.  Soil smoothed, straw spread back to hold moisture, cages on top to hold straw.  I'm hoping to plant in the cold frames soon.  Although, we have snow forecast for Tuesday.


I also gave the lavender a haircut.

Before.


After.


I generally leave my plants through the winter to add interest to the landscape and to catch snow.  In March, we cut back all the plants that will resprout with the warm weather. 

This robin visited the bird bath while we were working outside.


Another sign of spring are the leaves of the surprise lilies.  The leaves will grow then die back and disappear before the blooms arrive this summer.


If you've read this blog for very long, you probably know how I hunt for squash bugs.  In fact, my "Squash Bug Hunter" post shows up as the one with the most views on my Blogger Stats.  Well, squash bugs hibernate through the winter.  Just by chance, I moved a block of straw I had laid by the locust tree last fall and found a lot of squash bugs.


They were sleepy so they were easy to pick off the straw and place on the patio.  We counted 39 squash bugs.


My wonderful husband enjoyed squashing the squash bugs.


By the way, squash bug stink when you squash them.

***you were warned.***

12 comments:

  1. :-) Yes, we were warned. A squished squash bug is better than an unsquashed one.

    It must have felt good to get outdoors to play in your gardens. Your garlic sprouts look great. Hope this next bit of show doesn't last long for you.

    FlowerLady

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  2. Bugs....I guess in the yard there will be these creatures. I can stand these more than I can snakes. Have a great day.

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  3. Isn't it great to get out in the garden again. I just planted pansies and haven't done any real "gardening" - love the robin -- we had one visit us all winter!

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  4. Your beds are looking so good. I love seeing the garlic sprouts. So nice to have a warm day to get out and enjoy the garden. Hope you enjoy the week.

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  5. It looks like spring your way! My garlic is coming up, too, but I never got it mulched. It should be OK to plant in your cold frame. I have a small area planted out in the open. It won't come up until the soil is warm enough, and even once up, it can survive some snow.

    I checked a week or so ago, and my surprise lilies were not up yet. We're supposed to have a winter storm come through this week.

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  6. Those garlic sprouts are looking great. Wow, that is A LOT of squash bugs. Oh my!! I bet it was fun to sqoosh them.

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  7. Oh my gosh!! Had NO idea that squash bugs overwintered!! NASTY!! I'll have to go peak under the straw that was on my pumpkins!! My surprise lilies are up too. .and some tulips and hyacinth greens. .Hee Haw!!

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  8. Doesn't it feel good to be out in the garden playing around again? Well except maybe for the squash bugs. I use to have a surprise lily but my son always mowed them off before the next round of blooms appeared. LOL! So I moved them and they died. I am itching to get some warmer weather so I can get out into the beds.

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  9. Hopefully finding all the squash bugs now will save you some work later in the summer. I'm glad you had a chance to work outside before the next snow.

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  10. Oh my on the squash bugs. I've been moving mulch for more than a week now and will have to look for some now. On my way to give my lavender a haircut too. Thanks for the reminder!

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  11. Can't wait to see soil again. We still have huge piles of snow. Thanks for the hope!

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  12. ~FlowerLady
    We barely got snow. Mostly rain. Yea!

    ~Joani
    I don't like finding snakes either.

    ~Martha
    I'm watching for pansies at our garden centers.

    ~Mildred
    Those garlic sprouts look so promising!

    ~Corner Gardener Sue
    I should be able to find some time this weekend to plant a few things. I think my surprise lilies are early this year. I don't have a record of when their leaves appeared last year so I'm not sure.

    ~meemsnyc
    I was amazed at the number of squash bugs too.

    ~Melanie
    Definetly check where there were pumpkins. I swear they like pumpkins the most. Squash bugs are hardy. I'm sure they're tucked in all kinds of places, but I feel good having found so many.

    ~Hocking Hills Gardener
    Bummer on your surprise lilies.

    ~Catherine
    I checked some other areas with straw with no stow aways. It would be nice to have found all of them, but I'm sure there are some sneaky ones out there.

    ~tina
    It smelled nice trimming the lavender.

    ~Bonnie
    It's under there some where. Hope you thaw out soon.

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