Spring Fever is Brewing

Now I know many of you have actually been experiencing winter. You know, winter with snow, ice and cold temperatures—a real winter!

Well, not in Albuquerque. It has been so warm during the day that I’ve actually been able to go outside either without a coat, in a light sweater or a sweatshirt. Mind you, we’ve been able to do this through most of the last three months. I will admit we did get a small amount of snow two weeks ago, which was the first measurable precipitation in over 90-some days. It was long enough to put the dry spell in the top 10 of dry spells.

With the weather being almost spring like, my mind has been on my gardens.

All of you know I enjoy growing my own vegetables almost as much as I enjoy cooking. Anything grown at home tastes 100 times better than from the store. If you don’t believe me, give it a try some growing season.

This year I’m doing my straw garden a little differently—we’ll see if it pays off or not. Rather than buying new straw this year, I’ve saved my bales from last year. Rather than having them just lying open in the yard, I’ve built some small raised garden beds (thanks to some help from my children). I’ve decided not to grow so many different things, rather I’m going to concentrate on the things that have done the best and we’ve eaten the most of at meals. Somewhere, possibly in my old strawberry patch, I’ve decided to plant some flowers to help keep pests off the good stuff. And, to also help with pests, I’ve decided not to plant as early as usual in hopes of lessening some of the bad insects eating/killing my gourds and cucumbers. This last one will be the hardest as I always want to get going as soon as the weather warms up.

This means more tomatoes not corn, more green beans not strawberries, more lettuce not potatoes and fewer attempts at different kinds of onions. I’ll save the things I’m letting go of this year for when we move to a more favorable and wet climate after retirement.

I’ve already begun to wet the straw in hopes of helping it break down into actual soil more readily. In some of the other raised gardens, where I already have some dirt, I’ve been composting material in hopes it will break down and help replenish or add nutrients to the dirt. Hopefully too, when it warms up a little more, the earthworms we have will go to town to help break it down even better.

Here is a picture of the new improved gardens. I’ll keep you updated as things move along.

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