Nature Notes

Garden Greetings

March 14, 2014
a person holding an insect

What’s happening in the garden? More than we know – even with the lingering cover of snow! Peter Alexanian tells us what’s happening in the Pfeiffer Garden, our particular piece of cultivated earth.

Back in February we (folks at the Pfeiffer Center) began sowing seeds in our heated greenhouse.  Having a heated greenhouse is indeed a luxury, but even more luxurious was getting my hands into the soil again, as this has been a very long and layered winter. By soil, I mean potting soil, our proven mix of kitchen compost, horse manure compost, and sand. Still, scooping up shovel after shovel of potting soil felt much more invigorating than shovel after shovel full of snow. As of March the onions, leeks, and scallions are looking well. Last week we sowed our early greens: kale, swiss chard, spinach, lettuce, and cabbage.  They’re so cute when they start to come up.

Most of our apple trees got pruned, with the help of our adult class participants, except for the one that is fenced in in one of our gardens. The gates only open toward the inside and all the entrances were heavily blocked by snow and ice. Arg! We’ll burn all the cut branches and spread the ashes around the drip line of the trees, providing a healthy supplement of potassium. Having a warm, sunny day gave us the opportunity to check in on our honeybees. I even caught sight of a bee with bright orange pollen on its leg, and I have no idea where she could have gotten it from as I haven’t seen a single crocus yet. Having all this snow around has slowed our activity quite a bit, nevertheless the greenhouse is already getting full of seedlings, and very soon we’re going to have to start moving really fast – REALLY FAST! That’s Spring . . . moving like quicksilver.