Thursday, April 3, 2014

Wednesday Workday

What a joy to be able to have a workday!  It's finally spring in Central Virginia and I am hoping to make the most of it.  Projects and final clean-up from last fall is definitely on the agenda, along with just enjoying the heck out of sunny skies and the first little plants poking up their leaves. 

At the top of my "to do" list was to try to "repair" a dogwood tree.  It's bark is not looking good.  I noticed in the fall that it was cracking.  A bit of Internet research tells me it may be canker, but am hoping to escape that.  [Think of all the dogwoods you have seen that have scruffy, mis-shaped trucks and seem to do ok ... am hoping i have one of those. ]
Somewhere, some time ago i read an article on helping trees thru bark difficulties by wrapping the trunk in sphagnum moss, so am trying that.  The idea is to give the bark some help to heal.  I already see one spot that is better after the winter - and with no help from me.

[I learned that it is difficult to hold wet moss, wrap the truck tape and take photos at the same time!  I needed a third hand.]

The second project i am working on, is really Mitchell's project.  He loves to plant a veggie garden and then eat the fresh produce, but is not so excited about the cultivating, watering, and harvesting part ... which falls to me most years.
 Many years ago he built two raised veggie beds in the sunniest part of the back yard.  After years of use, the boards are rotting and need to be replaced.  He has decided to replace the two 4 x 4 boxes with one 12 x 4 box [more space for me to grow veggies, i think].

So far, my part has been to empty as much of the old planting medium as possible out of the beds. 
It was still in very good shape, so i used it to top-dress my xeri-garden/herb and greens spot.  The "dirt" is a woman-made blend of three different kinds of humus, vermiculite, peat moss and manure, which i have refreshed in alternate years.  
This time we will put four inches of our own webb-made compost on the bottom and top it with the blend.

It sounds like he may get the box built this weekend, so I can start on the blend soon.  And, the truth is that I hope to grow lots more veggies when I retire, so it's good to have this part done ahead of time.
For now, lettuce and a few herbs are a good start for this early in the spring!


  1. Ah, there is nothing like walking out and gathering part of your dinner from the back yard. Your lettuce and herbs look great.

    Good luck with the dogwood! I love them, and they are the state tree of Oregon, but I know nothing about tree disease. Sounds like a good plan the way you are trying to help it heal.

  2. I wish I had a spot of sunshine for vegetables, but with seven oak trees shade plants for me. Last year I had a dogwood cut back. It was in decline. No one could tell me why. This was my last effort to save it, and it seems to have worked. Have a fabulous week.