Wednesday, November 07, 2007
This will be a short autumn I fear
So the time to fritter and waste, thinking the cold weather will not hit us, has come and gone. I wasn't completely lax in my outdoor tasks, but there still is a large to-do list around here that needs to be checked off, item by item, before the snow comes for good.
Yes, snow. We've had our first blast of it: scatterings on the grass, peltings of hail on the windows.
I had another of my juicy rationalizations the other day: I can kid myself, being teased by sunshine and a wind-less day here and there, but winter is nigh at hand and the season for growing has finished for the year. The lawn furniture needs to be put away, the hammock taken down (always a sad day). My juicy rationalization is this: I am still gardening, a lot, and won't be prohibited from doing so until the ground freezes solid...something that doesn't happen until December 1st or so. And gardening for me begins around St. Patrick's Day, with peas, onions, and potatoes going in the ground, so: that's only, what, a little over three months of no gardening? Not bad!
But now, I scurry about, mostly with the trusty wheelbarrow. I am augmenting the existing beds in an effort to avert the flooding problems that befell the gardens this last August. The beds need to have lots more organic matter in them; the resident clay holds too much water. First I clear and weed the beds (if necessary), then I put down 2"+ dried grass mulch, then 3" new dirt, then 2"+ mostly not finished compost, then 2" dirt, then another 2" of chopped leaves and grass. (I have not forked up the existing ground; I know the worms and microbial friends will move upward, devoring what they find and doing the forking for me.) It is a lot of work, but it is fun to do in the early morning before work. Breathing is important when slinging shovels-full of dirt: I don't get winded, but it's nice, in the cold air, to feel a little sweaty.
I've always said gyms are for people who don't have farms!