A Backyard Wheat Field . . . Oops
The sky’s a dusty blue globe, waking up from the night, slowly bringing color to the world. Soon the sun will rise, and the birds will sing. Like the morning wakes our bodies, so springtime wakes the earth.
It’s that time of year. The farmers are starting their sprinklers, discing their fields, preparing for another season. In two months, farmers will walk onto the fields, alfalfa stem between their teeth, debating when to cut the first cutting of hay.
Excitement flows through me simply thinking about it.
February’s always the most boring month of the year. Even though I hardly noticed it this year, there’s nothing like shedding our winter coat. When we can open the windows, sniff the sunshine and listen to the birds. Everything’s still brown, but I can feel it. In my bones. I can feel the promise of something beautiful to come.
With over enough to do on the farm, the men still helped me in my garden. They parked a pickup bed full of railroad ties beside the garden and asked, “where do you want ‘em?” My smile nearly reaching my ears, I told my thoughts. With the dullness of winter, I hadn’t thought about it nearly enough, so they waited while I calculated and measured. After one and a half hours the raised bed stood boldly in the corner of my garden.
I want to plant potatoes in it, maybe onions or garlic yet.
I’ve never grown garlic, but I hear for spring planting they have to be planted in early spring. How early in spring though? Late winter/early spring, end of march or beginning of April? I really should research it more. I wanted to plant garlic in the fall, but I could not find garlic bulbs anywhere in my town. And I knew if I ordered them, they wouldn’t arrive on time because I waited too long to start looking.
Onions I’ll plant in mid to late April, I think. Last year I planted them in mid-May. They would have sized up nicely if I hadn’t had to harvest them in July. I made the mistake of spreading grass clippings around the plants. The plants began to rot at the base and flopped over. They tasted great though. I froze whatever I didn’t give to my mom. In January I used the last bag of onions.
Mixing our own Soil
My dad mixed our own soil for us. I’m a bit nervous that’ll compact. Without mending it every year, I bet it would. I’ve heard dirt works differently in raised beds. But he mixed straw and cow manure into it—I know that will help. I plan to add bio-tone fertilizer or something of the sort every year. I’m hoping with enough love and care it’ll turn into good soil.
I wouldn’t have wanted a raised bed. But a noxious type of grass is creeping its way into my garden; I thought a raised bed would help prevent it from taking over. Also, last fall I thought, “I’m going no-till.” No weeds, better soil—a bullet proof idea I thought. Well somehow, I ended up spreading a wheat bale over my garden. I wanted wheat straw for mulch. This bale looked like wheat straw, perfectly yellow. Until I opened it.
Long story short, the soil needs to be tilled multiple times before mid-May to prevent a backyard wheat field. Hopefully it will bury the seed far enough, keeping it from sprouting again. I needed the potatoes in the ground before that, thus, the raised bed. Seedless soil, wheat straw without the seed—starting over. A perfect place for early spring root crops.
Refreshing the Home
Spring cleaning starts next week. I’m looking forward to it. To hang curtains, linens and blankets on the clothesline, spring air flowing through the windows. A time of year to refresh everything. Bring order back into my kitchen. Organize my office. Wipe everything, from the ceilings to the floor corners. Every nook and cranny.
But before that, I have to sew at least two dresses.
The hyacinth and tulips are beginning to sprout. I’m so excited to see spring color in the yard. Hopefully they’ll be blooming over Easter. My mother-in-law gave me the hyacinth last year for Easter. I planted it, thinking it might die either way, this way I’m giving it a chance. It was the first thing to come up this year
Writing a novel also kept me busy this winter. And many other things. I’m not sure what I did, but I did something. Previous winters I’d write all day, because I didn’t have anything else to do. This winter, I did good if I got over two hours of writing in a day.
I am making progress though. Use to be I’d write faster, but this time I’m taking it as slow as I need to, making sure it’s the best I can do. I’m hoping to have it written and edited by end of July. Take a break for a few months. Edit it again. By that time, I will have worked on this draft for over a year.
It’ll be a busy year, so we’ll see how things turn out. But at least it feels like I’m finally starting. And I am ready!
I will hopefully write to you again in a month. With a lot more updates. Until then, I hope you enjoy the spring season wherever you are. 😊
My God bless you,